It’s really hard being a woman sometimes. And I’m not talking about the whole pregnancy, birth, stretch marks and period pain thing, I’m talking about how the media believes it’s their right to tell us exactly how we should look, act and feel, at every stage of our lives. They like to tell us what we should be wearing, how our hair should be cut, whether we’re acting our age and whether we’re cool or not. They like to make us feel like our entire life’s happiness depends on following their advice.
I was at the gym yesterday (Sunday treadmill date) and the TV was on to a pretty well-known morning show having a (pointless) argument about whether it was okay for women over a certain age to wear a bikini. The general consensus was that no, they were too old and it was not okay. And I thought, really?!? Why do these presenters think it’s okay to make women over a certain age feel bad about themselves, and uncomfortable about their own bodies? What right do they have to dictate how women should be acting and dressing? And that really got me thinking.
It’s not just TV presenters. I mean, it’s everywhere! Advertising (every man will love you if you wear this perfume brand and your life will be so much better), women’s magazines (how to reduce cellulite, because even though every women has it and it’s perfectly normal, we want you to feel like you’re ugly), newspapers (here’s the latest about some celebrity who got back to being a size 6 within five minutes of giving birth), EVERYWHERE! At some point, even the strongest-minded of us ladies will start to compare ourselves and feel like we’re not good enough. I know you know what I mean, because we’ve all done it and we’re all victims.
I know I’ve done it. HEAPS of times. Checking out some model’s abs or legs or boobs and feeling like somehow I was less of a woman because I didn’t look that good. Or on the flipside, checking out a bunch of celebrities without make up and being like, relieved that their skin wasn’t totally perfect and somehow I still stood a chance in this world. Isn’t it just so sad that there’s this whole industry out to make us feel like we’re not good enough? Nothing sells fashion, make up, perfume or movie stars faster than taking away a girl’s confidence!
But here’s something I’ve learned, and I want to share this with you. None of that stuff is important. There is absolutely no point comparing yourself to other people, be they famous or not, because you are always going to find something they have that is better than yours. There will always be taller people, skinnier people, more tanned people, girls with bigger boobs, girls with smaller boobs, blondes, brunettes, girls that work out every day, girls with a perkier bum, and people with every other trait you desire to have for yourself. There are 7 billion people on this planet! Someone, somewhere, will always have something that you desire for yourself.
And the real truth of the matter is that you don’t need to compare yourself to anyone because you already have the perfect body! You have a body with a heart that beats all day without you even having to try. Your lungs move in and out and feed oxygen to your body, without you having to tell them to do it. Your kidneys filter through your blood and then get rid of the waste through your bladder. When you get hot, you sweat to cool down. When you get cold, your blood moves closer to your organs to keep them warm.
Your body falls in love. It tells you instinctively when something isn’t quite right. It will tell you (pretty quickly) if you’ve eaten something you shouldn’t have. It will laugh and cry, sometimes whether you want it to or not. It will connect you to other people, attract you to other people, and move in rhythm with other people. It may even bring new life into this planet!
You don’t have to tell your body to do any of this. Everything it does to stay alive and healthy happens without you even thinking about it! Your body just knows what to do, because it’s created that way. It’s created to be uniquely, and perfectly, you.
Your life’s happiness doesn’t lie in being a certain clothing size, or dressing a certain way, or following the rules on whether you should wear a bikini or not. Your life’s happiness starts with appreciating who you are and what your amazing body can do. It’s your home on this planet for the whole time you’re here, and it’s working 24 hours a day to make sure you stay here for as long as possible.
So here’s what I propose. Turn the TV off, throw the magazines in the trash, close down your internet browser, and pass some love and gratitude to your physical self. Stretch your arms and legs, wiggle your fingers and toes and remember how hard they work for you. Remember all those times you were sick and your body managed to pull through and get you back to perfect health. Or the time you tried to follow some passing fashion trend and cut your hair a certain way only to feel silly afterwards, your hair grew itself back so you could look more like you again.
Your body knows what to do, it knows how to look after you, and it doesn’t need to conform to any standards to do it. Don’t listen to what the media thinks – listen to what you think because you know what’s best for your own body.
And if you want to wear a bikini, I don’t care what your age is, you go and rock it sister! Who’s with me???
With love and perfect bodies,