How to get a beach body: you already have one. Like many teen girls, I struggled with negative body image. I was a little overweight, not a lot, but Twiggy shot onto the scene when I was about 11 (and she was all of 16). All my friends envied her and some of us starved ourselves trying to get model thin.
I had anorexia from about age 13 to 17. That is not Twiggy’s fault; it’s complicated as hell, as all mental disorders are. But I hated, hated my body all through my teen years, whether is was a little overweight or dramatically thin. Going shopping for a bathing suit was pure hell.
From the About Face site:
“Since 1997, About-Face has taught girls to understand and question their media environment, including unrealistic beauty ideals that leave so many women worried about taking off their swimsuit cover-up so they can hop in the pool and have fun with their friends and families.
Young women are feeling a lot of pain, fear, and anxiety in dressing rooms all over the United States, where they’re trying on swimsuits, shorts, dresses, and all kinds of other clothes. What will they miss out on?”
While the site is targeted at young women suffering from poor body image, it has a positive message for us all. Beauty comes at every size and every age. Don’t miss out on all the good stuff because your body doesn’t meet the media’s and culture’s narrow definitions. To my friends over 50: wear a bikini if you want to! And post a pic and be proud.
“And I said to my body softly, ‘I want to be your friend.’ It took a long breath and replied, ‘I have been waiting my whole life for this.”-Nayyirah Waheed
In related bikini news, Mekayla Diehl, Miss Indiana, received praise and attention for having a “normal” body, rather than an unnaturally starved look. (Some women are naturally thin, but beauty pageants abound with women who’ve gone hungry to look “perfect.”)
I think she’s gorgeous, of course. And while she is “normal” (like the rest of us with bodies) she’s far from the “average” U.S. woman’s body (about 5’4″ and 170 pounds, according to Centers for Disease Control). So congrats to her, and please – when can we be done with beauty pageants altogether?
Have you made progress over the years with loving your own body size and shape? Let’s roll into our senior years full of compassion for our magnificent bodies that do so much for us.
Stay fabulous and safe, wash and wash and wash (your hands), xo
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