Don’t tell me you love me…

I know some of you will read this blog, and say ‘Huh? What is she talking about?!’ A fellow student (who’s like my twin, but we’ve never met) is writing an essay on body image, and that got me thinking…

While being overweight isn’t healthy, of course it isn’t!, it’s not only the obese that have issues with self image. After all, look at all the supermodels; Victoria’s Secret and runway. They aren’t Marilyn Monroe remakes. Let’s face it, women. The era of the hour-glass is gone. The time of the stick is at hand.

I was the stick in high school, at a whopping 118 lbs, and I pretty much stayed that way until my late 20’s/ early 30’s. It wasn’t as glamorous as you might think. I still had my fair share of struggles; blood pressure that was so low on the ‘normal’ scale that one more point would have dipped me into the danger zone, constant dizziness due to low iron, and don’t even get me started on constantly hearing ‘You’re so thin!’ As if that was the ultimate compliment. In high school, boys don’t want the ‘fat chicks’, but guess what? They don’t want the ‘stick chicks’, either.

Now it’s 25+ years past high school, and two kids later. Plus a husband who loves to cook. Yeah, I’m no longer stick thin. But I still get the ‘Why don’t you see yourself as beautiful? If you exercise and/or diet, there won’t be anything left!’ Well, guess what? That’s not helpful. I look in the mirror and I don’t see a thin woman. I see a woman with curves in all the wrong places. I see a stomach that’s not flat anymore, and thighs that are larger than they used to be. I’m not brave enough to stand naked front of the bathroom mirror and really look at myself; tell myself I’m beautiful and blessed. ‘Cause guess what? I’m still the same shy, insecure bibliophile I was in high school and 90% of my good self esteem comes from the look in my husband’s eyes when he gazes at me.

 

We all suffer from self image, and too underweight is just as bad as too overweight. It’s just a matter of flippin’ the coin over.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Don’t tell me you love me…

  1. Thank you Shanti for giving me a new perspective. I have a few friends that have always been on the other side of the perspective — girls who could never gain weight no matter how they try, and I do agree that it is just as painful because I’ve witnessed it in them. I don’t think I’ve met a woman who is entirely happy with her body, mostly because of our culture’s standards. It seems like to me that there are so many people shouting about the unfairness of American standards concerning weight, yet nothing has changed.
    Maybe we will start a revolution. One blog at a time. 🙂

    • One blog can change a thousand lives… if we get that many followers 😉
      My biggest issue to date is the taking of physical education out of public schools (at least here in Georgia.) If you’re going to take exercise away from children at the one place they are the majority of their days, where does the blame truly lie? And the same can be said for the idiots who determined that underweight is attractive. There should be a happy middle ground. Curvaceous is not a bad word…okay, leaping off my soap box now. LOL.

      • I don’t think it’s a bad word either. I just think that I’ve spent too long hanging on to these excuses instead of making the change that needed to happen. 🙂 I absolutely think that children need to exercise, and PE is where most kids learn exactly what kind of sports they are good at, which in turn makes them more enjoyable.
        I was thinking earlier about the differences between being too thin and being too fat. One of the things I thought of about being too thin is that it is far more acceptable for people to call out someone who is thin — like you mentioned earlier, when people say “Why don’t you eat more” and the like. Can you imagine someone saying something similar to a fat person? “Why don’t you eat less?” The thing most people don’t think about is that it is just as offensive to comment on their body in that way, but because we are all so stuck on being thin, we all assume that it is socially acceptable to say things like that.

  2. I think tons of women feel this way – I think if they added something a little more ‘fun’ to the PE classes in school, kids might elect to stay in them – I hated having to run around the field twice/day!! Something like vollyeball or softball or perhaps even weight training might tempt the kids to stay.

    • I agree, Elisabeth. I was the kid who ditched P.E. and just went home after roll, ’cause I hated it so much. I do remember back junior high, though, having a lot more options in P.E. than I ever did in high school.
      I have yet to meet a woman who thinks she looks fantastic just the way she is. We all have our share of complaints. The trick is to learn to be happy and healthy just the way we are, and leave what society thinks alone. Ha! Easier said than done.

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