i wanted to touch on a topic that sits pretty close to my heart.
i came across this short 3 and a half minute vid on facebook awhile back and it struck a cord:
“50 People Were Asked One Intimate Question. What Adults Say Made Me Sad. What Kids Say Made Me Smile.”
if you don’t want to watch, the interviewers ask adults if you could change one thing about your body, what would it be? all the adults respond with pretty “standard” body issues — big foreheads, stretchmarks, height, skin problems with acne, a crooked foot!!…, inadequacy. they then bring in these adorb kids and ask them the same question. the video shows the kids seriously thinking about their answer, and they say — mermaid tails, shark mouths, pointy ears, fast legs, flying…but the one thing that was the best answer was one girl who said, “there’s nothing to change!”
this strikes pretty hard with me because i have dealt with body image issues for the majority of my life and at the ripe age of 17, was diagnosed with body dysmorphic disorder by my then psychologist. this is disorder is defined as “a psychological disorder in which a person becomes obsessed with imaginary defects in their appearance.”
without getting too into it, mainly because i’m not ready to bare all to a slew of onliners, i was literally consumed with the desire to change my body. you know that photo in sex ed and general psych that most text books and professors will show their students where there’s a super thin girl looking in the mirror, and her reflection is this large woman with a sad expression? yeah, that was me. hey.
lets keep this short. my obsession that began the disorder? my skin/complexion and stomach. and let me tell you why…i was always the pale one (i’m a redhead, we tend to have pale skin), and my ribs STUCK OUT at the very bottom, thus making me think it appeared as though i had four boobs. i mean, whaaat? so i was so skinny that you could see the very bottom of my ribs protruding from my mid section, and i’m freakin 100% irish, can drink most guy friends under the damn table, and have pale skin and red hair. yes, i will steal your soul. but i hated it. the whole thing sort of spiraled until i was utterly disgusted with myself, saw a hippo for a girl in the mirror and very seriously researched laser liposuction when i was 22.
anyway. this all brings me to this point and what i immediately thought of when i watched the clip above, why are we asking ourselves what we’d want to change about our bodies/minds, shouldn’t we be asking what we LIKE about ourselves? well, because humans are naturally negative beings.
preach! ^^^ you wouldn’t tell your friends they suck and need some serious changing, would you?
yes guys and dolls, we all suck. ha. we’re naturally negative. don’t believe me? check this, our brains use different hemispheres to process negative and positive information because negative emotions and happenings tend to create more thinking, a deeper thought process, and thirst for information about WHY. we replay negative events over and over in our minds, meddle on criticism, and typically use a more harsh vocabulary to describe something poorly compared to describing something pleasant. we typically remember negative events more easily than positive. need more proof or feeling extra nerdy? google professor baumeister’s study with negative childhood.
one time, i described a trip to disneyland and was recounting all the crap that happened (long lines, expensive, crowded) rather than being all like “YEAH! DISNEYLAND! Mickey Mouse! Roller coasters! WOOOOO”
real talk, ladies. what got me through and allowed me to wipe
my hands my mind of this destructive thought process, and rid of a disorder? the controlling of my mind. i had to understand where this negativity was coming from, and why i was being so hard on myself when i literally had no reason to be so cruel to myself. and you can, too.
a lesson after all of this jabber? take a moment to breathe and focus on the positive aspects of yourself. your striking baby blues, killer calf muscles, awesome hair color (can i get an amen fellow gingies???!) stop with the negative banter. it gets you a one way ticket on the pitty train, and ain’t no body got time for that. if you’re not happy with something, make the effort to change it the healthy way, and the sane way. cuz my ladies, we already have to cool our crazy jets and kill the stereotype that we’re all nuts.
be real. be true. be YOU. stop comparing yourselves, and be thankful for the body you have. you don’t get another one. so let me ask you, what do you love about your bodies?
PS – who wouldn’t want a mermaid tail? i mean, hello, ariel anyone??!