How many times do you find yourself in a conversation with other women and the only topic of discussion is what their clothes look like, how their body sizes up, and how they wish they could change or alter their appearance in some way? When you keep your eyes (and ears) open for it, it’s astounding at just how many times our conversations veer towards body shame, body bashing, and body talk altogether.
The outside world is filled with body talk. We get it in the media that surrounds us, in our social groups, and in workplaces and extra curricular activities — but one place we shouldn’t be surrounded by it is at home.
I was fortunate to grow up in a household where body talk wasn’t a thing. My mom never talked shamefully about her own body and she never policed my sister’s body or mine. She let us wear clothes that made us feel comfortable and able (barring my request to wear the same t-shirt five days in a row and cargo shorts to church) and she encouraged us to be who we are no matter what. My dad never used the words pretty or beautiful to describe our best qualities and he was always pushing us to “do” rather than “be.”
As I grew up, the outside world broke through the little cocoon my parents had built around me and I was consumed with policing my body and comparing it to other girls my age. Fortunately, that strong foundation they had built for me would always be there — for so many other women though that isn’t the case.
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