1 post tagged body image
Are you a girl? A woman? An older sister? Teacher? Horseback riding instructor? Awesome aunt? Mother?
Are you any of those things to a younger girl? Or even someone your age?
Then I have great news! YOU MATTER.
Everything you DO matters to the girl in your life. Everything. How you style your hair. How you teach a lesson. How you explain posting a trot. Everything. You do. Matters.
Because, see, whether she says it or not, the girl in your life is looking up to you. She’s watching what you do carefully, even when she pretends she isn’t. She may not want to follow in your political, religious, or career footsteps, but you’re still her role model. You’re still the being she will, in some way, however small, mold herself after.
Which is pretty amazing, really. You have the opportunity to help create a strong, successful, confident, beautiful adult. The opportunity to be the person that, when she looks back at her life, she thinks really made a difference. This is a gift.
Don’t blow it.
Because, see, while you can help make her a strong, successful, confident, beautiful adult, you can also make her scared. Shy. Ashamed. You can make her feel ugly. You can make her sit quietly when she should stand up for herself. You can make her think she’s not worth her own effort.
You can do all of those things without even meaning to. You look in the mirror and sigh. You lament over how fat you feel. Over how you want a tummy tuck, or a facelift, or botox. You make a snide comment about a heavy woman at Target, you crash diet over and over.
You are telling this girl that it is appropriate to find yourself inadequate because of how you look. And if your looks make you inadequate, surely your voice does. Surely your beliefs do. Surely your ideas do.
You are telling this girl that she is not enough, unless others find her pretty.
You think she’s not listening, just because she rolls her eyes at you? Because she slams a door? She is. She’s always listening.
So if you’re dieting, if you’re exercising— that’s fine. It’s your body, and you should be happy in it. But don’t think that your weight loss only effects you. Don’t think that you can hate yourself and wind up with a child, or sister, or friend, or student who loves herself. You are the example. Explain why you’re dieting or exercising, why you’re concerned about your weight, your looks, your hair, skin, nose, breasts, whatever. Will it be awkward? Maybe. Is awkward worth the future self image of a young girl? Of course. So fight the awkward, and make sure she understands that she isn’t inadequate.
Make sure she understands that she is and always will be more than enough.