Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Epiphany in a Change Room

I sat on the dressing room bench of the department style clothing store and dubiously surveyed the pile of clothes beside me.  I sighed and began the process of trying on item after item of clothing, avoiding the mirror in between becoming clothed in each piece.

When I heard a teenaged girl's voice in the next stall say the words, "This doesn't fit me..."  shamefully my mood rose.  Someone's else's clothes don't fit - must be too small just like those jeans I tried on...

..."it's way too big.  I need a size zero."

A size ZERO.  Why this size even exists in this world completely baffles my mind.

Zero equals nothing does it not?  So if you're wearing a size zero what exactly does that mean?!  It's bonknuts that's what that is.

A few minutes later she comes out of her dressing room stall as her Mom and sister watched on (I'm assuming this as I stayed in the comfort of my own dressing room since there was a perfectly good mirror in there and I was by myself) and upon seeing herself in the mirror she exclaims, "Oh my GOD.  I look so fat!  I look like a tank!"

Can someone please explain how someone the size of nothing could possibly look like a 100,000 pound tank?!

What was even more disturbing was the fact that her Mother said nothing about her calling herself a fat tank. She murmured a few things but let me tell you, if that was MY daughter saying those things about herself I would shut that down fast and furiously.

I don't have daughters.  But I do have two sons'.  Same thing would go for them if they ever said those words about themselves (unlikely but still possible).

Yes we as women (and men too) have our insecurities.  It's normal and fairly unavoidable as we are flawed beings and I'm not speaking about being physically flawed. Sadly due to the ridonkulousness of society we've come to the very unhealthy thinking that if we have thighs that touch or sticky outty belly or cellulite there is something wrong with us.  There is nothing wrong with us.  Of-course we have our days where we haven't made the greatest food choices or haven't been active or are feeling bloated and not our best. This is all perfectly normal. Sitting in that change room I was hugely guilty of feeling not so good about my body even though there really isn't anything to be ashamed about. If I were 10 lbs thinner I'd still have something that irked me if I'm being honest. So who cares!?  Who.Cares.  Talking about your physical imperfections is pretty damn borrrring.  No one wants to hear about how much you hate your body, how fat you look, feel, are.  Believe me when I say NOBODY.  It's annoying, boring and cringe inducing so quit it.

Instead let's focus about what our bodies can do and have done.  Set some goals for yourself.  I could list mine but how about you start by listing your own?  What have you done with that awesome body of yours lately?  Biked a few miles.  Awesome.  Raced your kids?  Fun times.  Ran a half marathon?  Huge accomplishment.  Sex with your significant other?  Pretty damn fun. Worked out at the gym?  Good for you - how great do you feel now!  Played hopscotch?  A lot harder now than when you were a kid!  Moved some furniture?  Impressive.  Cleaned your house from top to bottom?  Good workout and productive!  Gave your child a piggy back or a horsey ride?  Memories for both of you.  Some gardening?  Surprisingly physical!  Walked your dog?  Exercise and therapy rolled into one.  Birthed children?  Most amazing physical feat EVER.

Next time you feel the need to complain about the beautiful body you have, stop and remember the amazing things it can, has and will do.  

Like I always tell my son when he occasionally complains about having to walk to school, "Why do we have to walk to school today?"

"Because we can.  Because we have two working legs.  Because there are many people in this world that would do anything, anything to be able to walk at all but they can't because they don't have two working legs."  That always keeps him quiet until he says, "And because it's a beautiful morning."

That's when I know that some things I say do sink in.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

Great post January! Already I am a bit sensitive to comments and statements that I hear my kindergartener saying, nothing in the way of body image, but its stuff that she picks up from friends at school. Her thinking is influenced. As her mother, I know that I have a responsibility to role model a healthy relationship with my body for both of my girls.