This week I wanted to discuss something that I think I am only finally beginning to understand now, making it a perfect example of what I wish I had known as a teenager. Hopefully, many of you do not need to hear what I am about to talk about but for those of you who do, I truly hope you can take inspiration from this.
I bet you’re all really nervous now; I make everything needlessly dramatic.
I remember thinking ten years ago that I’d be happy with my body once I got boobs. Yesterday, I was considering a radical diet just so my boobs would get smaller.
This is What I Wish I Knew About Body Hate: It doesn’t go away on it’s own.
Over the years I’ve spent a truly ridiculous amount of time and energy picking myself apart. My list of ‘problem areas’ grew like I wished my legs would. They formed into a tangled mess that fenced me in and kept people out. In the worst times I’ve missed entire conversations obsessively worrying that whoever is speaking to me is thinking about how oddly my lips move.
As my body changed, as I learned more about myself and generally grew up, certain concerns would lessen and others would appear. Sometimes they stayed inside my head and sometimes I’d voice them to my friends. Yeah, it’s a beautiful dress but I just can’t wear pink, it makes my skin blotchy and gross. But don’t you think my chin basically doesn’t exist? They’d dismiss my concerns with the best intentions as I would so often do for them as well. But what we never realized was that this dismissal never actually made us feel any better. Your friend telling
you that you’re crazy for wanting to lose weight doesn’t suddenly make you confident in your body. I could be endlessly complimented on my looks but it would never change the fact that I think my celebrity doppleganger is the short, red teletubby. One of my greatest friends told me recently, “it’s more impactful to be supportive than dismissive.” We need to tell our friends that we understand what they’re feeling but that there is nothing wrong with their body, and we support any healthy manner in which they might decide to take to be more comfortable with themselves.
Then we have to say that to ourselves.