Most of us have something we would like to change about our bodies. Our hips are too big, our boobs are too saggy, our arms are too flabby, or our wrinkles around our eyes are too prominent. As women we are taught to nit pick at what we don't like about ourselves, compare ourselves to other women, call ourselves ugly or fat. So many of these women being mothers, aunts, and sisters. What does this self-loathing say about ourselves to the younger generations looking up to us?
Research has shown that its not the media, thin celebrities, or the Barbie dolls with lack of proportion that cause body image issues for girls, its their mothers. Reading this honestly didn't surprise me. Growing up, and still today I am surrounded by women tearing their bodies apart, and saying they need to "get back on their diet", or "stop eating so much". Is hating our bodies the way we want to teach our children to grow up?
I grew up in the age of trendy diets, Spanx, and miracle creams. Women around me everywhere were and still are obsessed with losing that extra few pounds and constantly criticizing their own bodies, I myself included. It wasn't until I started photographing boudoir photography that I started to see how badly as women we talk about our bodies, and how I needed to do something about it. I usually ask women what they love about their bodies before we start shooting. I also ask them what their significant other loves about their bodies too. Usually these two things are very different. Which made me think, what if we could see ourselves through the eyes of someone who loves us? I do believe we would see ourselves differently, and even love those things about our bodies we aren't so fond of.
Don't get me wrong, I have body insecurities as well and my husband could tell you all about how it sometimes takes me an hour to find something to wear that I feel comfortable in. With a pile of tried on clothes on the floor and a bunch of clothes that just don't fit right still on their hangers, sometimes I just have to look in the mirror, look at my legs that I sometimes dislike and say, "these legs have helped me run 3 marathons." Or look at the wide hips I have been given with and say, "some day these hips of mine will bear beautiful children if we are so blessed." Our bodies can do amazing things, so why don't we treat them like they can?
The next time you are feeling insecure, feeling fat, feeling uglier than the person next to you, instead of practicing self-loathing, can you give yourself a compliment? The next time you hear someone else talking badly about their body, I challenge you to give them a compliment. Instead of teaching our daughters, nieces, sisters, and even ourselves to hate their bodies, lets teach them to love their bodies.