Monday, July 5, 2010

We're all in this together

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On the 5th of every month, bloggers from around the world are open to write about rights and issues concerning women. First started by Shine andMarie, we're hoping to bring a variety of women's issues to the forefront to make people aware of what's going on. For the month of July, we've chosen to write about Body Image. Please join us in telling us your stories, thoughts, and ideas on a monthly basis. To read previous installments, click here.
I would be lying if I said I didn't have body image issues. We all do.  This is what ran through my head when I looked in the mirror this morning: man, I need to tweeze my eyebrows, I'm breaking out....OMG!, my hair so frizzy, I'm so ugly, I need to loose weight, etc, etc . Not once did I stop belittling myself to think "I'm beautiful, I'm worth something. Someone loves me". 

Growing up, I watched my mom struggle with her weight. Diet after diet , failed attempt after failed attempt. Until 2 years ago. My mother underwent gastric bypass surgery. I wasn't sure how to feel about it at the time. I didn't want to end up like her, going under the knife for something I could control. I'm happy she lost the weight, but I still don't think she's happy. Why do we have this notion that if we loose the weight, all of our problems will be solved?  When I hit puberty, my face started breaking out....big time. My mom use to pick at my pimples and blackheads. She did that for years. It takes all I have NOT to that when I look at myself in the mirror now. 

I call myself the "fat friend" because all of my friends are smaller than me. I was a bridesmaid in a friends wedding a few months ago, and she specifically had me try on the bridesmaid dress because I was biggest one in the wedding party. Yeah, thanks for making me feel good about myself. Whenever I go out with another friend of mine, she always gets drinks bought for her, getting told that the sender finds her attractive. Yeah, self esteem in the toilet. 

It might sound to you like I'm blaming my mom and friends, but I'm not. I've learned to look past things that my mom did to my growing up, as well as the way strangers react to my friends. I think it's kind of funny, actually. I know there are things about myself I need to change, but I'm going to start from the inside out. I've been journaling a lot lately and it's helped. I going to start working out, not because I need to but because I miss the way it takes me feel. I've taken up belly dancing and am now part of a troupe. I love it. 

I know we've all heard this before, but we need to stick together as women. Do you really think those celebrities on magazine covers look like that all the time? Yeah, I didn't think so. We need to look deep inside ourselves and find that beautiful women waiting to get out. You are beautiful, you are worth something, you are loved. 


Marie said...

Sometimes trying to ignore what others close to us (such as moms or friends) say about how we look is really difficult. But you're right, it's important to push past it. Otherwise it will only bring our self-worth down and that's just not worth it!

Anonymous said...

Bridesmaids dresses are the WORST for self esteem, aren't they? And growing up, I was ALWAYS bigger than my tiny friends. I think as we get older, people really do start looking at what's INSIDE us. We need to start doing the same.

Justin Fontenot said...

Heather I know first hand what it feels likt to have been made fun of growing up. Albiet my story was different in a lot of ways. It's hard to push past things like that, but one thing that has helped me was the moment that I realized the people who did the picking were not doing it to be mean. They did it because they reall thought that you could handle the reprecussions. Little did they know it kicked your self esteem in the toilet.

Just remember this what people say about you is not important. What other people think about is not important. What's important is the way you feel about yourself. If you can't see the beauty in yourself then others will see you they way they have for years. Begin inside then correct those that surrond you. It's never easy but it must be done