I’ve been thinking a lot about the whole body positivity movement that’s happening right now.
On so many levels, it’s the best thing to happen. More and more I’m seeing my feed fill up with pictures of women proudly owning their bodies and grinning from ear to ear. There are SO many amazing accounts that are inspiring women to just put on the damn shorts and wear that crop top.
But here’s where I struggle.
All of this is amazing. They are all great things to do to help you feel confident in your own skin.
But here is what this movement doesn’t overtly address. The REAL reason we hate our bodies to begin with.
Yes, we all know the media plays a huge part but it is NOT the only reason.
The real reason is much deeper (and harder to address). The one below the layer of “I don’t like the way my stomach jiggles”.
It’s the thing that you’ve pushed down or forgotten or don’t want to think about. It’s something happened to you when you were younger that caused you trauma in some way.
Now, trauma is a relative term. There is the horrible things that you think of when you hear “trauma”- sexual assault, emotional/physical abuse, a car accident. All very difficult and very real versions of trauma.
But there’s also the version that you don’t think of:
- A parent leaving a child.
- That one time as a kid where you felt strong and proud and relative made a (seemingly harmless) joke about your baby fat.
- Or the time you were so proud of something and the adult you were most excited to show, brushed you aside and made you feel small and unimportant.
As a child, trauma can present itself in any shape or form. It doesn’t have to be something horrific and awful. Sometimes all it takes is one small moment (no pressure, parents) to alter the child’s perception of themselves forever.
And a lot of it comes back to – “I’m not good enough.”
“If I was good enough, my parent wouldn’t have walked out on us”
“If I was good enough, they wouldn’t have joked about my baby fat”
“If I was good enough, she would have cared about what I was showing them”
And often – that wound isn’t treated. So it slowly starts to fester and manifest into an internal dialogue that keeps saying “You’re not good enough. You’re not worth it.”
And until we address that original “wound”, it will never truly heal, no matter how many crop tops and positive affirmations we say to ourselves. It helps, but it’s kind of like putting a band-aid on a bullet hole (that one for my T-Swift fans out there). It’s not enough to make ourselves BELIEVE that we are good enough.
It’s worth mentioning, having a negative relationship with our bodies isn’t the only way these traumas surface. Some people medicate with drugs, alcohol or self-harm. I’m only talking about the body issues because this is what I struggle with.
Ok, so how can we address this?
Well, therapy for starters.
But also – the next time you are having a particularly bad day when you feel down and shit about your body, pay attention to that feeling. For me, it’s a pit in my stomach and a tightening in my chest.
Then reach back in time and try and think to that one moment where you first felt that feeling. Where were you? Who were you with? What was going on? What was said to give you that feeling? No moment is insignificant. Write it down.
I’ll bet that when you get back there (and it’s scary and hard, I know) you’re going to have a moment of “holy shit” and recognize where these deep seeded feeling of “not being enough” comes from.
For me – I was in kindergarten. There was a race where the kids in JK were paired up with an older “buddy”. We were running a race of some sort and we had to run together. I was tired so asked if we could walk. My friend and her buddy ran by and asked my buddy why we weren’t running. He said “Oh, she’s slow and wants to walk.”
Did he mean anything by it? Probably not. Is it a big deal? Not really. Yet in that moment, I remember feeling the most shame I’ve ever felt in my life. After that day, I started looking (subconsciously) for more examples of not being good enough. Trust me, they’re easy to find.
Guys, it’s a long, exhaustive journey with no clear destination. There are a lot of scenic routes and stops. A lot of detours. A LOT of bumps. But finding that one moment will help you in ways I can’t even express.
I hope you give it a try. If you want to share it with me, please feel free to send me a DM in Instagram. I’d love to hear from you.
And also? You are fucking good enough. You are amazing and capable and incredible. You are living and breathing and taking it one day at a time. So yea, you’re fucking worth it and you’re good enough.