Thursday, 22 January 2015

Let's. Just. Stop

Today I drove past a young girl. She was probably around 10, just verging on chubby, with long, blonde, slightly-damp hair. She was happily running down Orange Street without a care in the world, wearing nothing but a swimming costume, a snorkel and goggles. And you know what my second thought was? (My first thought was, 'Where the hell are her SHOES?!' but that's another post entirely.) 'What a great age to be, oblivious of the body issues that are undoubtedly going to plague her in years to come. I hope that nobody ruins that bubble for her yet. I wish that I could just run down the street in my swimming costume, but society wouldn't accept that from anybody bigger than a size 0 unless they're under the age of 10. I guess that's why seeing her in her cozzie is cute, whereas if I saw a chunky woman in a bikini right now, I'd probably think that she really shouldn't walk down the street like that. Wow, that's really shocking.' Yes, that all started as one thought: welcome to my cluttered mind!

So what does this all mean? That we should all start walking down the street in our bikinis and trunks (Speedos are absolutely NOT permitted)? Not quite. But maybe we should all try a bit of positive image reinforcement, starting with ourselves. I'm the worst culprit: gazing into the mirror, sucking bits in and sticking others out, tensing, flexing, squeezing, poking and, eventually, sighing and covering myself up with a towel. It's exhausting, isn't it? So let's. Just. Stop. When you next find yourself scrutinising your body, just. Stop. We're beautiful, we just all need to start believing it. 

Here, some body-loving inspiration from ads published in the 1930s-1960s. (Please just try to ignore the sexism and lack of multicultural representation in them!)

And look, I even found one for men!