Written for NOW’s annual "Love Your Body Day" blog carnival.
Poor body image has become something that many people now almost assume that nearly all girls and women have. Why? It’s true that there are a lot of people dealing with a less-than-accepting view of their physical form, but what is the consequence of assuming that most or all women and girls want to change something about the way their body looks or moves? I think when the idea of being dissatisfied with your body saturates our media, marketing, and discourse, it makes disliking your body seem normal.
Being constantly surrounded by advertisers offering people ways to improve the look and function of their body, they begin to believe there’s something about them that needs changing. And when someone enjoys their body the way it is, they shouldn’t feel pressured to find a feature that isn’t someone else’s definition of perfect. We need to change the mentality of looking for what’s wrong with our body to loving what’s right with it. It’s about taking ownership of our body and valuing it as it is more so than the opinions of those who only see its value in its ability to be manipulated.
When we think our body isn’t perfect, we have to stop and ask ourselves whose standards we are judging ourselves by and what the intentions are of those who are trying to change us. We are the ones who have ownership of our body, and when we know that we look good we have the right to take pride and pleasure in it. All of us deserve to assume that when we look in the mirror we will like the person smiling back.