Recently on social media, I've seen posts regarding "plus size" models getting attention for their breakthroughs in mainstream media outlets. For instance, Playboy is reportedly featuring "plus size" model Ashley Graham in an ad within its swimsuit edition, and Tess Munster is making headlines for recently being signed to a major modeling contract despite being a size 22.
I also recently finished reading Dr. Brene Brown's book entitled "The Gifts of Imperfection". She appeals to all of us that struggle with body image as well as "perfectionists" of any kind. Her description of "perfectionism self talk" is what all of us have probably said to ourselves at one time or another (I won't even rewrite it here because I'm sure you can imagine your own perfectionism self talk). Instead, she encourages "Healthy-Striving Self Talk" as in the following excerpt: "I want this for me. I want to feel better and be healthier. The scale doesn't dictate if I'm loved and accepted. If I believe that I'm worthy of love and respect now, I will invite courage, compassion, and connection into my life..." (She shows throughout the book how "connection" is mandatory for "love".)
Ms. Graham and Ms. Munster are courageous for bucking the system. In doing so, they help to foster compassion in us because we can look at them and their success and say "hey! If they can be happy with their bodies then so can I!" They make a connection to us with their courage.
These women are reminding us that the media has been and continues to be very invested in making all of us feel "less than" so that we will buy their products and never quite achieve the perfect bliss that they dangle in front of us, assuring us that our happiness is waiting right behind that size 4 figure. These ladies are saying "nope! I don't have to be a size 4 to be happy--I'm gonna be happy right now!" This is not a message the media wants out there, so this is why these women and others like them are garnering such attention!
Please don't get me wrong--there's nothing wrong with working out, eating healthfully and wearing clothing that makes us feel beautiful, but we need to look at the reasons we're doing all this work... is it just so we can be happy (when its all over?) We need to remember that despite our size, we are worthy of happiness right now--despite what the media is implying by featuring size 2 and smaller models or worse, taking these slim ladies and making them EVEN SLIMMER... don't even get me started on the whole Photoshop issue!
I recommend taking an assessment of yourself each day--not stepping on the scale and deciding whether that number says you're worthy or not--but an assessment of what you NEED today. Maybe you're trying to exercise more because your doctor recommended it or your therapist said it will help your mental health (it will). So find an exercise that you LIKE and do it! I don't care if you're a size 2 or 12 or 22! You are worthy of happiness, respect, and admiration! You are worthy right now! Be courageous and buck the system! Invite compassion in yourself and those who see you! Invite connection (love) into your life!
Read more about Tess Muster on her blog: http://tessmunster.com/index.html
Read more about Dr. Brown's book on Amazon: http://smile.amazon.com/Gifts-Imperfection-Think-Supposed-Embrace-ebook/dp/B00BS03LL6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424825653&sr=8-1&keywords=gifts+of+imperfection