We have a crisis in the world. We have many actually, so many that facing them can be daunting, overwhelming, even to the most seasoned volunteer or advocate.
To be honest, most of them we can only have a minute impact on, at best, but there is one that we can have a profound impact on immediately: ourselves.
Oftentimes we forget that we are a statistic, because, well, who wants to be reduced to a number? The hard truth, though, is we are all numbers on many pages, but not all of them are bad.
Body image. Body positivity. Body love. Self-love. Self-acceptance. Fat acceptance. Size acceptance. Confidence. = Equality.
How you treat yourself, how others treat you, is directly tied to equality.
If you wouldn’t ridicule your best friend, call him or her fat, ugly, worthless, lazy, and every other negative adjective available, then why would you say those things to yourself?
Unknowingly, we have all contributed to this dynamic of inequality throughout the world. We label and segregate based on every factual part of us from gender, race, sexual preference, age, and, more often than most these days, size. We allow the number in our jeans, the number on the scale, to define our worth, to define who we are and what we deserve. We oppress ourselves based on numbers, but numbers have never defined who we were.
The size of my jeans don’t make me a good person or a bad person. The number on the scale doesn’t tell you what I have or haven’t accomplished in life.
But we treat ourselves as though they do.
Another hard truth? We set the precedence. We may not have been the first to put ourselves down, but we’ve allowed the trend to continue.
Before you face the world each day, you must first face yourself.
What you say to yourself each morning defines who you are, the same way that what others say to us defines who they are.
As a mother, of course I wish I could give my children the world. I’d do anything for them. And it took me years to realize that loving myself was doing something for them.
They watch us. They see more than we think and know more than we want them to.
I didn’t want my children looking in the mirror and seeing only what was wrong with them, finding only what made them less than to society. I didn’t want my children growing up lacking in anything, but had forgotten that confidence is the key to everything: health, happiness, success. Equality is treating yourself and others with equal respect, equal acceptance, and equal love. Equality is treating yourself and others the same. Equality means facing yourself and others with equal confidence.
Anyone who follows me on instagram (@christinlovell) knows that I am all about loving who you are, as you are, and I’m the first to do it. I’m far from perfect. I have flaws. I have fat, chub rolls, stretch marks, numerous scars – some sizable, dimples, blemishes, freckles, moles, grey hairs and so much more.
But I love myself anyways.
It wasn’t easy at first. I literally had to start by finding one new thing to love about myself each day when I looked in the mirror. Slowly, but surely, the list grew…until, one day, I loved more than I hated. I accepted more than I rebuked. I came to a place where peace overruled turmoil, where happiness overruled upset, and where equality overruled inequality.
Was it as earth shattering as I expected it to be? No. I didn’t suddenly wake up one day feeling like I could strut around the beach in a two piece.
Would I be willing to do that today? Yes.
Why? Because I believe everyone deserves to be happy, and who the heck can be happy with every imperfection covered and smothered on the beach, beneath the blazing hot sun…or in the water, where your soaking wet layers will cling to every pore on your body, preventing them from breathing? Covering what others deemed as ugly didn’t make them any happier, and it didn’t make me any happier. In fact, it made me miserable.
If you wouldn’t force your best friend to cover up their “imperfections,” then why would you force yourself?
If they don’t like what they see, whether your “flaws” are buried beneath ten layers or naked and bared to the world, they’ll still think the same; they may even speak the same. In fact, they do speak the same. I’ve received similar comments on both fully clothed pictures and less layered photos (on instagram.)
Another truth? What they say has zero impact on who I am as a person. What they say has no reflection on what I deserve, what I’m worth, what I’ve accomplished, what I’m capable of accomplishing, and so much more. Their words have never defined me, and will never define me. Their words have never defined you, and will never define you. Their words have only defined who they are, what they are afraid of, what they fear most, what they are insecure about within themselves.
And that is what the words we speak and think to ourselves each morning say about us.
What you say to yourself defines who you are, the same way what they say to us defines who they are.
I can disregard numbers. I can disregard facts. But I refuse to disregard myself, the same way I refuse to disregard you.
You are more than a profile, more than numbers, statistics and data. You are unique. You are beautiful. You are imperfectly perfect, just as you are. And, whether you are a size 2 or a size 32, you deserve to be happy. You deserve what you believe your best friend deserves. And, slowly, I hope you come to realize that the world will only believe you deserve better if you believe you deserve better.
You will only be happy if you choose to be happy.
And, sometimes, that means choosing to bare more flesh than normal when it’s hot, humid and horrible out.
Blood Pressure: 115/72
Blood Sugar: 72
Total Cholesterol: 172
clothing size: Tops: US 22, 1x-3x, depending on cut, fabric & brand
clothing size: Bottoms: US 22-26, 2x-3x, depending on cut, fabric & brand
Shoes: 8-8.5, depending on shape, material & brand
I am not ashamed of my numbers, for, the numbers are just the numbers. They don’t tell anyone if I’m a good person, if I’m a good mother, sister, friend. They don’t tell you if I’m smart, funny, witty or bright. If my numbers change what some of you think of me, then they change what some of you think of me.
But sharing your numbers won’t change what I think of you; they won’t change how I see you. Your numbers won’t tell me who you are; they will merely tell me what you are…according to more numbers, according to charts, to reports and to statistics.
And you are more than that. I am more than that. We are all more than numbers. We are more than what other people think of us. And the sooner you realize that, the sooner you accept that, the happier you’ll be.
If you are for equality, then you can’t be against yourself. If you are for equality, then you should be for confidence, for acceptance, and for happiness, for one and for all, no matter their numbers. People try to spin it, but, the truth is, my numbers have no bearing on your quality of life, the same way your numbers have no impact on mine. Discriminatory factors are just facts. They don’t reveal character, morals, values or worth.
If you are judging others based on facts, then it’s time you realized: They. Are. More.
If you are judging me now based off my numbers, then it’s time you realized: I. Am. More.
If you are judging yourself based on anything other than heart, then it’s time you realized: You. Are. More.
You. Are. More. – Christin
Looking for some inspiration on your journey? Here are links to some fabulous body positive people::
Meagan Kerr, New Zealand
Sarah Rae Vargas, a.k.a. Ravings by Rae
Lauren, a.k.a. Loey Lane
Eff Your Beauty Standards, worldwide