It’s National Eating Disorders Awareness Week which takes place from February 20th through the 16th. To show my support of this effort, I encourage everyone to take a second look at their body and re evaluate what they see.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a somewhat conservative style. It’s more bohemian, neo-soulish which means I rarely wear skin tight dresses, show off my cleavage or wear mini skirts. In fact, it took years for me to even be comfortable enough to wear an off-the-shoulder dress because I didn’t want anyone staring at my body.
If I chose to be intimate with someone the lights were turned off and I still kept my shirt on. Whenever I’d see my best friend Tamara wearing a bathing suit it would bother me. She has two children and still has six pack abs. Why wasn’t I that lucky?
Today I woke up and had a heart change. My body is mine. It’s the only one I have. If it works just fine, why should I be ashamed of it? I am not a teenager therefore I shouldn’t expect to have a teenager body. I am not a model so I don’t need a flat stomach and completely tight skin. I am a mother and my body reflects that.
My body is the transportation for the essence of who I am. It does not define me, I define it.
I decided to face my fear of my body image by trying an experiment. I would wear my bikini (the first one I have had as an adult) and walk downtown to see if I could get random strangers to take pictures of me. I have never done anything like this. In fact, there are very few full body photos of me, even fully clothed, in existence because I was too uncomfortable with my body to take them.
As I got dressed I felt a bit nervous. Could I really walk around like this in public without feeling like a fool? But I did. I pressed on.
I saw a man sitting on a bench and I asked him to take pictures of me and he did. When I reviewed the photos I gulped. Is that what I look like with no clothes on? Immediately I began to feel self conscious, my thoughts raced as I went through my mental Rolodex of past lovers. Is this the body they held and caressed and united with? Was it okay to look this way?
I shook off those thoughts and I walked on. I encountered a young man and when I engaged him in conversation he said, “The media will lie to you and make you feel as though you aren’t beautiful but you are.”
He took pictures of me as well and I felt like a star as I stood on the sidewalk in plain view of everyone.
I wore a bikini on the street and you know what, I don’t look that bad.
If you are having a difficult time embracing your body, join with me in appreciating yourself. Your body is your gift. It is the means by which the essence of who you are expresses itself and is allowed to enjoy this experience called LIFE.
You are okay just the way you are.
You are simply beautiful if you believe it.
Join me in celebrating your body. Wear your bikini and take a picture. If you send in your picture I will post it on My Savvy Sisters.
You are beautiful just the way you are.
Publisher, My Savvy Sisters