Friday, October 10, 2014

My Thoughts on Body Image--Now that I Have a Daughter

Body image is one of my favorite things to reflect on. It was no surprise that when I had a daughter my reflection changed from thinking about myself to thinking about myself and her. Everything that affects my body image is something I think about when it comes to her...

Would I want her to feel that way ever?
Would I want her to do that?
Would I want her to say that?
Would I want her to see that?

I've tried to write this post a million times...and every time I get teary eyed just starting it. It's so hard. The only way to really communicate is to write my daughter a letter.


Dear JaiseAnn,

From the moment you were born, I have been amazed at your complete perfection. I had asked Misty to come up and take pictures of you and all of your tiny details (your little hands with ten fingers and feet with ten toes, your ears, your head, all of you) before you were even born. Once you arrived, I felt desperate to capture those little things. I felt this tug between "Look at her perfect body!" and "Look at what my body did!" I was truly amazed by your perfect little body. And honestly, I was also amazed by mine.

Some days I worry about this world I brought you into and other days I am excited to see you face it head on. You are strong and while that will certainly provide your dad and I with a number of challenges now, I will take those challenges any day if it gives you the ability to fight this world. There will be a lot of things for you to fight. You will have to fight for right in a world that has stopped believing in "right or wrong." But you will also have to fight for you and your body in a world that will constantly be telling you that you are not enough.

I pray you will have the wisdom to understand. The world's concept of a perfect body is ever-changing. Just like ever-changing technology. Just like Mac users buying a new iPhone every year, you'll constantly be finding things that need to change about yourself--if you buy into the world's concept of perfection.

The world is ever-changing and God is unchanging. And you, little girl, are God's creation. Don't you ever forget that.Your body was made with an exact purpose in mind. Everything and part of you was intentionally made. If you lose sight of this truth, you will go around chasing after numbers that don't matter and images that quickly lose popularity.

Everyone has a different body and everyone has a different story. People will look different than you and for different reasons. Sometimes bodies are a result of choices and sometimes they aren't...at least not entirely. We should always take care of our bodies, our minds, and our spirits.  I hope that you respect your own body and you respect others--no matter their size or shape. I pray that you continue to understand that everyone has a different story.

I wish I could give you all the love I have for you and all the amazement that I felt the moment I laid eyes on you so that you could feel it for yourself.  Since I cannot do that, I am instead going to teach you to marvel at all the things your body can do and does. I am going to teach you to look at what you have and be happy with it. I will teach you to love yourself.

This love, though, it cannot come from a pants size, a weight on the scale, or even a race that you ran. Instead, it has to come from somewhere else, a place that very few people actually manage to get. A place that very few even know exists. It will have to come from a knowledge of who you are and your purpose in this life. It will have to come from being grateful for every part of yourself. Even the parts that others criticize. Even the parts you are trying to change.

Again, you are God's creation. He gave you your body for a specific purpose and reason. If you remember that..and focus on that..you cannot go wrong. 

I loved you before I met you. When I first saw you, I fell into a love that I cannot explain. I want more than anything for you to know your worth and to know where it comes from.

You are enough. You are always enough.

Love,
Your Mom

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