A woman in group the other day commented that she felt too big and ugly and I wish I could tell you that it's uncommon for me to hear women describe themselves like that.
Sadly, almost daily, I hear women refer to themselves or their bodies with horribly derogatory comments.
It's so bad that I've officially banned the word "disgusting" because I've heard it so much.
Stop. Calling. Your. Body. Disgusting.
When you speak ill of yourself or when you avoid certain things (certain clothes, events, etc) because you're uncomfortable, or letting fear and insecurity get the best of you, you’re giving other women (and especially your daughters) permission to do the exact same thing.
It's become not only acceptable but normal and even expected for us to belittle ourselves not only in private in our own heads but out loud, in front of others.
It's even how we bond, how we "fit in".
How many times in your life have you been in THIS conversation:
Sitting around with friends and everyone starts chatting about their bodies. One woman may say to another, "Omg, you look amazing. Have you lost weight?"
She replies, "ugh, gawd, are you kidding? I’m so fat right now! I shouldn’t even be eating this. I need to diet. My thighs are so gross and this stupid mommy pooch is so disgusting!"
Not to be left out, another pipes up and says, "Omg you think you're fat?! No way, have you seen my thighs?! I'm the one that's FAT. I really need to find a diet I can stick to but ugh, I just have no willpower!"
Cue the back and forth party of self-deprecation -- everyone joins in because it's normal, acceptable, expected.
The loudest messaging young girls and other women are getting are coming from every one of us that have participated in that very conversation. We've made it okay.
Every single time we express our abusive inner dialogue, or step down from a challenge out of fear and insecurity or use self-deprecation to apologize for who we are or the size we wear, we're giving our friends and loved ones permission to do the same.
We’re making it not only acceptable but expected and totally normal to not love ourselves and tell others how disgusting our bodies are.
Why have we allowed it to become completely okay to abuse ourselves and to offer that to everyone around us?
I would offer, it's time to take our power back and change the narrative.
It starts with each of us -- if we dare. It starts with the inner dialogue that's running those destructive thoughts on repeat, then with noticing and changing all those negative conversations we're having with everyone around us about them.
In a world that has made hating our bodies expected, choosing to love your body and express it is an act of courage that gives the women around you (especially your daughter) permission to love theirs.
Our meat suits work sooooo hard for us. Respect them. Thank them. Celebrate them. Love them.
For tips on how to start loving it, I highly recommend you check out this post.