It is completely normal to not like (or love) your body and it has become a frightening trans-generational epidemic. Body shame is deeply embedded and culturally sanctioned. And, I think its days could be numbered. You see, I have had the same conversation about body shame with 70-year-old women and 16-year-old women. We have all been duped. If you are reading this and are questioning the worth, relevancy and value of your body because of your weight, shape or size, you are not alone. No matter what your weight is, it is not good enough. Even if you get to the size or shape you deem desirable, it is likely not "good enough." It must be noted however, that your fears and attempts to improve are steering you away from the honest to goodness truth. Dieting and wanting to lose a few are never benign when rooted in unworthiness.
You, like all others before you, are made of more than you can imagine. We cannot simply hope that this will subtly improve or that the next generation of women will have a less shaming experience living in their bodies. Dominique Christina Ashaheed reminds us "how will your daughter ever learn to love her body if she is forced to watch you wring out yours?" We will need to show them how. There is no such thing as too late. It is not too much work.
It would simplify things if we just assumed that we ARE ALL each other's people and that we will change this together. As much as there is lots of shame, there is also a deep and strong shared desire for us to be free of the body hate. We all want it to be safer to embody our hearts and bodies without the requisite apology of shame. And we tend to wait for someone else to go first, again and again.
We cannot wait any more. Our young women will learn that something is wrong with their bodies before the age of 10, just as you likely did. This young generation is being fed more nutrition information, food fear and judgment about body diversity than any generation before. We fall into an unfortunate habit of accepting our shame as unchangeable but wanting something different for others. One of the most common reasons women come to be nourished is because they are worried about passing their contagious body shame onto their daughters. We are ready for things to change.
It is time for us to show each other what the revolution really looks like. Respecting, trusting and loving our bodies is not glossy, nor is it just for the brave few. The revolution is simple. It looks like showing up for your self instead of orphaning the pieces and parts that don't fit the mold. It is understanding that you cannot settle for second best, whether you are choosing food, a job or your life. The revolution requires that we name beauty in places it has not been recognized as such. It means listening to your body, trusting that it is the one that cannot lie.
Women heal in relationship to one another. We often want to know that we are not alone and that someone else will be brave too. This change will require that we do it for others and with them. We must commit to say the unpopular thing (or at the very least not stay silent) when body shame is in the room. It requires that you step into the unknown and trust that you will be held, even if it scares you beyond belief.
I love what Tara Mohr says about how all that feared is not lost: "Every moment you spent playing small contributes to the well of passion you can draw on to play big. Nothing was wasted."
So let's move forward on this Love Your Body day. Envision your freedom; assume it is for you and everyone else. Allow the softness to come. Show it to us. We can do this. We all have to step into the skin of the fiercely body compassionate to be free. This will be an alarmingly bold conversation in the current paradigm, but for those of us who hunger for truth and can intuit the path to freedom, it will be an ecstatic unveiling. We will all go first.