I love how my girls are 100% comfortable in their bodies. They feel no shame about the way they were made. Tummies, dimply legs, fleshy arms..they are perfect and have no reason to believe they are not. I have a deep-seated dread for the day when they begin to come aware of the emphasis our culture places on the body of a woman. A dread for the day when they begin to criticize themselves. This is going to break my heart.
Today while I was at the gym, I saw a lady weigh herself. First of all, why in the world is the scale in the middle of the cardio section of the gym? Like, why is this the perfect place to weigh oneself? But the thing that stuck with me was how afraid this lady appeared to be…her arms were tense at her sides and her face was grimaced. It was as if whatever the outcome she couldn’t actually take it. It broke my heart. Broke my heart for her, for my daughters, for me, and all the other women I know. What are we so afraid of?
I have a huge responsiblity in rearing three little women. They will look to me about these issues. They will observe how I speak about my body, how I treat my body and even what I fuel my body with. These observations will impact how they live. How I see myself will influence how my daughters see themselves. Becoming a mom has helped me to truly celebrate my body..all that it is capable of..creating life, stretching, growing, recovering, feeding another life. It is pretty stinking impressive.
But, occasionally I will feel an inner-freakout rise up in me about these topics and about having daughters in this image-crazed culture. I tell myself to take a deep breath and pray hard for God’s wisdom and grace…asking for grace to help me protect them as much as possible, for as long as possible. And then I can breathe again.