this isn’t about me

I wrote a post on body image, but when I read it back to myself it didn’t really make sense. I started with the story of how I learned to accept my body…except that’s the thing. I haven’t accepted it 100%. No matter how much I try to defy the media’s perception of the perfect woman, I still find myself wanting those thin thighs I will never have, among other things. I’ve read some empowering blog posts on body image, but they are few and far between. And I wanted to contribute by writing something amazing, but I’m not a writer (what, you didn’t know?) and I just don’t know where to start. Why? Because for every one of those posts, there are hundreds of pro-anorexic websites, instagram accounts, and blogs. Usually hosted by a suicidal 12 year old girl. She posts instagram photos of sickly thin girls, and captions it “For every like this photo gets, I will fast another hour.” And people “like” it.

Pro-ana pin from pinterest

Pro-ana pin from pinterest

This is not about me and how I feel about my thighs. This is about these young girls that have been overexposed to the media and its portrayal of what they’re supposed to be. This wasn’t an issue when our grandmothers were children. There was no preconceived notion of how big their “thigh gap” should be. That term didn’t even exist.

Miss America 1935, no thigh gaps here

These days, a young girl will go to the grocery store with her mother and see the tabloids at the checkout that pick apart celebrities in bikinis. She might buy a magazine herself, and notice all the thin models in the advertisements. Later at the movie theater, she will admire the skinny actress in the starring role. Before she goes to bed, she will look in the mirror and criticize her body. She might skip breakfast the next day. Maybe she’ll browse the internet and find those pro-ana websites, confirming that it is the best way to achieve what she believes is a perfect body.

But maybe, just maybe, she will come across a blog like this one, encouraging her to love her body just the way it is. Maybe she will see that she’s not alone, and there are other girls just like her. Maybe she will inspire her friends to be strong and appreciate themselves, and those friends will do the same to others. Maybe she won’t end up like this girl.

Maybe.

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