Are you all on Pinterest? Of course I am. I've even poked fun at it from time to time. And while I think some pins are downright stupid, others ... they kind of hurt to look at.
Since this is a family blog and I know some of my readers would object to their children seeing pictures like the ones I'm about to discuss, I'll only post one. A tame one in comparison to the rest.
Question: Where is her face???
If you're on Pinterest, you've seen plenty of pictures just like this one -- decapitated and focused on some perfect and unrealistic body part. Her abs. Her boobs. Her legs. Toned, tan and hairless.
But no face.
We can't see if she's happy or sad. We can't see the windows to her soul -- her eyes. Why?
The captions which accompany these pictures also bother me:
"I'd DIE to look like this!"
"Most amazing boobs ever!"
"I HAVE to have her legs."
I've noticed a new phenomenon regarding thinness as well -- it's now disguised as "healthy." "Fit." "In shape." And the implication is there -- if you don't look like this faceless model who probably has a personal trainer and works out several hours a day, you are UNhealthy. You are NOT fit. You are OUT OF SHAPE.
For centuries, we've blamed the media for all our unhealthy body image problems. We're starving ourselves, working out to death and risking our lives under the knife because of Angelina Jolie. Paris Hilton. Katy Perry. Kate Middleton. Those impossibly beautiful women plastered on our magazines, running around on our televisions and popping up on our home pages.
But really, are they to blame? Or are we? After all, we're the ones who accept their bodies as the standard. We're the ones adding dehumanizing pictures like the one I posted to our Pinterest boards. We're the ones perpetuating lies to ourselves and others, saying, "My boobs aren't big/round/perky enough." "My hips are too wide." "My skin is all stretched out and ruined." "I'm too pale." "My hair is too frizzy." "My face is covered in acne." "I'm too fat." "I jiggle too much."
Guess what? I'm guilty of saying or thinking all of those things. I took them straight from my internal dialogue and pasted them here. I hope you don't think I'm trying to preach because I already have a perfect body image. Truth is, I don't. I'm working on it.
I will say, though, my body image suffers most after I look at pictures like those shown above. I start loathing my stretch marks, cursing my abdomen, shunning my boobs and freaking out about every zit that pops up on my face. That voice creeps into my head and says, "You're not good enough."
Then, I go to playgroup with some of my gorgeous, healthy and vibrant mommy friends and they're all saying the exact same thing: "I'm not good enough." It hurts.
Today, I am saying ENOUGH. Enough of this negative self-talk. Enough of the idealization of the impossible.
The self-deprecating dialogue? It's exhausting. It's painful. It's depressing. How do you feel after spending a few minutes scrutinizing yourself in the mirror? I personally feel like crap. I get a stomach ache, I feel stressed out and I lose all hope. It takes several hours to recover and days before I can look at myself without seeing all my imperfections.
Not to mention, I have children now. Specifically, I have a daughter. A daughter who sees herself in the mirror and loves everything about her body. Her sparkly blue eyes. Her waist-long blond hair. Her cherubic cheeks. Her above-average height. She dances, she plays, she runs. She laughs out loud and sings at the top of her lungs. She loves herself. And if I heard her talking about herself the way I sometimes talk about MYself ... it would break my heart cleanly in two.
It's time to embrace TRUE health, not the false health portrayed by those sultry, oiled-up and surgically-enhanced models. True health is eating a balanced diet (and consuming enough daily calories, for that matter). True health is exercising to clear the mind, to get the heart pumping, to exert the muscles, to meditate and enjoy nature. True health is spending time doing good, enjoying the company of loved ones, enriching the mind with good literature, creating beauty and developing your talents. True health is knowing your purpose and potential and living up to it. True health is enjoying the present instead of killing yourself for an uncertain future.
True health is treating ourselves and others as human beings as children of God. Not as faceless, nameless bodies that either hit the mark or don't. (They usually don't.)
You are ENOUGH. Believe it.
Now, here's something worth pinning: