Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Plea: Love Yourself (Part 1)

Awesome print by  Kal Barteski & Karen Walrond.
     If you're one of those people that whines and says "I think I'm fat," or "I feel fat today," we're probably not very good friends. Because my friends and I are not about that crap. If we're in front of a mirror, or trying on clothes, that is not the first thing on our minds. I remember talking specifically about this with my best friend, as a young high schooler, and agreeing upon not putting up with negative body talk. The more you hear it- from your own mouth, from your friend's mouths, from your mother's mouth- the more you'll bring your body into your self-worth. And I wasn't about to start that cycle. I've seen how other girls in high school and college stepped into this, and started the ball rolling down that slippery slope. Of course, there is a balance at stake here. It's good for your health to be fit, eat right, and not carry too much excess weight. It's also good for your health not to stress and agonize over eating and weight and make those part of your self image. My self-worth does not depend on what I look like. Your self-worth does not depend on what you look like. I choose to spend time with people that value themselves on more than just weight. I love the strong, confident, and imperfect people that my friends are.

Perfectly imperfect and beautiful us!
 It breaks my heart when people I love, like my aunts, say some offhand negative body image comment. And even more when they don't think they're beautiful. Are you kidding me?! They don't see their beauty? It is so apparent for me in their comforting words to me, their intelligent speech, their awesome freckles, their unending kindness to all their family, and that unique red hair. I can't imagine not believing and seeing that you are beautiful. How is it that one variable, ONE variable! -fat- has the power to change everything and whisper to us that we're not beautiful? There can be other variables, like how long or short some part of your body is, but weight seems to be the main factor for most people. We can't let one, or two, or three variables about our physical body instantly make it so we dip below the "I'm beautiful" mark. Listen up:  if you lost some weight, or made your legs longer, THEN would you be happy? THEN would you be beautiful? Just how many alterations would it take? If you're no satisfied with being YOU, then it's never going to stop. I think you're beautiful right now.

(Most of) the beautiful women in my family
 IMPERFECT = PERFECT. If we were all Stepford wives perfect, you would be boring because of your conventional beauty. I don't want your conventional beauty. I want your unconventional, imperfect, wonderful, confident YOU, and whatever weight, scars, and imperfections you have. It would also help us both out if you would love yourself all the way- because it's hard show you all of the ways I love you if you don't accept them yourself.

 I don't like it when people slosh the word "fat" around every other conversation, or even sparsely. With a female 6 year old little cousin (who feels more like a niece because of the age difference), I worry more and more about body image for younger kids. Of course, I don't have any kids of my own, but reading about girls as young as kindergarten age thinking things are wrong with their bodies is SCARY. And because my little cousin Kathleen means the world to me, it's enough to get me thinking on the topic as pertaining to young girls. If you haven't noticed, kids are extremely observant. They pick up on everything, especially from those they love. Much of this comes from moms. Much of it comes from society and peers at school. After reading this article, it seems like such scary waters out there for girls Kathleen's age- even if mother and families do a good job of educating girls on positive body image, society can still creep up on them. It seems so unfair, and so much worse than when I was her age. I don't remember any negative body talk until about late elementary school, which is bad as it is. But kindergarten age? Wow.

Kathleen and I
 So this is my plea to those I love & to those who might be reading this (and not just women): Love yourself. For you and the example of those around you. Base your self-worth not off of weight and appearance, but on your character. Embrace yourself, and all that is perfectly imperfect about you. As Karen Walrond says, know that I really am WILDLY CONVINCED YOU ARE UNCOMMONLY BEAUTIFUL. How great is that?

P.S. I would love to hear your thoughts on this- leave a comment below if you would like!
More musings on this topic coming. And read this- hilarious!


  1. Such an excellent post, Jillian! Thank you for writing it.

  2. Thank you, Gabby! And thank you for taking the time to read it. I will be writing a bit more on this topic soon.

  3. Beautifully written, Jill. I love reading your posts. :)