When is the last time you heard a friend say “I feel so fat” or “that would look terrible on me” or “I hate the way my body looks”? In my experience, it happens all the time in groups of women and we tend to feed off of each other – trading one negative comment for another. Almost “one upping” our hatred for our bodies.
I’m not sure why we do that or what the purpose is but I do know it is incredibly hard to not get sucked in.
I was a part of a fashion show fundraiser in Dallas this weekend with a refreshing twist. Some who graced the runway were actual sample size models but others, like me, were regular ‘ol 5’2” ladies with some heels and an amateur strut. The focus was on positive body image, self esteem and eating disorder awareness.
People of all ages were invited to attend and they were encouraged to bring their children. When the show started, instead of the host announcing the details of each outfit and how it “enhanced” this body part or “minimized” that body part, she spoke about our accomplishments, charitable efforts and passions as we walked the runway. (Side note: If you follow me on social media at all, you KNOW I I adore traditional fashion shows and always will. I’m just saying, this change of pace was engaging. ) People of all shapes, ethnicities, ages and sizes were flashing bright smiles, confidence and glamor at the same time.
I also noticed, as we were getting ready in the dressing room that day, nobody was poking and prodding their bodies and hurling insults at themselves. Perhaps the tone had been set; that this wasn’t the place?
My hope, my wish, my goal is that this type of “tone” continues to be set. My hope is that it is never “the place” to spend precious time trash talking your physical, God-gifted body. Not just to set an example for the young people who are looking for guidance, but to elevate the level of conversation among circles of girlfriends. WE are so much more than that.
I’m not going to lie and say I’m free from insecurities. I’m not going to act like I was born “loving my body” or that I’ve never been a leader in the “I hate _____ ” conversation. I’m just saying, I think we can do better.
I’m also not against self evaluation, self improvement, trying to look your best and striving to reach a peak level of individual health and fitness. It is when the conversation turns from evaluation to degradation that I think we have a problem.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a day, with friends, where we spent time chatting about something more than all of our “flaws”?
I just had that day… and it was so nice. So… I wrote this blog to challenge my friends here, online, to do the same!
Cheers to you and thanks following along! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic and how we can all improve and elevate the level of conversation.
*The fashion show, ESTEEM, which I was writing about, was a fundraiser for The Elisa Project. For more information on The Elisa Project visit http://theelisaproject.org
*I am in no way affiliated with the organization, I was simply a model in their fashion show.