I want to start this body image article with a quick story. I was at my gym in a group fitness class, and my usual spot on the right side of the room was taken. Unfazed, I simply moved my station to the other side of the room, set up my weights, looked up at myself in the mirror and thought, “Christiana, you look HUGE!” Great self-talk there, right?
Realizing I looked twice as tall (and wide) as the women around me, I proceeded to physically and mentally exhaust myself during class in an attempt to burn some extra calories to make up for how “big” I looked. My confidence was shot, and I didn’t have anything positive to say about my body during that hour. As I was walking out of class, I took one last glance at my broken spirit reflected in the mirror when I realized something…the mirror was warped.
Did you hear that, Ladies? The mirror that I invested all of my self-worth into was warped on my side of the room! I meet so many tall women who unknowingly view their bodies with their own version of a warped mirror, just like I had done. We base our body image on unrealistic standards of how we’re “supposed” to look. We train ourselves to think the tall models and actresses that grace the covers of the glossy fashion magazines represent what all tall women should strive for. And that’s just not true.
I want you to do something for me. Imagine what your life would look like if you unapologetically loved your body just as it is right now –if you embraced your full height, loved your curves or lack thereof, and found pure happiness in knowing your body is unique and beautiful without needing to change one thing about it.
What would you do?
Who would you talk to?
What would you wear?
The beauty of the image you created just now is that it truly can be yours if you’re willing to step away from the warped mirror and see yourself for who you really are. Your body is tall, unique, and stunning. Your body is strong, powerful, and distinguishing. Your body has done and continues to do so much for you every single day. The marks, blemishes, and scars are symbols of your strength and your story – each to be celebrated because they were moments lived.
If you’re having an “I want to love my body, but I can’t zip up my skinny jeans” moment, I want to share a couple things tips with you that may help:
#1: Stop comparing your body to anyone else’s. Comparison breeds jealousy, discontentment, and unhappiness because you’re focusing on what you don’t have vs. what you do have. Your body is 100% your own, and you have so many qualities that make you and your body special. This includes your height! Focus on those instead.
#2: Commit to zero shaming. Period. This goes for you and for other women. When we tall-shame, short-shame, or weight-shame, it serves no purpose than to perpetuate the cycle of negativity. It’s so much easier to appreciate your own unique beauty when you can see it in everyone else, too!
#3: Give confidence a try. I get it – sometimes we don’t want to leave the house or be seen because we’re having a bad body image day. Just try putting on a cute dress, throwing your shoulders back, and walking head held high into the world. Sometimes the easiest way to correct the warped mirror is simply to break it and use a new one!
Positive body image is a personal journey for every single woman, and please know that I’m here to support you in any way. Comment below if you need guidance, encouragement, or just want to say hi!