Marilyn Monroe, known to be one of the biggest sex symbols, had curves, had a belly, would practically spill out of her bathing suits, was not afraid to show off her body, was not a size zero and stated that imperfection is beauty.
Because of this, many people have been encouraged to not feel so bad about having any of those traits, which is wonderful, but of course, she is only one of many beautiful and unique body types that exist, and it would be nice to embrace who we are even if we didn’t have a sex icon to linger somewhere to remind us of that.
That being said, the reason I chose her as an example for the topic of body love, is because, while I am very obviously not blonde and don’t have fair skin or plump lips and breastfeeding has taken a toll on my body, the rest of me is very identical to hers, and it’s kinda bugged me that I’ve felt in between being very thin and also lumpy, like I’m misshapen to a degree.
Every single body is different and different for a reason. Personally I’ve been a small, petite person since I was a young child, and that body type has followed me into a adulthood, and I’ve been told that I should never complain about any issues I have with it since society tells you to “lose weight”, and I don’t have to try right? But body image problems don’t just come from what weight we are or have been.
But why are we judging anyone on the shape or size or weight of their body anyway? And furthermore, why are we judging other’s insecurities about said body issues? Most every single person I’ve met who has an underweight or overweight problem, has also dealt with a health crisis, be it physical, mental, emotional or all of the above. So when you look at someone, you truly do not know their background or story.
For me personally, I’ve been told over and over, “eat girl!” or “put some meat on your bones” or “you’re too thin”, and then ironically got told I had put on too much weight while pregnant the first time (cue in eye rolls). So it may be easy for someone to say that to someone with my body type, but take my personal story for example, what most people don’t know is that one side of my family are generally petite people therefore it’s genetic, they also don’t know that I have gone through phases of poverty where we didn’t always have enough to eat, or that for a time I dealt with anorexia (which could’ve been influenced by not having enough to eat at times, or stress), or that I’ve gone through severe depression and health issues that cause me to both overeat and not eat at all. Honestly, I was eating more than my husband during the time that doctors told me to eat more, and the truth was that I was at the exact right weight for my body type but perhaps seeing someone with hollow cheek bones (another inherited trait), didn’t look right to them.
The issue I’ve had with my own self has never been losing weight but more wanting to feel and be athletic, like I once was as a child. But alas, there have been things that have stood in the way at times, which causes fluctuation, but hey that’s pretty common.
So, what it comes down to is that the human body is made to be unique, not one of us is alike even if we range in similar looks and body types. The other thing is that, just like the moon, we go through phases, sometimes we’re round and full, and other times we’re curvy or feeling smaller than usual, whether it’s inside or out. And if the moon changes everyday, why wouldn’t we expect to go through changes ourselves?
So I encourage you today, to start with your thoughts towards others, if at any point you have a random thought that someone looks unhealthy or even too healthy or full of themselves due to the way their body looks, just stop yourself right there since you do not and most likely will never know their full story behind why it is they look like they do. Next, take a breath and then then do the same thing for yourself, you know your own personal story, and no matter what it is, go easy on yourself, we’re all dealing with issues that can stand in the way at some point or another. They tell women who try to lose baby weight to keep in mind not to push themselves, if it took a certain amount of time to put on weight, you should give yourself time to lose it as well, same goes for your health, if it took time to become unhealthy or struggle with an illness or ailment, then go easy on yourself and give yourself time to heal.
Be wise when listening to your body, feel it, don’t overdo or push yourself, but don’t quit or give up either. You can do anything you put your mind to with a little consistency and encouragement, in which case, I pray this gives you a tad bit of encouragement to release any stress you’ve had with your own self lately, let yourself go through phases and be free to be who you need to be in that phase.
Remember, beauty is imperfection after all.