Today I have bodies on the brain! My own, in particular, but those that I compare mine to, as well. It’s so frustrating to rationally know that my body is unique and special and beautiful in its own way and to understand that bodies come in all shapes and sizes and that beauty is way more inclusive than what society tells us it is, yet still struggle with the almost daily thought, “I’m not pretty enough.” It’s one of the few remaining vestiges of my eating disorder.
I’m no longer trapped in the cycle of bingeing and self-loathing and dieting, but the fear that I will not be perceived as beautiful by someone is still there. Who is this mythical “someone” whose opinion I fear? Why on earth do I care whether or not some random person looks at me and thinks “she’s pretty” or “she’s ugly” or “she’s neutral”? How can I see beauty in a myriad of shapes and sizes and not see beauty in myself at times?
I feel I have a lot to learn about why I ever bought into society’s “body ideal” (which we know only a tiny fraction of women possess) and how to free myself from the tyrrany of my inner critic when it comes to body image. I can tell myself one minute (and believe) “I’m a beautiful person” and an hour later have some sudden change in thinking that causes me to seriously doubt that statement. I know others of you struggle with this, too. I guess that’s why it’s on my mind today.
I guess maybe understanding the “whys” is less important than just using the tools I already have to dispute that inner critic. It gets exhausting, to be honest, to have to work so hard to fight those critical voices. I just keep doing it, one day at a time.
Peace (to all of us!), joy, and health.