Not Living Up to Someone Else's Ideal of Beauty...
My Growth Over the Years
For too many years I have attempted to live up to someone else's ideals of what I should look like.
"But Tiffany, you look better slim."
"But Tiffany, you are too slim. You look anorexic!"
"Tiffany, you are much too large. That is just not good for you!"
I have heard it all in my 41 years on this planet.
I have been everything from 90 pounds to 240 pounds over the years. When first being a couple with my fiancé a little over two years ago, he noticed my eating disorder. The concern and love he showed helped me realize I had a big problem. The problem was that after years of having someone beating what I should look like in my head, it lead to bulimia. Whereas I have never purged, I have had bouts when I went months without eating properly. I skipped every meal most days, and only had a very small dinner when I had to eat in front of someone. This led to me feeling a constant guilt about who I was and what I looked like. My longest bout avoiding most to all food was right before meeting my fiancé. Eight months of my life avoiding food, and then overeating right after. My now fiancé saw me never eating, and always trying to stick to a 90% liquid diet to avoid food. This was killing my health slowly, and I did not even realize it. My fiancé did, and he confronted me about it within a week of dating. Luckily, he stuck around and helped me to slowly improve my health. There are many days that I still find myself battling my inner demons, always thinking how fat I am or will become. All because of body shaming from family.
Body shaming in the world today has gotten completely insane. Women and girls are afraid to be too skinny, too fat, or have a "boyish" figure. With all of the pressure on females too look "perfect," is it really a shock that more and more girls are having eating disorders? The media is always saying what everyone should look like. It is this vicious, never ending battle to prove you are worthy of friends, worthy of love. The largest percentage of ads today are models that are super skinny. There are very few adds depicting a full-figured woman, the "everyday" woman. This scenario is destroying the mental health of so many females that it saddens me.
The saddest part of all of this, is knowing my darling granddaughter has to grow up in today's world of stereotypes. She is merely one year old, but I know that she will have to face the same battles that I have over the years. Luckily her mother and I can support her in every way when she has these doubts about her looks.
Where as I have realized my body is nothing to be ashamed of, so many girls and women today do not know this yet. If I could get the attention of a very large group of girls and women, I would tell them they are beautiful. They do not need to live up to someone else's standards. They are worthy of feeling like they are beautiful. They should know they are beautiful! That these girls and women do not have to be media standard beautiful. They should love themselves, and only lose or gain weight to be healthier. Not too impress anyone. And most of all that they are their own kind of beautiful, and that all beauty is different.
All women deserve to feel good about themselves no matter what.