The reason I started my blog wasn’t only for personal gain, but to encourage and uplift other women. There is so much emphasis on body type, weight, and size that is instilled in little girls. Kasey Edwards has written amazing pieces on the subject. Here is an article I recommend, How to talk to your daughter about weight.
Image Credit: A Mighty Girl
I agree with Edwards in regards to our conversations with children about the human body. The discussions should lead with Q & A’s about human anatomy as well how your child feels about their body. Is there a negative body image being instilled in them by you as their parents or outsiders? Are you as the parent emphasizing the topic of body weight and size on your child? This can be detrimental to their view of a positive body image when so much importance is placed on this aspect rather than their feelings about it or questions. Let them lead the conversation. Often, children do not see their body type, weight, or size as a negative until someone forces that ideal on them.
I remember my eating habits as a child being very rarely monitored. I could go into the fridge and get whatever I wanted to eat. Growing up in a working-class family, vegetables and fruits were not always readily available to eat. I love to eat! I will put it out there because it is a truth about myself that I do not deny. Who doesn’t love to eat?! Ever since I was a kid, I loved to eat. And, being raised in a Mexican-American family, eating is such an important part of my culture. Food is the center of celebrations, gatherings, and family time. So, I don’t see this as a negative.
As an adult, I still have a difficult time being able to afford the things I want to buy like yogurt and blueberries, all the things I love to eat as much as pizza. I believe you can have a positive body image and still eat junk food. No, I don’t eat it everyday, but I do eat it. I try my best to eat veggies and fruits, drink plenty of water, exercise, but I am not obsessed. I am done with being obsessed about counting calories, the number on the scale, my jean size, etc. I am obsessed with positive body image. I am a believer that you can be a big girl and healthy. You can have rolls, cellulite, big thighs, big hips, big boobs, fat, flub, and still be healthy. And, I don’t believe my body type, weight, or size is promoting childhood obesity.
Image Credit: All My Friends Are Models
I went on a rather heated rant on social media a week ago regarding the alleged slander of Tess Holliday by Naomi Campbell. Here is my statement, “Yes, let’s talk about accountability! You know who should be held accountable for childhood obesity–our government. Our lack of nutritional food in U.S. schools. Let’s also mention that there are a lot of socioeconomic factors at play with childhood obesity. Guess what! I was a raised by a single mom, in between the poor-working class. Fruits and vegetables were not always a part of the meal because they were so expensive! Tess is not accountable for all those factors at play. She’s a plus-size model doing her thing. And, if we are going to talk about impressionable young girls being negatively influenced by Tess, I am going to say that she is a bad-ass! Nothing was handed to her! She faced some great obstacles in her life, and look at her! Making moves and shit! Who wouldn’t want to look up to Tess?! I sure do. I may not have the same eating habits, body shape, or lifestyle as Tess. I don’t fucking know! And, it’s none of my business. Young ladies can be supported by the women in their life: parents, the community, teachers, mentors, etc. Tess is only one public figure, and she should not be held accountable for every little girl’s health. And as far as other women, there are many women who feel supported by Tess. They feel that finally there is someone in the limelight they can relate to. Women are allowed to be the dictator of their body. There are so many reasons (medical or not) why someone is overweight. They are all valid, and you have no idea if someone is making great strides toward body acceptance. Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t. In any case, I could easily say Naomi Campbell is the poster child for anorexia or bulimia. I don’t know her. I don’t eat with her or go with her to the doctor, but I feel compelled somehow to criticize her. But, I don’t say these things because I do not know Naomi Campbell. I am not privy to her medical history nor should I be. Not cool. Not cool.” And, here is the link to the article.
I am but one voice for positive body image, and I understand that not every woman is going to agree with me. That’s okay, but what I do not think is okay is to be a bully on the subject. You can have a voice, an opinion, but spreading hate and discrimination is not okay. Hate is not something innately within us; we are not born with it. It is taught. Love, however, even at its most basic animal instinct is nurturing, it is innate. So, what we teach our little girls and boys about body image is imperative. I know first-hand it can be life-altering when it’s lead with criticism, self-loathing, and hate.
XOXO Chica Rosita