Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Body Image

I blame Anne and her post here for this post.  A previous post of hers about being a role model for her students in regards to body image make me think.  I agree that as a young, female teacher that is a good role to play.  I thought about the the ways I am a role model for my students and called it good.  I liked the challenge.  And I tried the challenge, but when it got hard I decided to stop.  I didn't show that I valued it.

Today I decided I need to post.  I got to thinking about my body image.  I'm pretty much in the same place as Anne.  I don't have body image issues.  But I don't always love my body.  As I was thinking through it, I started to wonder about the "love your body" mantra that is supposed to help girls feel beautiful no matter what our bodies look like.  And I started to wonder if it helps promote a positive body image, or if rather it creates more negative body image for girls who don't love their bodies.

Isn't accepting what is better than trying to sugar-coat?  Is stating the truth better than saying everything is perfect no matter what?  I find the most rewarding conversations about weight to be ones that are based in honesty and fact rather than acting like things are great when they are not.

I had one of those conversations at lunch today.  I walked away feeling supported and connected to those who were involved.

What do you think?  Do you think promoting "love your body" is valuable for building body image?  What makes you feel the most positive about your body?  Or at least the most OK about your body?




  1. I have a friend who blogs about Health At Every Size. It's been thought provoking to follow her for the past couple of years. I think loving your body is an important part of health. You are your body. There is no thin person on the inside waiting to shed the "fat suit" you're wearing, nor is there a fat person on the inside waiting to bust out of your thin figure if you eat that piece of cake.

    Now, just like with all relationships, that doesn't mean it has to be unicorns and rainbows all the time. There are times where you might be frustrated or upset with your body for one reason or another. The main thing is ensuring that the reasons you are happy or unhappy are because of your own reasons, not external reasons imposed by anyone else.

    A lot of it comes down to helping students foster self-compassion. Just telling them to "love their body" can be a shallow message if it's not backed up with the skills to nurture it.

    I wasn't really thinking about writing about this today so I feel like I'm rambling a bit. If you want to hear it from someone who is more articulate on the topic, I do recommend my friend's blog. It's danceswithfat at wordpress dot com.

    1. Thanks! I appreciate your thoughts and sharing of the blog. I definitely agree that it is good to understand that the reasons I am unhappy with my body are my reasons. I think that is really, really important.

  2. "Love your body" needs to have the context and support of fostering self-compassion. In my low points I would rather have someone help me be kinder to myself than to just hear "no, you look great, just love your body!"

    1. I'm sure the context is important. I appreciate that thought in with my other ramblings. I look forward to reading your blog!