I was called OUT
On the eve of International Women’s Day, my daughter called me out for body shaming. And she was not wrong.
We were chatting on the phone last night while I was editing a video for the weekly yoga school I cohost on Instagram. I saw something on my body that was unacceptable to me & told her I was going to have to cut that portion out. She immediately told me I was ridiculous. I was adamant, so I sent her a screen shot of the offensive flaw.
She reiterated that I was being ridiculous & furthermore reminded me that I have a platform that ought to be used for body love & positivity & acceptance. And she was not wrong.
I don’t even need to tell you what the ‘offensive’ body flaw is, because it is not about that. This is not about what YOU see. You very likely don’t see it & if you do, you very likely do not CARE.
In absolute truth, I love YOUR body idiosyncracies. I celebrate a body that is real - with squishy parts & bumpy parts & wrinkles in addition to strength & beauty. A body that has a real life. My favorite people to hug are people with some cushion. As a yoga instructor, I have seen LOTS of bodies & have complete respect that there is no 1 type - big, small, wide, narrow, square, round - they are all in the realm of real.
And really, I am pretty sure you don’t mind MY bumps & veins & wrinkles either. I’m also pretty sure how I acted last night is not unique. If I have body shame … probably some (most?) of you do, too. There are things you hide, things you would never show in public. The way you turn when a picture is being taken, to distract from that thing you hate.
‘WHY’ we are so body critical is beyond the realm of this blog. History, trauma, abuse, culture, social media, MOM … It’s all real & it all happened. Regardless of why, what I need to say out loud is this :
Let’s STOP. Just stop.
Let’s afford ourselves the same respect we offer to our sisters. I’m pretty sure you would never ever say to your best friend some of the things you have said/thought/felt about your own body. I surely wouldn't! Let's do better. Let’s respect the lives our bodies have lived. The babies birthed & nursed. The miles walked, burdens carried, suns worshipped. Let’s admire our bodies’ resiliency - how they bounce back despite all the toxins & traumas we hurl at them.
Need I remind you? Our bodies are in the process of aging every single day. Of course we all know what that means : more wrinkles, more bumps, more sag. I look back at pictures of myself in my 30’s & wonder why in the world I didn’t appreciate my smooth forehead!
It is my belief that we are all put on earth with a unique path. We each have a God given calling to use our talents to the benefit of the greater good. To accomplish the commission of our call, we were given all that we need. No where, in any of the spiritual teachings I have been exposed to, has that included a perfect body.
Yes, yes, yes, there are things we can & must do to maintain health & vitality. You know them as well as I do : be active, be still, be grateful, befriend. But I am going to add another, be NICE.
My daughter was right & I am so grateful she was willing to call me out. Let’s stop pretending, stop hiding, stop hating. The world needs us to be amazing & alive & real. For the record, I posted that video. All of it.
ps If you are interested in adding to your health, spiritual, & vitality practices, please reach out. I have loads of resources. xo