I am so grateful for a mother who didn't let her insecurities show. She didn't wear a lot of makeup, didn't talk about dieting or dress sizes. I was always told that I had pretty skin and that my natural blonde highlights were something that older women coveted and paid a lot of money for in salons. I didn't think about my looks - in a positive or negative way - until I was in the second grade when someone made a comment about my friend being chubby. I hadn't noticed. I didn't have any concept of being insecure until the fifth grade when my friend had started developing. All of a sudden my friend had hips and boobs and she was at least 5 inches taller than me. Then, I grew (in height only) and I remember feeling big. I had big feet. I was in a size 10 before middle school. I was always one of the youngest girls in my class and always one of the tallest. Perhaps it was all the dainty Disney princesses I'd grown to love but I knew I didnt want to feel big.
In junior high and high school I would look at fashion magazines and I'd start feeling bad about myself. After looking at Seventeen, or whatever, I'd resolve to go buy a new beauty product or start a new workout regime. I was probably 17 years old, a senior in high school, before I realized what I was doing. I dont buy magazines anymore. I think women naturally compare themselves to others and it's not healthy so I just cut that out of my life. But you cant escape these false images of airbrushed beauties. They're in every store, mall and bus stop advertisement. These little lies (airbrushed phtotos) trickle in whether you like it or not.
I remember dating some guys in high school that were the same height as me and, again, I felt big. I was 5'8" and 135 pounds in high school. A size 4. I'm not much bigger now but I still feel big sometimes! To be honest, it wasn't until I married Dan that I started to like being taller. And now I love it. Heels every day.
Now that I'm older I'm thinking about wrinkles and cellulite. They are inevitable. Your skin gets wrinkly and everyone has cellulite. I've seen cellulite on women of every shape, age and size.
I love my body when I can make it through a 90 minute hot yoga class or a long run. I love that I can chase after Liam without getting tired. I love that our family goes on a weekly hikes and I'm able to keep up.
Check out Delightfully Tacky to share your stories about body image. Have you felt like false, unrealistic advertising has adversely affected your body image, either now, or growing up? 42% of girls in grades 1-3 want to be thinner, 81% of 10-year-olds are afraid of getting fat, 78% of 17-year-old girls are unhappy with their bodies.
Let's share our stories, show off our beautiful bodies and encourage young girls to embrace themselves - just as God made them.