For many years I've been trying to become happy with me. Just being able to look in the mirror and be happy with what I see in my reflection. Years ago, I watched the Disney Movie Mulan. Today I still cannot listen to “Reflections” without tearing up a bit.
I look in the mirror and the outside doesn't match what I am inside. I know at some point I have to accept what I see in front of me. But speaking specifically as a female bodied person in today’s society I’m expected to look a certain way. Women are bombarded with images of airbrushed super models the size of prepubescent children and expected to live up to that image. Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D. has been studying women in the media for over 40 years and when asked if it was getting better, her quote was, “Actually it’s getting worse.” In 1979 she released “Killing Us Softly: Advertising’s Images of Women”; sadly it was updated in 2010 with updates for the current day.
What we need to keep in mind here is that all women are judged this way. Old women, young women, Cis women, Trans women, no matter the shape form or fashion, women are put in a position to try to live up to an ideal that simply does not exist.
Every year I watch Project Runway. I see the models there that are literally size zero. One of the most horrific episodes was when Ven Budhu made a lady cry by talking constantly about her weight and humiliated her for being a plus size contestant. (Season 10, Episode 6 – “Fix My Friend”)
There are very real consequences for allowing this type of abuse, and I’m calling it abuse because that’s exactly what it is, to continue. Twenty-four million people in the US have eating disorders. 185 female students were in a survey on college campus and 58% felt they had to be a certain weight. 83% of those dieted for weight loss, 44% were of normal weight. (ANAD.org)
So what can we do?
Each one of us has the ability to make a difference in this. We can choose not to support companies that objectify women. We can tell the fashion industry with our buying power that we will not buy from companies or designers for that matter who employ girls that are literally killing themselves with starvation to keep working.
We can be accepting of those of all shapes and sizes around us. Poking fun at people, calling names or hiding yourself away because you've put on a few pounds isn't the way to go. Our food is contaminated with hidden traps that are making us put on weight. I’m not saying it’s ok to sit around the house eating bon bons all day and becoming unhealthy. What I am saying is that it’s ok to not be a size two.
It’s ok to be the size you are. Eat when you’re hungry. Be healthy. Take a moment to look at the reflection in the mirror and embrace what you see. Wear your inner beauty on the outside. Kindness is so much more attractive than vanity.
As Pagans we look at the Goddess as the nurturer of the world. She is the maiden, the mother and the Crone. She is life itself. Youthful and free spirited as the maiden her spirit fills us. As the mother, belly huge with love and life her spirit again fills us. As the Crone, aged with wisdom she fills us. We all come from the Goddess, what she makes is indeed divine.
|Photo Credit - Sosanna's Closet|
Gaze deeply into that mirror and seek the Goddess within.
Namaste & Blessed Be