My sister recently asked if I'm drunk when I write.
I'm not. Although this post will not strengthen my case.
Because she's known me her entire life.
Along with my mom and best friend, they're the only people who understand the tears, self-hate and disgust my abdomen has tormented me with.
The truth is, I myself can't believe I'm putting a photo of my tummy out there.
I was scrolling through my camera roll you see, and shuddered when I saw this pic I had asked Warren to take in Mauritius.
(Image of blogger Kelly Kidgell)
I don't know.
I guess I thought some miraculous twist of fate/camera angle/lighting would result in that perfect toned shot.
I say perfect.
There is no perfect, actually. There's only the visual idea thereof.
The ones we've been brainwashed with by airbrushed magazine models since before we could even read.
I was sad when I realized due to my deep-rooted ideology that a toned stomach is so important, I wasted 10 minutes of my life trying every filter/editing tool to 'beautify' that tiny feature of my entire being so as to be accepted.
And when that didn't work it was an obvious decision to not post said picture along with Tuesday's other snaps.
The same ones that got me excited to see a bit of my collar bone showing.
I got even more sad with the raw truth that this very pic captured a moment that if you look closely enough at my feet, was literally toe-curlingly difficult.
As he stood behind me, it felt like the entire crowd lazing around the pool was secretly sniggering as to why on earth I would want a picture of myself, in a bikini.
This damaged society has, since being a little girl caused a turmoil that runs so deep I didn't once stop to think that actually, it's a beautiful picture.
It's a beautiful tummy.
It's been stretched to manufacture 3 precious human beings.
It's wobbled during belly-laughs.
It's tingled with nerves during exams, our wedding day, as I pee'd on sticks.
It's from where true sadness/anger/fear seems to come from when we've lost loved ones, been hurt, undergone the trials of being human.
As much as it's a mere part of me, It's also entirely me.
This picture should be more breath-taking than the soul-destroying fear of letting what others think consume me.
And that's when it hit me.
Nobody actually thinks anything.
As I looked around sheepishly, I observed sadly.
There amid my own insecurities lay girls I consider 'perfect' adjusting their straps, tucking in fat rolls, stretching their legs out because we all know that makes for that ever-important flat stomach. We're all so self-obsessed we actually only really worry about what we OURSELVES look like.
Why have we let the media dictate our self-love-limits to a point whereby 1 picture seems more indicative of our true person than the stuff we can't even see in pictures.
The stuff that truly transpires into the souls we are.
Ironically, the ONLY girl I felt envy for was the very large one.
In her tiny pink bikini.
She's the the only one I looked at and thought 'I wish I could be like her'.
She was beautiful.
She was perfect, not because she was 'Perfect'.
But because she was unashamedly her.
At 32 years old I'm tired.
I'm tired of being force-fed self-doubt inducing, soul-wounding, irrelevant crap.
'Too thin, too fat, too many stretch marks, not enough muscle, small boobs, saggy boobs, wobbly arms, thin arms'. I could go on.
I'm tired of wondering if Runner Guy ever wishes he could be with a skinny girl. Shamefully, I've allowed myself to fall prey to the shallow untruths of our money-driven dieting industry. The ones that made me believe my figure should have been what he fell in love, not possibly my inner beauty.
I'm tired of watching others fight these same demons. And it's not just us bigger people. Skinny people fight similar battles. Because we're ALL constantly told we can be more, be less, be different, be something else, be something better.
Let's vow to focus on the important stuff:
'be nice, be kind, it's ok to cry, be human, love completely, stop letting money, muscle tone and BMI dictate how you perceive people, how you value yourself'.
Imagine a world in which cameras only captured the beauty of our souls.
A world where the perfect selfie was that moment wherein not one person has ever actually seen themselves.
A million perfect tummy pics couldn't replicate the true beauty that transpires when we make a conscious decision to stop hating ourselves.
Yes we should be healthy.
Yes I will continue on my eating plan.
But not so that I can look like page3 girl.
Not because the world says I should.
I'll do it because it gives me energy to love. Love others, love ME
And in doing both,
hopefully Be Many to Many.
First published at www.survivingtherunnerguy.co.za
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