I’ve gained weight. I’ve lost weight. I’ve gained weight again. I’ve lost it. What seems like the most freeing feeling in the world however, is the feeling of finally coming to terms with the fact that I’m not my weight! Yes, I’m larger than I was when I was younger, but, oh my goodness, I am far more confident than I ever was when I was skinnier. In fact, when I was younger, I wouldn’t dare post a photo of myself in a swimsuit because I constantly thought I looked fat. Sadly, (as vain as that may sound), it’s the truth.
This is what insecurities and society`s body-shaming messages can do to a person. They make you want to hide yourself. They make you think you aren’t worthy of sharing a photo in a swimsuit, and even worse; they make you feel like you don’t belong in a swimsuit.
- According to the National Eating Disorders Association, 42 percent of first to third-grade girls want to lose weight, and 81 percent of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat.
- According to a study in Pediatrics, about two-thirds of girls in the 5th to 12th grades said that magazine images influence their vision of an ideal body, and about half of the girls said the images made them want to lose weight.
- By adolescence, studies show that young people are receiving an estimated 5,260 “attractiveness messages” per year from network television commercials alone.
- According to Teen magazine, 35 percent of girls ages 6 to 12 have been on at least one diet, and 50 to 70 percent of normal-weight girls think they are overweight. (Source:Carolyn Coker Ross, MDhttp://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/06/02/why-do-women-hate-their-bodies/)
I’ve written about body image many times on this blog, and that’s because the struggle’s been real. The ongoing battle of never feeling skinny enough finally came to an end when I stopped giving a shit about how others view me and began to care merely on how I view myself. Having daughters also helped me change my perception about my body. I knew I had to “fake it till I made it” so I could model body confidence to my girls.