Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Body Image Perception



I'm sitting here agonizing and brewing over a full-body photograph I posed for this past weekend. I know my favorite jeans are becoming a tad tight. Alright! Alright! They are already too tight! They barely button and when they do it leaves deep, red marks, mapping a trail of this past summer of excess and the tell-tale signs of being happy and in-love in my soft, squishy, pale skin.

To my surprise, shock and disgust I am rounder and shaped like a Ripley tomato with a giant round head, arms, and legs wearing awesome shoes. Wait! Are those jowls forming on my face? Instead of wallowing in a tub of Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby - gurgle-gurgle, gaw do I love Chubby Hubby - I have got to motivate myself and be accountable.

To anyone that knows me it's obvious that I have a weight issue. My weight fluctuates; it always has. I fight or deal with it for as long as I can remember. It's a good thing I have such a pretty face, a charming personality, and funny disposition. How many of us fat girls haven't been given those clich├ęd backhanded compliments?

The good times, or 'skinny days,’ are measurable by more face time in front of a camera and then there's the rest of the time that I'm grateful that I'm the one behind the camera. Be damned you inventors of the camera phone! I know there are others of you that also follow this prescribed method of avoidance. On social media sites I see a lot more photos of your birth canal's little blessings rather than the awesome Mommies I attended with in grammar school. Well except for that one chick from my high school that does Cross Fit, her photos are amazing. Yeah, her! Her photos make my soft, fleshy core quiver in fear and jealousy.

I see how my personal body image and low self-esteem are affecting Phaedra, J-squared's youngest. Phaedra mimics the things I say and mirrors my actions. It's pretty damn eye-opening when a flat-stomached, 12 year old girl pounds on her 'belly' like a drum and repeats something that has come out of my mouth multiple times. I take note of her comments and have stopped making disparaging comments about myself. I try to internalize my personal negative comments or at least keep them out of the ears of impressionable babes.

Within the past few months her comments are exceedingly more frequent. Ignoring them is not helping. I feel like I'm responsible for breaking her self-esteem without even making a comment about her. Focusing on my flaws is damaging her 12 year old ego with the potential to last a lifetime.

This disappointment and low self-esteem in myself makes me a horrible role model. However, it also makes me the perfect candidate to turn it around in myself and her. I'm leading by example. I promise I'll stop referring to my excessive roundness as the Ripley tomato-shaped girl. I'm beginning an exercise regime and a lifestyle change. So long Ben & Jerry. For the rest of you who have an amazing self-esteem with an abundance to share, as her primary female role model how do I focus Phaedra's natural instinct into loving herself no matter how she may think she looks?

As for me, who'd like to join me on the Greenline or at a local track at 5:45am tomorrow morning?

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