Hello from beautiful Maui! The hubs and I are celebrating our 5 year anniversary (that was in October) on this amazing island! Preparing for this trip definitely brought up some body issues for me. Particularly the time I was publicly body shamed. On the internet. On Pinterest. What??? Yeah boo, I was shocked too.
I’m not the smallest girl in the world. Even at my smallest size, I was insecure (even though I’d kill to look like that now! You don’t know what ya got till it’s gone, right?). And a year ago I was at my highest weight (I won’t bore you about the slew of medical conditions I have, the healthy lifestyle I live, how much weight I’ve lost, etc. because it’s irrelevant to this story).
After we were married, I pinned several of our details shots to my wedding board on Pinterest. Our wedding was very diy, and to be honest, I was proud as hell at all the work we had accomplished. Down to when I couldn’t find the light blue shoes I envisioned (I didn’t want the dyeable satin ones, I wanted a thicker heel, blah blah blah) I bought LEATHER DYE and dyed a nude leather pair myself. I wanted that shoe shot that has now been done to death.
And I got it. On the day of the wedding, I sat on a brick retaining wall, with my husband wearing blue argyle socks to match my shoes, the groomsmen and my man of honor (my brother) surrounded us in their crimson argyle socks (those were our wedding colors). The guys pulled up their pant legs, I pulled up the hem of my dress, and our photographers captured one of my very favorite wedding photos.
I pinned that photo on my wedding Pinterest board over 5 years ago. About a year ago, I was looking through my wedding pinterest board (which I still pin to, bc I freaking love weddings), and I saw my pic had been re-pinned. Since it was a picture of my very own wedding day, that excited me. How cool that another bride found inspiration for her own special day, from my own?!
So I clicked on it. The bride to be clearly had a wedding board she shared with her mom. How sweet. It brought back memories. The bride to be commented on the pic about how cute it was, and made a note that it would only work if the guys wore argyle socks. Then I saw her mother’s response, and it knocked the air out of me:
“Right. Thankfully you have better calves than this bride.”
Bitch, say what? Was I at the weight I wanted to get down to on my wedding day? No. Was it the happiest day of my life in spite of it? Absolutely! Do I hate my calves? No. They are still muscular from my days as a dancer even though they’re covered in a layer of fat. My calves are not a body part I’ve ever actually been self conscious about. But for a second, I felt less than. I wondered, how much better would this photo had looked if I just had smaller calves?
Why, would a complete stranger, choose to dehumanize me? A real person, a bride on the happiest day of her life? Did she think I didn’t exist? Did she think the internet was so large I would never possibly see her hatefulness?
After clicking through a few more of the girl’s pins and reading the mother’s comments back to her daughter, I saw an unhappy soul. Lady, whatever happened to you, I’m sorry. But the answer isn’t dragging down strangers to your level to make yourself feel better.
How often do we, especially women, look at another woman, and tear down her appearance? I know I’ve been guilty. We should be building each other up, and singing each other’s praises! Society already tries to dehumanize us enough, why do we compound it, why do we help it along?
I still have my own body issues I’m working on. But I am part of a self care program that has helped me to see how important I am. As me. Just me. The way I am today. I’m on a journey to completely accept and improve myself. And no momzilla will change that.
Back to my vacation. This is a gorgeous island filled with beautiful people. Before we left, I decided I was wearing shorts (for the first time in years). And I also brought a two piece bathing suit with me (a couple actually). I didn’t spray tan before I came. These things created anxiety in me, but I decided I didn’t want any regrets on this vacation. The first day wearing shorts, and my first day at the pool, I was self conscious. I looked around for all the judging eyes, the glares. But I didn’t see any. What I started to notice was the other women here, that looked like me. Not in perfect shape. But enjoying every second of their vacation. I saw the beauty in them, their confidence. And then I saw the beauty in me.
I challenge you to take a little time today to see the beauty in the women around you. Tell me in the comments below what you noticed. Have you ever been body shamed? What are your insecurities? Let’s talk about it boo!