After watching P!nks VMA acceptance speech, as she shared a personal story about her six-year-old daughter, I just knew I wanted share my thoughts and why I believe in the power of body positivity.
As I sat and watched, I listened and I cried.
Her words resonated with not only because I am a mother, and also want to protect my child, but because I was that little girl. I thought I was ugly, weird, unpretty and fat. I didn’t open up as a child about these feelings I was having, I didn’t tell anyone that I felt out-of-place — so I internalized it and carried it around for years.
Now as a mother, I am so incredibly aware of the language my son picks up, and I make the best effort not to ever talk negatively about myself or my body in front of him. Yet, I recently heard him ask if some food would make him fat. He asked so innocently, and much like P!nk I wanted to jump in a Powerpoint presentation and explain why this was bullshit.
I forget that he is three, and is just asking questions which he has yet to fully understand.
After years of hating myself and suffering from a toxic relationship with my food and confidence, I know that my body and your body, well it isn’t anyone else’s business, but it also isn’t anyone else’s responsibility.It's my responsibility to take care of my body, in fact it is my job. Click To Tweet
It is my job to treat my body kindly with food, movement and words. There is a big difference between saying “I feel fat” and “I am fat”.
I feel fat. It’s something we’ve all said, and people of ALL sizes will say this flippantly without even thinking. However to say aloud “I am fat” well that’s a belief, and whilst I whole heartedly agree that the word “fat” is just a 3 letter word and nothing more than a food group, I still don’t refer to myself as “fat”.
Society has made “fat” a nasty and insulting word, and the more it is repeated and used, the more young children will continue to believe it about themselves.
In the book “Things no one will tell fat girls” Jes Baker explains that young girls, 7th and 8th graders are more afraid of gaining fat than they are of losing their parents.
Can we stop and understand the severity of this bullshit?
Now, granted losing your parents is not a reality for many children, we look at our parents as superhero’s and the very thought of them not being around is incomprehensible. However, they SEE weight loss and weight gain every damn day of their lives. On TV shows, in magazines, books and most importantly IN REAL LIFE.
So, I’m not really surpised that they are more afraid of weight gain, because weight gain/weight loss is everywhere.
The recent promotion of body positivity and giving the middle finger to perfection is refreshing, but it doesn’t matter that this is all I see in my [amazing] bubble on social media, because I know that it’s not enough. I don’t that it’ll ever be enough, because too many people believe BOPO promotes obesity…The BOPO movement doesn't promote obesity, it allows women people to make decisions about their… Click To Tweet
BOPO allows people to be themselves, to show up and share their voice because they are worthy RIGHT NOW.Your life doesn't start twenty pounds from now. Click To Tweet
It is terrifying to me that kids believe they are the ‘ugliest person they know’ because these kids are our future, but if we as individuals do not feel comfortable enough to speak up, show up and do what is right — then we are letting them down too.
We must show up authentically, living with purpose and not waiting for our pants to be a little looser. This is what we can do as individuals to help the kids who are terrified of how their body looks.
Yes, these are the tough realities of life and the conversations we are afraid to have — but darlin’ they are the conversations we must first have with ourselves before we can convince anyone else of how wonderful they are.