We all have a story about our bodies, whether we realize it or not.
When I saw this picture of myself come back in the raw photos from my shoot with Nick Suarez, the negative story I’ve been carrying with me about my body for most of my life came to the forefront.
“UGH, I hate my body! I wish my arms and shoulders were more slender!” I thought. “I HATE that my thighs touch in the middle, I wish I had the thigh gap that skinny girls I have.”
This is absolutely crazy, right? I’m a plus size model, and a body positivity advocate―what the heck is my problem if I can’t love my own curves?
Those thoughts are not the truth about me, and that story isn’t the one at the forefront of my mind on most days. But there’s nothing like un-retouched images of yourself to bring your nasty, old story about your body to the forefront.
My story was about the fact that I was too big, and too athletic. My story was about wishing that I were smaller, and more slender, like a swimsuit model. My old story about my body was wishing that it looked more like Heidi Klum’s. In that paradigm, I was always “bad” and “wrong” and “not enough” because my body hadn’t achieved that standard of body perfection that I had created, as part of that story.
Maybe that’s similar to your story about your body, and maybe it’s not. Maybe you’re not sure what I mean by “story,” and you’re scratching your head (side note: if this is you, then you either have the most healthy body image of any human ever, or maybe you’re just opening up your awareness around your story, and it’s something that you’ll tap into more and more over the course of the next few months. Both are totally fine).
It doesn’t really matter what the story is. But getting clear on it can help you sift through the negative thoughts that arise, and allow you to identify when a negative thought is real, or when it’s just your story taking over.
This is what happened with me, when I looked at this image. And then, I identified that nasty thought as part of the story I had been telling myself, not the real way that I see my body, or the truth about my body.
It also helps when you have an amazing team managing your career, like I do at TRUE Model Management, so they help me keep my crazy story in check! And they are the ones that selected this image and encouraged me to see it differently. But this type of support can come from a sister, a friend, your partner, or other people in the #healthyatanysize.
If you’re feeling like your negative story is taking control of how you see yourself, you’re definitely not alone. You can choose to push that story aside, and begin to tell yourself a new one, a TRUE one, about how your body is perfect, just as it is; and how you are beautiful, and talented, and have so many wonderful things that you need to share with the world. Tell that new story today.
Check out the #healthyatanysize community to find support and connect with other women who are working on this, too!