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coming up next term i’m speaking a few times with our SAS class on the topic of PRESENTATION – particularly on what does the media say about how we look and the value that has.

what you think about yourself when you look in the mirror has a wider affect on us – socially, emotionally, physically, physiologically – than we give it credence.

the statistics are confronting.  

between 60-80% of women (based on what statistics you look at) think they should be thinner.

between 60-80% of women (based on what statistics you look at) are unsatisfied with how they look. 

when they look in the mirror, their heart sinks.

how you feel about yourself, about your body, can determine success or failure – even at a very physical level.  those with a negative body image can go on to develop eating disorders, cutting and unhealthy life practices that take a very real toll on their life quality and life quantity.

yet we have allowed the media and world to bombard us with images that imply “you’re not good enough.”

you’re not _________ enough.

fill in the blank.

you’re not thin enough, tall enough, sexy enough, pretty enough…

 Oscar Winner Lupita Nyong’o Speech on Black Beauty fills the blank in with the word “white.” 

She says:

 

I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin. I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter-skinned. The morning would come and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself until I was in front of a mirror because I wanted to see my fair face first. And every day I experienced the same disappointment of being just as dark as I had been the day before. I tried to negotiate with God: I told him I would stop stealing sugar cubes at night if he gave me what I wanted; I would listen to my mother’s every word and never lose my school sweater again if he just made me a little lighter. But I guess God was unimpressed with my bargaining chips because He never listened.

 

i am learning to like what i see in the mirror.

there are styling elements i’m so YES with.  i like the way i dress and my funky rings and necklaces.  i think i have good styling.

but i’ve never being the pretty one.

my sister was the pretty one, i was the smart one.

yes, deliberate use of labels there.

and as a 37 year old i still “feel” like that sometimes.

i’ve being on a journey this year to reclaim how i feel about myself.

to confront those negative voices that say “meh” when i look at myself.

i’m doing what i can do to create health and taking control of what i can do to be fit and a size i’m happy with.

but even saying that feels like i’m betraying the cause.

should i not feel beautiful no matter my size and my curves?

i’m aware as i get older that the face i see will grow more personality.  wrinkles.  grays.

i’m not sure people would know i have insecurities about these things…

but i do.

its funny the other night at housegroup we were talking about goals for the month.  i’ve got them hustling and working on personal goal setting and time management.  mine is to continue to lose weight and get fit.  i shared my what, my how and my why and said as a how i cut out sweets and soda and shared how bad and immature my sweet/chocolate habbit was prior to this year.  he, bless him, i think, said – how were you not as big as a whale!  the girls in the room had to be held back, their outrage doused with apologies.  but i laughed.  he didnt think i was whale size.  he thought i looked normal before.  i thought i didnt look normal.  i hadnt been okay with what i saw in the mirror.

isn’t that often the way it is.

others see our beauty, our uniqueness, our heart.

we see a wrinkle here, a pimple there, an extra pound or five, the gray streaks appearing.

 

as women we need to take back the way we feel about ourselves.

we need to embrace who we are.

we need to be healthy yes.  but healthy is not determined by a size or a number on the scale.

beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

YOU are beautiful.

I am beautiful.

do you see it?

 

 

 

 

 

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