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My Little Facebook Rant

Since J and I started the new year with a better approach to eating and exercise, I've found myself even more conscious of diets, exercise plans, health food blogs, etc.  I see these things in my news feed on Facebook or in articles on blogs I read.  Most recently, I've heard more about this growing movement for women to embrace their bodies for what they are.  I hate that this is even a "movement" and not the norm, but I've gotta say I'm happy to see it.

I listen to a local radio morning show on my drive into work and after I've gotten settled at my desk.  It seems like they've been doing more segments lately with weight loss challenges, interviews of women and men who are overly body conscious and most recently the No Body Shame Campaign.  They interviewed the woman who started this whole thing the other morning and she was really inspiring and lovely.  After years of struggling with weight and bouncing from 130lbs up to over 300lbs, she realized that no matter what size she was or how much she weighed she still wasn't happy with herself.  There was always something wrong.  So she's started to change the way she thinks about her body and is sharing her experience on her blog and through her "Fat Girl Dancing" videos on YouTube.  

I admire her because I know that struggle.  Not the massive weight differences, but the struggle to be happy with my body as it is.  I'm healthy and I'm not perfect and that's OK.  But quite honestly, most of my days are spent comparing bits and pieces of my body, my teeth, my hair, my clothes to other women.  It sucks and it's draining and I'm working on it, but I believe it will be a lifetime struggle for me.  Yeah, you may think being a 6'1" female is fun, but the grass isn't always greener!

After this radio segment, they cut to commercial where without a lie they played a commercial for a diet supplement!  WHAT?!  I was just feeling all good and fuzzy inside and you play that crap?  Yeah, I get the advertising BS, but really?  So it got me thinking (and Facebooking):

"I find society's view of body stereotypes interesting. On one hand, I see a movement for people to accept their healthy bodies for how they are. On the other, I see and hear enticing ads for diets, cleanses and even pills to " be high school skinny." Believe what you believe, but don't judge others for how they look or how they get there....I don't want my kids feeling like they have to fit a mold either way. Do you?"

Honestly, I'm really annoyed.  I'm annoyed because I live in a culture where skinny thigh gaps, tans and perfectly white teeth are something we're supposed to strive to.  I'm annoyed because I know that it's only getting worse what with the over airbrushing of magazines covers and even music videos.  I'm annoyed because if I ever bring a daughter into this world, I know how she'll struggle to find her truth in all of that madness.  

I think there's hope in knowing that there are people out there who strive to make a difference and embrace healthy bodies as they are rather than trying to stuff them into a mold.  And I have hope that if I do have a daughter, that I'll be able to teach her the difference between what is make believe and what is reality.

I love Whitney's point about the F-word...FAT.  And I think it could also cross over to the S-word...skinny.

"Do other fat people a favor.: don’t bother telling them they’re “not fat,” as you simultaneously complain about your OWN body which is smaller. Don’t tell them they have a beautiful face, or that they’re not fat (“You’re not fat; you’re beautiful!”) All you’re doing is proving that you think fat people can’t be beautiful, but fat and beautiful are NOT mutually exclusive. You can be both! I know people have good intentions when they shy away from the F-word, but you’re doing all of us fat people a disservice. Instead, drop the F-word all together and just give them the damn compliment, but if a fat person does refer to themselves that way, don’t feel as though you have to disagree with their assessment."

End rant.  :-)


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