The Guise of the Presenting Problem
This blog post was not supposed to be this difficult to write. I realized as I sat and stared at the blinking space bar on the screen that I still have a good amount of work to do in regards to this topic. The tone of my blog is often quite positive and upbeat; I love encouraging and motivating people. Yet, I also love being honest so when I began to write about my issues with my body image, I felt like I better be real or just go ahead and give up on this writing thing.
There have been a lot of articles and headlines about the role of the media in women’s body image issues. Barbie, Fitness Magazines, Pinterest, and our mothers have all been blamed. While I certainly believe all of those things have had an effect on the way that we judge and view our bodies, I can’t help think that there is something more there. Something more than the presenting problem is present….i.e., a woman may feel that her body is not good enough but that is just a symptom of the problem.
I believe the issue lies in the unfortunate sins of comparison and perfection. The media plays directly into my idea that I have to be perfect to be loved and that is the heart of the issue.
Unfortunately there isn’t an easy fix to my desire for perfection. I believe the problem is that we are trying to fix an intrinsic issue with extrinsic motivations. We often times think that our work is done when we tell our girls that they are beautiful, or dressed well when we should be working to understand what it is they really need to hear. Our worth is not found in our external bodies or capabilities, our worth is found in our souls. This is a lesson that I am continually teaching to myself and seeking to understand.
I do not have any advice for you guys, I would simply like to encourage you to dig deeper with your loved ones to hear what it is that makes them feel loved and accepted.
The issues women have with body image are not going to go away with the creation of a more realistic Barbie or more plus sized models, in fact they will probably never go away. I am learning to understand that there is something deeper going on and we need to keep an eye out for our girls.