We all have a body story – a mix of what people have told us our bodies look like, the figure we see in the mirror, our emotional past, etc. I have one, and most likely, you do too.
I can thank my Psychology 101 class freshman year of college for teaching me about the Looking Glass Self. I won’t go all Freudian on y’all, but basically the theory is that a person views himself or herself based on what people perceive him or her to be. We develop an identity based on how others perceive us. It begins while we are young, and since we never stop redefining our definition of self, it continues throughout our lives, unless we cease all social interactions (read: we become a hermit).
Considering I’m half naked half the time on this blog and my social pages, I’m surprised I haven’t talked about body image yet. Why now? Well, someone asked me recently where I get the confidence to pose almost nude. I laughed. In all honesty, I don’t think anything of it. I just make sure I do my sit-ups the morning I take photos : )
Here’s my body story. I always been petite. Growing up, I was a gymnast and then a cross country runner. For both, I was a “casual athlete.” What do I mean by that? I participated and was good, but no chance in hell that I was going to the Olympics. When my mom passed away, I had a brief bout with anorexia. It wasn’t about losing weight, but about dealing with a loss. Luckily, I channeled it into a healthy addiction. Until she was confined to a wheelchair, my mom ran 4-6 miles every day, usually along Ft. Lauderdale beach. As a tribute to her and as a commitment to my health, sanity and happiness, I do the same. I run/jog/walk every day. In the past 10 years, I’ve probably missed less than 10 days.
There are a handful of women I view as the epitome of confident and aspire to be. Brigitte is one of them. It was my first day as an intern at Urban Outfitters when I met her. She was tall and had brown hair and freckles. She was a bitch, but in the best possible way. She knew what she wanted; she also knew what looked good on her. She had an impeccable and unique style that nobody but her could pull off. I remember a particular outfit – a red, circle circle about midi length paired it with a white, eyelet top that had a bib with ruffle detailing around. It was one of her staple outfits, and every time she walked into the office with it on, I thought, “Damn, I would look like a loony if I wore that.”
I could end by preaching, “We only have one body! Treat it right! Eat healthy, excercise, limit alcohol. Yay for body confidence!” On most days, I’d say 80% of the time, I believe that, but let’s be real. There are those days where I hate my thighs, think I have Madonna arms, yada, yada, yada. Even as petite as I am, I still have those thoughts. You know what gets me through those days? Most people are so wrapped up in their own lives and what they look like that they don’t give a rat’s ass about your arms, thighs, butt, double chin, chicken cutlets or whatever body part you hate.