I live in one of the most image conscious cities in the US. Miami, the land of the beautiful, the rich and the famous. When you think about Miami, you generally think of South Beach, music videos and people with perfectly chiseled abs. You think of tall, tan beautiful women with perfect (sometimes modified) curves and men in their top physical peak. It’s intimidating. Not an entirely accurate view, but intimidating.
Funnily enough, when I first moved down here 11 years ago, that didn’t faze me. Of course, like any other girl in my 20s, I thought I was chunky (god, how ridiculously wrong I was) but that never stopped me from donning a bathing suit or shorts. It never sent me convulsing in to a fit of insecurity. So I didn’t think I had a problem with body image. Even though when I ended up losing too much weight from a nasty cold, I immediately flipped from thinking I was too chunky to way too skinny.
Now, as my body is changing and growing, I am realizing that body image issues haunts everyone in some way. Maybe you don’t hate yourself because you don’t look like whatever pop star is hot right now. But maybe you do find yourself criticizing the size of your thighs or stomach or boobs or muscles. I’m starting to realize the difference between staying committed to a healthy and balanced lifestyle and self hating. Because I exercise (or did) quite frequently and eat well does not mean I should lament when I don’t feel or look skinny enough. Chances are, I will probably look back on pictures 5, 10 or 15 years from now and realize how ridiculous I was being. More than likely I will also be concerned about how my children view themselves in the world around them.
Do I want my children to feel this way about themselves? No. Do I plan to try to combat this somehow? Yes. However I think it’s normal. I think it’s part of emotional growth to go through self doubt. It’s part of confidence building and understanding who you are and what your limits are as a person.