You’d think from the first half of the title I was telling you I believed in aliens or alternate universes, Signs style, but alas, I’m just gearing up to discuss a rather hot topic: Female body image.
I want to start with a short story — my own short story from just a few weeks back.
Sitting on my Ryanair flight, listening to my headphones, and holding my white faux-leather jacket in my lap, I notice the lad to the right of me. He’s a normal looking lad, straight off work in his black pin stripe suit. He’s leaning against the window attempting to snooze on our two-hour flight to Barcelona.
As I’m attempting to stare around him out the window as the ground below shrinks, I glance at my phone as the song changes and notice my legs; then I glance at this pin-stripe suit lad’s legs; then I have to glance at the other lad’s legs to my left. “Dear lord–my thighs are MASSIVE compared to these two lads.” Maybe it’s because the lad on the right is wearing black, and black is slimming? Oh, wouldn’t you know I’m wearing black as well. Strike One.
Maybe it’s how I’m sitting? Guys get to go all spread eagle; for comfort reasons I’m always told. And I have to be lady-like and cross my feet at the ankles? Well, that’s too frigging hard to do on an airplane, so, I’m stuck with my feet rooted to the floor trying to keep myself in my tiny Ryanair seat. Lad on the left is sitting the exact same way I am on this ridiculously cramped flight. Strike Two.
Maybe I’m just making something out of nothing? It’s making me painstakingly self conscious, either way. Why, you ask? I haven’t a clue. I’m in the middle of my second thirty-day shred and I absolutely love the results I’m achieving! I’m back to running, and that’s mostly all legs! So, how–why?!–are two lads, whom I’ve never met before, will never see again, and don’t even know I exist between them, making me question every bit of self-worth? (Maybe not EVERY bit, but I did drop my tray table to hide my thunder thighs.)
It’s amazing how even the smallest of moments make us all too aware of ourselves; they make us shrink and shrivel and question our size. After I got home from Barcelona, even more uncomfortable thanks to all the AMAZING food I consumed over my two-day stay, I read a few blog posts from friends discussing women’s body image and self-consciousness.
My lovely friend Vanessa discusses plus sizes, body image, and even includes a call to action by the American garment industry that I wholeheartedly support in her article, Plus Size Controversy at H&M. It’s a great write-up that every gal, regardless of size, should read.
Then there’s also a few articles by my amazing running buddy, Amy. Her write-up, Body Image and Stuff, hits home on a number of issues, but I love how she’s discussed the never-ending struggles we all face with body image and our clothing size. She even has a follow-up article, A New Playlist & Some Hopeful Thinking Was All I Needed, where she hits on her half marathon training this year and has some pretty witty comments regarding the body image issues.
What do both of my friends hit on? Size. I’m a size 4 or 6 (US) or 10 (UK/Ireland) or 38 [GASP!] (ES).
And, at present day, I look at little something like this:
Wouldn’t you know, size is just a number? I don’t aspire to be a certain clothing size for that reason. I want to be fit and healthy and comfortable in my own skin! And THIS is what women
should need to consider when we start comparing ourselves to others. It’s just a number! And you might struggle with your number, but I guarantee you the woman next to you is/has/will struggle with hers as well. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
I’ve come such a long way with my struggles in the past year, and I can see every bit of it in that photo above, but clearly I still have moments of weakness. It’s natural. It’s human. It’s female. It’s a mad, mad world we live in, but you should know it’s OK to have these thoughts occasionally, and you are NOT alone!
tend are our own worst enemies, so, let’s stop letting others influence how we think and feel about ourselves. I challenge you to start channeling your inner strength, your inner beauty, the inner YOU, and find YOUR confidence.
XOXO – K