I think that today is a really important holiday to celebrate because there are a lot of really unfair, unhealthy social pressures that we deal with on a daily basis. It only figures that there’s at least one day a year to remind us that we’re more than just our looks. I’ve always been tall and thin, thanks to genetics for the most part, which has served me well but there were a lot of years when I was bullied for my height and gangliness. The words hurt and I always wished that I could be something different than I was. I got so tired of wearing high-water jeans and looming over my ‘perfectly petite’ friends. Of course, on the other side of the spectrum my friends were dying to have my legs and couldn’t stop obsessing over their ‘misfortunate’ looks. Bullied for being too lanky, devastated to be too short and frumpy, ignored and forgotten are those who are too ‘average’… This isn’t a new schpeal but the hurtful labels haven’t stopped.
Women, and men, continue to be objectified and sexualized in the media and then we all compare ourselves to these unreachable ideals. I know that skinny girls with flat stomachs and major cheek bones sell clothes and the industry isn’t going to change that but somehow we need to stop convincing ourselves that we have to be that. You can buy that top on the mannequin and appreciate how it looks on your body instead of hating that you haven’t turned into plastic perfection. I hate to admit but I, too, like everyone else have a struggle with body image. I won’t buy something in the store because I’m convinced it won’t fit and it’s made for someone else, someone with a more perfect body. My hair’s too flat, my mouth turns down, my middle is too big -the usual barrage – but I’ve been trying really hard to embrace all of the things that I find less than ideal and to realize that God made me perfectly in his image. I won’t ever be a super model and that’s alright because I’m meant to be ‘Carrie’; not just Carrie but exactly Carrie. I’m meant to be me and I should embrace everything that I am.
Some people really hate the Dove body image videos and the usual smattering of ‘love yourself’ campaigns on the internet but I absolutely love them. It’s hard to ‘keep up the fight’ sometimes when you walk out the door and just feel somehow less than everyone you walk past. We need to balance the positive and the negative and make a conscious effort every day to appreciate everything that you are. A little bit of support now and then is nothing to scoff at!
Dig deep inside of yourself and find the beauty within. Odds are, it won’t be hard to find because, in truth, it’s the absolute essence of you. Today’s holiday reminds us that you are radiant, exciting, beautiful, and perfectly unique. Accentuate your features and make positive changes for your health but don’t ever get caught up comparing yourself to a standard you were never meant to be. We need to accept and love what’s on the inside, all the while realizing that what’s on the inside is so much more important. Let’s turn beauty inside out. Happy holidays!
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