October 18 is 2007's "Love Your Body" day. If real change happens when people act locally, acting on a personal level is a great place to start. We can sit around and complain about media assaults on body image and self-esteem, or we can look a little closer at our own actions, feelings, and attitudes.
How often do you bond with girlfriends by bitching about your weight, or make embarrassed excuses at parties for taking second helpings, or think to yourself If I could just lose X pounds, he'll love me/I'll be more popular/life will be grand? Have you not forgiven yourself for not looking the same as, or better than, you did before the baby? Is your self-worth tied to the size tag on your jeans?
Honey, it's not worth it! Not only does negative thinking make you feel and come across as unpleasant and a bit depressing, but life is to be lived. Now. Not five, or fifteen, or fifty pounds from now.
Here are some great resources, and food for thought.
Shape of a Mother - a website for sharing, and demystifying, the post-pregnancy changes to women's bodies.
Jessica Weiner - a self-described "actionist" whose message includes the admonition to stop talking the Language of Fat.
The Good Body - a book of frank, personal, and often poignant essays dealing with self image as it relates to physical appearance.
Also, to celebrate the day and the beautiful variety of shapes and sizes and weights of women, a quote I just love:
"...confidence...is very sexy. I believe it's better to be with a woman who has a big butt but thinks it's a small butt than a woman with a small butt who thinks it's big."Tom Arnold, "How I Lost 5 Pounds in 6 Years"
Speaking of body image, I saw a T-shirt in the infant and toddler department recently. Lovely little pink thing with sparkly letters, which spelled out: "Does this diaper make my butt look big?" It was funny, but then...it wasn't.
Go look in a mirror. And if you can't bring yourself to smile, at least try not to frown. It's a step.