I don't know why as women we struggle so much with body image. I don't know why we look at ourselves and see the myriad of things we wish to change and cover up. I have no answer's for any of this. I only have observations. And what I observe is this:
Beautiful women of all ages describe themselves as fat, with all kinds of associating negative descriptors. Women who feel like they need to eat less. Women who go hungry because they feel like their bodies curves are a hindrance to their God given beauty. Women who are happy to be sick because at least it means they lose a few pounds because of it. Women who don't eat enough and thus feel weakened, dizzy or light headed. Women who find the option of eating parasites to stay thin as appealing. Women who compare themselves relentlessly to other women around them and are left feeling defeated and depressed.
While comparison is the thief of joy, it also seems to leave a trail of debilitating thoughts. Women whose hearts are gorgeous and whose bodies are beautiful, seem unable to recognize this external beauty they surely do have. I am struck by the beauty I am surrounded with, both in heart and in body. When I look at these women, I don't see flaws. I don't see weight, or fat, or chunk or any of this other stuff. We have this desire to be superficially attractive as well as people of value. Yet when I see those who struggle with this, I am aghast that they can suffer with these thoughts of low self worth due to their appearance. Just as I see the internal beauty of my peers, I am also confronted with their external beauty that many of them are so blinded to.
I don't know why we can't value ourselves the way we are. I don't know why we exist with this constant voice in our heads which tells us how we are not enough. I don't know why so many hot mamas and single ladies out there can't see in themselves what the rest of us see. So many people are plagued with this struggle and it saddens me so. So many of us have so much we want to change about ourselves. So many of us do not value ourselves in the way we value others. It is troubling. I want us to stand up and recognize our own beauty. I want us to feel this in our hearts and minds. I want us to feel good about ourselves and not just see all of what we perceive as bad. I want us to look in the mirror and maybe, for a moment, view ourselves as God does.
But I don't know how to do any of that. And I am not one to speak on this either, because while I observe so much of this pervasive negative self image in others, I recognize it in myself too. Even as I sit here, I sit with my own cloud of negative self talk. I sit here disgusted that I ate some serious donuts before lunch. I sit here wishing I could go run stadiums and take back my irrepressible lure to sweets. Do these thoughts consume me as I have seen them consume others? Thankfully, no. But do I have a complex about my body image? I sure do. It's not a problem, but it's present. I don't look at myself and think beauty. I look at myself and think change. And while change is not a bad thing provided it occurs within healthy bounds, it is really too bad we can't seem to view ourselves under a more positive and life giving lens.