Sorry, not sorry, for all the transformation posts on my Facebook page.
You see, I’m not doing it for attention or all the comments–positive or negative–I am doing it to be a role model to my children, especially my daughter, and show them that, regardless of shapes and sizes, all bodies are beautiful.
Where did we learn to see ourselves in the mirror and automatically start seeing all of our own flaws?
I was shopping for swimsuits recently for a trip, and there is just something about trying on swimsuits that test your self-confidence. Instead of seeing how great I looked, how much progress I’ve made physically with my body since the last time I went swimming suit shopping, my thoughts automatically went to that insecure voice in my head – that one that constantly criticized her body, that one that didn’t want to stand up straight because she’s taller than everyone, or that one that wanted to cover her arms over her body because she was ashamed and embarrassed.
I carried those feelings with me for too darn long! Over the past year, I have invested in my own tough love, learning to love myself more. I started doing affirmations, personal development, and positive self-talk and started to see what my husband sees everyday. It hasn’t been easy to erase those negative voices in my head.
This whole experience got me thinking about when do we start criticizing ourselves about how we look, how our bodies are perfect? What triggers those negative thoughts, how do we stop them, how do we get our kids to look in the mirror and see all the their beautiful traits and not obsess on their flaws?
My daughter joined the middle school swim team this year and at her first meet I snapped a picture of her in her uniform (which is a swimsuit) and posted it on Facebook as any proud mom would do.
The next day a friend mentioned how awesome it was that my daughter let me take a picture in her swimsuit and even better post it on Facebook. I hadn’t given it a second thought; I was just thinking about how proud I was of her. Why do we, as women and girls, have to think twice about posting a picture of our bodies?
My daughter is starting to say things like “I hate that photo of me because it makes me look fat” or “I hate that shirt because it makes me look fat.” How does she learn to see that about herself? What can I say and do to help her see her as I do, to build that self confidence she needs? I look at her and I see a tall, lean, and muscular 12-year developing into a beautiful (often sassy!) young lady. I want her to embrace all of that. I want her to see her strengths inside and out.
So, I started being careful of my own self-talk about my body. When I was wearing something that I didn’t feel flattered my body, instead of telling myself I look fat, I would tell myself that I don’t like the fit of this. I discovered that a lot of the times, I was wearing the wrong size or type of clothing for my body type. It’s amazing how good you can feel about yourself when you are wearing a pair of jeans that fit you perfectly. Truth be told, what fits me great, might not fit you great and that is OK! That is what makes us all beautiful and unique in our own ways.
So no, I’m not sorry about my transformations posts on Facebook, because it’s not just for me. I do them to help others learn to feel good about their own bodies and to show my children how to look at their bodies and appreciate what they are able to do.
We come in all shapes and sizes and that is what makes this world beautiful. I learned to feel differently and see my body differently–more positively–so I can impact my daughter’s love of her own body and hopefully not spend many precious years trying to look different or be like someone else.
Keep posting your beautiful selfies in your favorite outfits because we need more authenticity in this world.
Love yourself, love your body, and be kind to others who are trying to do the same.