We all have our causes, our passions—issues that have carved out a place in each individual’s heart and mind as important.
I have a friend whose cause is adoption, another who is a champion for literacy, yet another who pours her talent and time into sexual assault victim advocacy. I have a number of things I am personally passionate about, but I have chosen one in particular to share and advocate for here on this blog—the body image movement and body positivity.
In mere days, at a local community theater, a documentary will be shown. That fact, in and of itself, is not particularly special. Except, for me, it is.
The film, Embrace, by Australian film maker, Taryn Brumfitt, is of particular importance to my commitment to the body image movement and creating a shift in our current culture.
Bear with me for a moment. Peruse the statistics below:
- In the United States, More than 80% of women are reported to be dissatisfied with their appearance.(SOURCE)
- According to The National Eating Disorders Association, in the United Sates, 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner.
- 40% of newly-diagnosed cases of eating disorders are in girls 15-19 years old, but symptoms can occur as young as kindergarten.
- 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat. (SOURCE)
- Approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape. Unfortunately, only 5% of women naturally possess the body type often portrayed by Americans in the media.(SOURCE)
- In a research study about the unhealthy culture of competition between women, nearly 80% of women interviewed said that they competed with women over physical appearance. (Barash, Susan Shapiro. Tripping the Prom Queen: The Truth About Women and Rivalry. (St. Martin’s Press, 2006). p. 91.
If so many women…and our daughters (men and sons too)…are dissatisfied, afraid, and in-competetion with each other over our appearances, how can we possibly be fulfilling our potential? How can we be living life to its fullest, experiencing adventure, giving back, loving each other, if we’re distracted by all this bullshit about our looks?
You know what is really dissatisfying and scary to me? I mean, if I actually sit and contemplate—separate my true heart from the ideas supplanted in my mind by The Head Wench and the marketing industry’s jibber jabber. It isn’t getting fat, or old, or being less beautiful and thus less powerful than someone else…
I’m terrified of wasting my potential and inadvertently teaching my children to do the same. I’m scared of ruing this one-shot-at-life opportunity I’ve been given. I’m afraid of watching an entire world of women do the same.
I’m dissatisfied with the idea God put each one of us on this earth to USE and PRACTICE and GIVE of our time and talents, and we would be so foolish as to be tricked into ignoring that fact—wasting our gifts, because we believe a lie that a person has to look capable of greatness—that greatness, talent, and important contributions have to meet some standard of appearance to be valid or worthy.
How easily persuaded we are to believe such drivel. I know it has taken little for me to believe it. And believing it has crippled me at times. Believing it has stolen moments of happiness, distracted from practicing gratitude. Believing it has cheated possible greatness.
If you are local, please join me for the screening of Embrace. Help me empower the women of our community to embrace this incredible life we’ve been given. If you are unable to join us, you can still help.
Stop believing the lie.
Simply be you—beautifully imperfect, wonderfully made, without shame, without fear—you. That alone will defy the odds, putting you firmly in the camp of pursuing greatness.
We will stumble in the pursuit of this kind of greatness. It will not come overnight, nor will a simple declaration make it so. It will require work, time, and effort.
But together, with each other, we can make small changes. And over the course of time, one choice will lead to another, one woman to another, and together we will achieve greatness.
And it will look like each one of us.
Enter to win 2 FREE Tickets by clicking :a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Winner announced Thursday, December 8th at 9AM MST*
Or purchase tickets HERE for the December, 8, 2016 screening