My deed was to write a list of the insecurities I have about my body, then eat it.
I believe that the way I have been feeling about myself and my body is hugely influenced by the way women are represented in the media and so consistently objectified. We are constantly forced to put up with messages about how a woman’s body ‘should’ look. It seems impossible to avoid these messages, even if we try. We are constantly made to feel inadequate.
It would be very naive of me to think that men are not subjected to any kind of pressure about their bodies, as gender stereotyping and narrow ideals of what men and women should act and look like are so prevalent. But my own experience relates to the depiction of women and I personally believe that this pressure is unbalanced – women are often expected to ‘make an effort’ in a way that men are not.
I don’t know why being ‘beautiful’ is so important, as I know we can still be amazing human beings regardless of how we look. I wish I didn’t care about it, but I do. However, there are lots of ways to be beautiful and I am sick of somebody else’s narrow idea of this permeating my thoughts even though I try so hard not to let it.
It is sadly common for women to talk and think negatively about their bodies, many of us are used to moaning about how various bits and bobs are the wrong size or shape and hearing our friends do the same. Many of us could easily write a list like mine.
So let’s stop it. My list has gone.
I will no longer make negative observations about my body in front of others, as criticising ourselves so harshly encourages others to do the same. It is a bad habit and I am breaking it.
Whilst I cannot prevent negative thoughts occurring, when they do arise I will actively combat them with suitably positive ones.
My body is fine. I am relatively healthy and my body allows me to do the things I want to do. It is time to start appreciating that, as it’s a pretty amazing gift. I will stop putting myself down, and hopefully encourage those around me to do the same. If we can like ourselves, it doesn’t matter about anybody else’s idea of what is beautiful.