Most of us have some kind of insecurity. In today’s day there are many people, especially women, who have insecurities about their bodies. I work with girls all the time trying to help them understand that their bodies are nothing to be ashamed of. I educate them on the negative effects the media has on women all over the world. I show them the trickery that goes on in Photoshop and I explain that the people we see on magazines are not real people. Those women are made up versions of real women. I feel that I can relate to these younger girls because I have battled with my own insecurities my entire life. For years now our society has over emphasized that the ideal body shape is skinny. There are millions of people trying to become a version of themselves that just isn’t real. Women and girls are working desperately to lose weight, create a “thigh-gap“, and some even disguise their unhealthy attempts as becoming fit. Go figure I would be striving for the exact opposite.
I have been “skinny” my whole life. I have been active the majority of my life as well. I can remember my skinny insecurity starting back in elementary school. I wasn’t made fun of per say, but I was called names that really bothered me. Names like “String Cheese” (I’m assuming this comes from me being white&skinny) and “Stix.” I never felt like people called me names to be hurtful, but while in my room alone, I thought and wrote about these situations quite often. In high school, I was a cheerleader. I was a flyer and although I weighed less than 100 lbs I didn’t fit the flyer body type at all. I had really long arms and legs. This made me look so awkward. I remember seeing pictures of myself and being disgusted at my long skinny limbs. I didn’t have much tone and although I was very strong, you couldn’t tell by looking at me. I felt insecure when stunting next to other groups who had shorter more compact flyers. I was rarely happy with a full body picture unless I had pants on.
In my adult years I have often dreamed about having thicker thighs and a bigger butt. For a few years I avoided wearing shorts to try and cover the skinny legs that I have. I’ve wanted to look like someone else for as long as I can remember. (No one in particular). I know this sounds odd coming from a woman who educates girls and women on body image, but I find a certain kind of beauty in it. I am along for their ride. I struggle and I work to overcome my own insecurities. Some people brush them off as if I don’t have a right to feel bad about the body I have. But my feelings are genuine and real. I see many of these women on covers of magazines and on the run way and I don’t see the ideal body that most other women see. I idolize muscle and curves. And muscles and curves are something I do not have. So although I am “Skinny” I am working on turning my mind and body into something that I can be proud of. I work out so I feel strong and more confident in my body’s ability to perform and live a healthy life. I read books that help me focus on the beautiful things about myself rather than the few things I dislike. I talk to other women who might not share the exact insecurity I have, but who also struggle to love their bodies. I look at women of all shapes and sizes and I can see beauty. My issues with my skinny body are completely my own. I am not a “skinny hater” by any means. I absolutely see other skinny women and admire their beauty but it’s hard to admire my skinniness.
This blog entry was inspired by looking at myself on camera. Last night I filmed a few fitness demo videos and while looking over them I was horrified. I look skinny and long and weak. I don’t feel weak but while looking at myself on camera, I couldn’t help but think of how this crazy insecurity is still haunting me in my late 20′s. The skinny body in those videos is not what I want. It frustrates me because I want to be able to look past this. I want to look at pictures and videos of myself and like the image I see. The old me would have someone else redo these demo videos so no one would see how I look in them. The new me, however, will let them be posted as is even though I have anxiety about the way I look.
Some progress has been made. At least now I wear shorts…
It is all a learning and building experience. I love so many things about myself and the fact that my skinny body is not ideal in my eyes shouldn’t take away from other attributes. I am who I am and I need to learn to be proud of the body belonging to the girl I once was and the body that belongs to the woman I am now.
Share your comments! What are your insecurities? What do you love about yourself?