Dienstag, 16. Mai 2017

"Things that are wrong about me" - how my accident changed my outlook on my own body

On my latest Uni field trip with my Nature Conservancy class, I ended up talking with some of my collegues about body image and body positivity. It started for no particular reasons inbetween admiring rare plants and forest biodiversity, but all three of us mutually agreed that it still is socially looked down upon, when you cannot join in the circle of "things that are wrong about me".

Of course it makes me very happy to see that the general movement is going more and more into the direction of "we are all beautiful in our own way" rather than the oh so famous "you have to look this way, otherwise you are ugly" (which is a state of mind that was extremely popular when I was in Highschool and that I despise a lot) - the thing is though that even with said improvements, being self confident with your own body still tends to irritate (generally speaking) people more than self confidence in other areas like skills or work.
Maybe not so much in my own area of friend, but a whole lot with aquaintances or distant friends even. Being happy with the way you look and are is easily mistaken with vanity and indeed, there is a thin line between the two.

Thinking back to my 15, 20 - even 22 year old self - there has always been something I wished was different. The list of things that were wrong with me, according to myself, was seemingly endless and I literally had titled my Selfie-folder with "Me -.-".
Growing up as a rather athletic teenager it seems weird that I still had body issues and moments of crying in front of the mirror, but being buff wasn't really the stadard of beauty back then (oh gosh, it was the time where eating disorders started blooming again because the beauty ideal was pretty much as thin as you can possibly be). I can remember how I've had a constant hate relationship with my bigger than average thighs and the - what I called "inexistence of a waist".
I was very slim, but anything but petite, which was unfortunate, because being petite was the thing.

 It's in fact, a wee bit like biodiversity in nature, don't you think? Everything is different and that is what makes it so precious

I learnt to appreciate the way that I look over time and funny enough only started to miss my build when I had my accident and couldn't sport at all for a couple of years.
In a way, it was one of the best things that could have happened to me, although it was in fact one of the worst experiences in my life. Looking at how it changed me mentally, helped me to let go of some unhealthy patterns and starting to appreciate my body the way it is (also raising some self-awareness and taking me to a point where my greatest motivation for working out and eating healthy is not my fame or my looks, but my very own health). And nowadays, I can happily say that there is nothing wrong with my body at all.

To me it is sad that some people are so conflicted with their own bodies, that they cannot deal with someone who is at peace, but change come sfrom within.


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