Am I fat?
Does my butt look big in these jeans?
How do YOU think I look?
I’ve been thinking about these types of questions a lot as I raise my two daughters. They are only 7 and 5 but I am still conscious of the messages they may be receiving from media, but most importantly, from me.
Recently, my 7 year old decided to put 5 different pony tails in her hair. She asked me if I thought her friends would laugh at her. I told her that one friend may think she looked silly, another friend would think she looked beautiful and yet another friend wouldn’t even notice her hair at all but instead comment on her shirt. I told her she needed to focus on how she felt about her hair and not what others thought.
Hell, I know that is easier said than done but I’m trying to get my girls to have self confidence and not judge themselves based on what others say or how they think others perceive them.
A recent study done by Ohio State University showed that women think they are fat because they think their friends think they are fat. They are not going by measurable standards, ie, BMI. “The most powerful influence on women’s appreciation of their bodies is how they believe important others view them.”
So, even if a woman is measurably overweight, if she felt her peers accepted her and didn’t judge her appearance, she felt good about herself. The study went on to find that half of women appreciate their bodies.
I suppose the other half may have friends who are dying from cancer, who have died from cancer or who are experiencing any number of life experiences that are showing them what really matters. Stop thinking about your freaking weight. If you aren’t happy with your weight or your body, then do something about it. Start walking, eat less, take a Zumba class, call a friend, do something, anything. You know what to do so just do it.
Whenever I catch myself hating my thighs (which is rare, honestly) or whatever I may be beating myself up for, I think of my friend Michele who would probably do anything to be in my shoes. Instead, she passed away and had to leave her 6 year old daughter.
Stop your bitching and moaning and please, please, appreciate your health, your life, whatever you have to be grateful for in your life at this moment. And if you aren’t happy with something, then do something about it. Don’t ask your friends for their opinions. Listen to your gut and your heart. And, most of all, love yourself.