Why I Write About Body Image
I write about body image because every day we’re told we’re unworthy unless we weigh a certain number or look a certain way. Every day many of us feel a palpable pressure to focus on our physical appearance at all costs.
Our lives are filled with worries over eating dessert and not working out enough.
(I used to worry that having two apples a day would lead to some weight gain catastrophe. My sophomore year I’d force myself out of bed at 5 a.m. to get on the elliptical at my apartment complex. I was exhausted and miserable.)
I write about body image because the information we get from women’s magazines and other mediums (like “The Biggest Loser”) isn’t gospel, even though we’re taught that it is. (More often that not, it’s inaccurate, damaging, ridiculous and actually laughable.)
I write about body image because I’d like to offer a different perspective from the hyper-focus on weight.
I write because I want people to know that beauty and health come in all shapes and sizes. That health has nothing to do with thinness. That we can be proud of our bodies at every shape and size.
That we can take great, tender care of ourselves at every shape and size. That we deserve respect, happiness and love at every shape and size.
I write about body image because I want to encourage people to talk about other things at the dinner table besides diets and calories and guilt over having two slices of cake.
I want to encourage people to change the conversation from those soul-crushing subjects to more meaningful, interesting and enjoyable topics.
Talk about being grateful for each other. Talk about the news or the latest book you’ve read. Talk about how your life is going. Talk about your dreams. Make jokes. Laugh at said jokes.
I write about body image because I spent years chasing thinness, viewing it as a panacea for all my problems.
I write about body image because I’d like other people to know that thinness isn’t some magical antidote (though ads and magazines would love for you to believe that once you lose weight, everything will fall into place).
In fact, hyper-focusing on thinness makes you forget about everything else. It narrows your life, instead of expanding it.
I write about body image because the best antidote you’ll ever find is being self-compassionate and learning to appreciate and love yourself as you are.
I write about body image because I’d like people to know that they’re more than thin thighs, big biceps, or a low number on the scale. We’re whole, passionate, creative individuals. I’d like to empower people to focus on these qualities.
I write because our bodies are magnificent machines, and too often we forget that.
I write about body image because I want people to know that instead of counting calories or points, we can focus on what truly nourishes us, both food-wise and life-wise.
I write about body image because I have a hard time taking a compliment, and I know many people do, too.
I write about body image because I’d like people to know about the power of movement, and that you can move your body any way you want. Forget the tips, tricks and quick fixes. Move in ways that feel good for you.
I write to show people that we can stop bashing our bodies and berating ourselves and start living fuller lives. We can pursue interesting hobbies and deepen our relationships (both with ourselves and others).
We can overcome damaging cycles of overeating. We can learn to process our emotions healthfully. We can have a healthy relationship with food, that doesn’t include restricting or feeling bad about ourselves.
We don’t need to diet. We can savor and enjoy all kinds of foods. We can trash the scale.
I write about body image, because these are the words I needed to read years ago. And on many days these are the words I still need to hear.
Tartakovsky, M. (2014). Why I Write About Body Image. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 18, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/weightless/2013/03/why-i-write-about-body-image/