I am lucky to have had a positive view of my body for most of my life. Sure, I had a few moments, such as wondering whether my breasts would come in by the time I got to high school, or if I put on some extra weight in college, when I didn’t absolutely love how I looked, but overall, I was happy with what I was given.
I would like to believe this positive body image was built from within, but that is not the case. Those feelings were nurtured by being raised by two parents who never once made me feel ashamed of how I looked, and who modeled healthy attitudes themselves.
In our home, the word, “diet,” was never uttered from anyone’s lips, or written on any product we owned. There was no pinching of fat, or lamenting about weight gain. The only scale I ever saw was at the doctor’s office.
My parents always reminded me of the beauty they saw within me, even if I didn’t always believe them.
Sadly, I know my experience is unique. Many of my peers grew up with moms who were constantly on diets, or subtly, or not-so-subtly, reminding them of their physical flaws. They were raised in homes obsessed with obtaining the “perfect” number on the scale, fueling a lifetime of unhealthy attitudes about weight.
These attitudes have made it to the next generation. Statistics show many young girls and boys develop negative body images before they are old enough to read.
In our home, I am doing my best to ensure my children grow up with not only healthy attitudes about their own bodies, but witness the same attitudes in the adults they know. I make a conscious effort to never talk negatively about my appearance in their presence. I don’t joke about my “muffin top,” or complain about how much I just ate. Sure, I might think those things from time to time, but I know my children are paying attention and that positive self image starts at home.
However, I also know society can be quite cruel, and messages about how one should look are blasted all over the media. Our kids can’t be shielded from everything, and we need to collectively do more to help them develop positive views of their bodies.
Southern Smash is one organization leading the charge to combat eating disorders and put an end to harmful attitudes about weight and body image. They both figuratively, and literally, are smashing outdated notions by encouraging people to destroy their scales and learn to love themselves.
They are taking their message to across the United States to spread the word to young women and men, that they are worthy, and are more than a number on a scale.
This February, to honor National Eating Disorder Awareness Month, myself and other bloggers will be promoting Southern Smash as part of our Blogging for Better campaign to draw attention to organizations doing great work.
You can learn more about Blogging for Better by emailing me at maybeillshowertoday at gmail.com.