I used to want to be skinny. But then I found myself surrounded by people who valued performance over looks, who saw girls with curves and muscles as admirable and beautiful rather than bulky and manly, and my outlook began to change. And that has made me a much happier and healthier person.
Just like you can be disappointed with your kids and still love your kids anyway, you can be disappointed with your body and still love your body, anyway. Disappointment does not have to "erase" your love.
Don't apologize for your wrinkles, your opinion, your thighs, your voice, your cellulite, or your past. Just shut up about, you sexy thang, and celebrate by living.
Why do women get breast implants? It's the number one cosmetic surgery in the U.S., even though it carries with it the burden of judgment and dismissal. So what's driving these women? Are they young and insecure? Superficial? Desperate?
Our bodies don't stay the same; of course they don't. They evolve, they show signs of a life lived, a life loved. As they should. They bear witness to where we've been, that we've been. They are like maps that tell the tale of our time, our travels.
Food has been my best friend, my boyfriend and my enemy since... like... birth. I started drinking milkshakes from the soda fountain at Woolworth's at 3-months-old and it's been a battle ever since.
I can tell my daughter that nothing is as beautiful as her little body exactly as it is no matter if she is tall, short, big or small. But I am sure she sees through my platitudes. Because she sees a mom who is always on a diet. She sees a mom who looks in the mirror and sighs.
When it comes to appearance, our bodies are considered guilty until proven innocent. The areas for judgement, from space between thighs to brow ridge prominence, are so numerous that it feels safer to just settle on one and own it.
It wasn't long ago that the mere whisper of the word "fat" would have people plugging their ears in avoidance. All the other descriptors were somehow acceptable: overweight, obese, porcine, pudgy, plump, tubby, portly... But that little three-letter word "FAT" scared the bejesus out of everyone.
People value, respect and choose us when we value, respect and choose ourselves. It has taken me years to discover this.
As I look in my bathroom mirror even the skin made so angry from radiation is only a shade or two darker than the right. And yet there is not one part of my reflection that looks attractive to me. I wonder if I will ever turn the corner and begin to accept what I see.
I do not feel confident in my swimsuit. I do, however, feel confident that if I stand just the right way, with my butt cheeks angled out to sea and my arms crossed to draw all attention to my boobs, I can almost look skinny. Probably not supermodel skinny, but certainly MILF-worthy.
Savannah Brown's YouTube video "What Guys Look for in Girls -- A Slam Poem" just hit over two million views this past week -- quite a few more views than the average 17-year-old probably gets on a YouTube video.
The messages of body image and appearance are exhausting. But, real value does not rise or fall with the number on a scale. Real worth does not count wrinkles or number of years.
I want to fill you in on a little secret that you may have forgotten between pomegranate and plyometrics: You already have a beach body. Believe it or not, you're in it right now.
We cannot allow this madness to progress further than it already has. Having a functional, fit body cannot become the 'privilege' of the upper classes, or of celebrities who can afford personal trainers and daily deliveries of perfectly balanced healthy food.