Two weeks ago I went to the water park with my kids to celebrate the final days of summer. As usual, I took a picture and posted it up on my Instagram. When the day was done and I checked my account I was greeted with these comments…
So lovely right? From women none the less.
I am constantly baffled by these comments because I’m always left wondering what it is that makes these folks so angry about my posts that they take the time out of their day and use their energy to post stuff like this. I am not personally hurt or insulted because I personally have no idea who these people are, where they live, or what their situation is. When you learn to stop judging yourself, you also learn to stop judging others. The knee jerk reaction to justify and explain myself is just gone.
I worry about my people. The young girls or new moms reading to find inspiration and peace but finding comments like this instead. We end up giving these kinds of comments far too much power. These kinds of comments are the reason so many of us continue hide away. They seemingly confirm the fears we are living with. For me it serves as an inspiration. To keep on posting more and more pictures and going on more and more adventures.
For this I get called brave and inspirational though. Which is all nice and all but how brave am I being really? I didn’t have to battle a dragon to get to the water park. I just jumped into my SUV, drove through suburbia, and lounged by the pool all day. Hardly a noble deed.
Is it the fact that I have stretch marks, scars, and loose skin that makes me special?
I wish. I’d like to think my body is truly truly one of a kind but it’s not. 90% of women get stretchmarks during pregnancy. That’s 75,600,000 women y’all. Trust me, I did the research and math. That doesn’t even count the number of women who get stretchmarks during puberty. The number would easily double. Scars and loose skin? Couldn’t find stats for that BUT I have a hunch the numbers are just as high.
I also know this because I get private message and comments like this almost every single day. From all over the world.
Fear and shame isolates. It convinces us that WE are the ONLY ones struggling and that if we only tried hard enough we could get the bodies everyone wants us to have. That once we got those bodies that everything else would just fall into place. We could be free to pursue our dreams, feel desirable, and lose all inhibition. This battle of shame we are fighting is internal and that is why it is so difficult. We don’t want to admit to others that we are struggling with something that is so normal or easy if we just cared to work hard enough. I created this project to expose the lies that fear and shame have convinced us are true.
What I do is post pictures to purposefully show that there’s nothing radical or special about me. That it’s about the memories I am creating and different ways I am challenging my body that is most important. I also just to happen to have stretch marks, scars, and loose skin. That’s it. None of those things have stopped me from anything I’ve ever wanted to pursue in life. Lies and fear did. They paralyzed me for so long until I let my self love loose.
We get one chance at this life thing. I’ve said that once or twice before and I will continue to say it. ONE LIFE. We get this incredible opportunity to fill it with what we are the most passionate about. We have the time and energy to go and seek our own path. Don’t become distracted by those who have not found theirs. If they have found it, they don’t have time to try and bring other down. They would be much do busy doing their own thing.
You are an incredible human being who has incredible things to contribute. Keep your eye on your own goal. Support others on their journey. Together we will change the narrative of what our bodies are made for. They will carry us on our journey but it will be our spirit that will guide the way.
How can you help stop body shamming? Get involved and be bold!
In collaboration with the ladies at HealthyIsTheNewSkinny a few of us have shared our body shaming stories and how we deal with them. I am so excited to be included along with other fabulous gals like:
- Amanda Russell
- Julia Parzyck @fitfatandallthat
- Gina @nourishandeat
- Germaine Nichols @thatssogermaine
- and more!
Check out their blog posts to read our stories and know you are not alone on this journey! Click here for #StopBodyShaming blog