Body Image Week

7:29 PM

Dear Blog World,

I hereby declare this week "Body Image Week" here on The Girlfriend Letters. I've talked about this topic various times throughout the life of this blog (and my family blog), and I'm sure it will come up plenty more.

Why does my mind always go back to this topic?

This has been a big battle in my life. I like to be confident, strong, classy, respectable, and beautiful from the inside out. But the truth is, I've had a lot of insecurities for a lot of years. I remember on the first day of school in seventh grade, none of the pretty girls that I thought were my friends would sit by me because while they were off all summer meeting boys and getting tan, I was running around at the pool with my little brother with my pudgy thighs rubbing together. I remember in high school, my boyfriend picked me up and said, whoa, you're a lot heavier than you look! I remember being secretly happy when my skinny friend's pants were too big for me. I remember being on the diving team from a young age and noticing that I didn't look like the other little girls in my swimsuit. I remember placing so much value on comments about my thin waist in junior high. I remember days in elementary school when we had to weigh ourselves in gym class and being absolutely mortified that I was heavier than others. I remember in 8th grade track weighing myself after practice every day and watching the number go down. I remember starting a food journal when I was 9. I remember wanting board shorts so badly in elementary school, only to find that mine looked terrible on me. I remember feeling skinny in my rhinestone skirt at school. And the list of my "positive and negative" body moments goes on, but I remember all these instances with searing clarity.

It's taken me a lot of time, effort, and heartache to even begin to make peace with my body. I have this healthy, strong, capable body and I've spent way too much time obsessing over it and worrying about things that don't matter. But I also think that for me, it's worth the time spent past and present coming to peace with myself. If I can work through my insecurities and be confident and happy in life, then the effort has been more than worth it. If I can teach my children some lessons I've learned the hard way, it's worth it. If we can act as a support system to each other, it's worth it!
Clearly this is a soapbox I climb on frequently, and there's more where that came from if you stick around here. I've said it before and I'll say it again, but the women I admire and love and look up to most in life are not my favorite because they have perfect hair and skinny legs. I love them because of the things that truly matter, and that's why I want to be loved. I work with the teenage girls at church and plan on having some of my own someday (eek), and there is no room for me to be obsessing about body image. At the end of the day, it's how you feel in your skin that matters. Living a healthy lifestyle matters. Taking care of your body, exercising and eating healthy in moderation matter. And after all that, the number on the scale will reflect the you that you're meant to be. Surely it's important to care for the outside in order to shine on the inside, but no amount of makeup and dieting can fix a mean girl. And I truly believe that happy girls are the prettiest.

Do you believe me?

This week, I've asked some friends to guest post and talk about their feelings and 2 cents on body image. If you have a story or post you want to contribute, feel free to email me at danielle.p.hansen@gmail.com.
And in the meantime, get excited for some love!

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5 comments

  1. This is a great topic. I usually do well with my body image, but there are times where other people's insecurities affect how I see myself. Still working on one from New Years, so I hope your series will help me.

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  2. This is a topic that will never go away it seems, but hopefully people, especially women will start to see the true beauty that they are. Thank you for sharing!

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  3. You are beautiful inside and out!!

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  4. This is definitely such an important and relevant post! I doubt there's a single girl out there, Victoria's Secret Angels included, who doesn't have self-esteem issues. We all have to spread the love and remind each other that we are beautiful just the way we are! :)

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  5. Thanks for sharing all these posts from such amazing women!

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