Mireille's Journey To Health

REAL, FRUGAL, HEALTHY, and FUN!!!

Time For A Change – Poor Body Image, Body Shaming, Unrealistic Emphasis on Perfection

It’s the beginning of another blogging course.  Our first assignment is to just let ourselves write freely for 20 minutes, and not necessarily write about a well thought out subject, but to let our mind go, and just write.

A time to reflect

broken mirror

As I sit here and think about my blogging experiences thus far, there is something that has constantly weighed on my mind.  Something that absolutely upsets me to my core.  A real problem that needs to be fixed.

I was terrified to share my story

When I wrote my first blog post, “Welcome To My Blog,”  I was so scared to hit publish.  I had written about such a dark part of my life.  I shared more about my struggles with body-image issues than I ever have.  I wrote that blog post, and it was very freeing and liberating to express it in writing.  However, hitting publish meant sharing it publicly on the World Wide Web!  It meant opening myself up to judgment.  Well, I hit publish, took a big breath, thought “Oh no!  What did  I just do?”  Well, I knew for my blog to be seen by anyone, I’d have to share it with people that I knew, for starters.  Ultimately, I did want people to see my blog because ultimately, I wanted it to be a source of information, inspiration, and motivation for people getting started on a healthy lifestyle.  I didn’t intend to share so much about my dark past, but that’s where my thoughts took me, so that’s what I wrote.  A short while after publishing my post, I convinced myself to share it on my Facebook page.  Within an hour of sharing the link on Facebook, my childhood best friend, whom I have not seen in 20 years, messaged me privately.  She said that she went through the same thing.  She was the first of so many!  I’ve had  so many people tell me they felt like they were reading about themselves.  It’s mind-blowing and it is devastating.  It’s no wonder, with a lack of education and an emphasis on “perfection” (not necessarily real perfection, but what is presented in pictures everywhere).

The media can be cruel

The standards are extremely high and the put downs, if you don’t meet the standards, are heartbreaking.  My Facebook feed, lately, has been so full of body shaming and poor body image issues.  There’s Kelly Clarkson who is being called out very negatively for weight gain.  Then, there’s Giuliana Rancic who is catching so much grief for her small frame.  I’ve seen at least 5 posts about each of them, everyday, for the past 3 days!  That’s crazy!  I’ve seen tons of other posts about other body image concerns and negative perceptions, as well.  Those just happen to be the two well-known celebrities I’ve seen lately.  It’s not just on Facebook either.  It’s in the tabloids, in schools, and on TV.  This is not ok!

Promote the positive

Something needs to be done! In this world where body shaming is so prevalent, poor body image is so common, and perfection is the standard, it’s hard for anyone to truly love themself as they are.  I want to see change.  I want to be a part of the change.  It’s hard to know where to start.  I wrote a poem, not long ago, entitled, “To Change The Way You See Yourself.”  It’s about learning to love yourself.  I’ve tried to share it as much as possible.  I’d love it if you would, too, in addition to anything else that promotes a positive body image.  I’d love the focus to turn to the beauty of a person’s heart and overall health.

Change through schools

I feel like there is not enough emphasis on inner beauty or education on proper healthy living in schools.  I’m 30 years-old, so it’s been a minute since I was in school, and I can only hope things have improved.  I’ve been very impressed with the anti-bullying campaign at my boys’ elementary school.  It doesn’t really address body shaming yet, but I think it’s because they don’t care about a persons’ size or shape.  They love people for who they are.  I don’t know if it’s as a result of the anti-bullying campaign, or if it’s because they’re still pretty young.  I’m hopeful that they will continue to love people for who they are.

Room for improvement

I can only hope improvements have been made to nutritional and physical education, as well.  Mine was beyond basic.  In 7th grade we had a health class.  So many topics were covered, there wasn’t time enough to get a full education on any of it.  Each chapter was another major topic and could easily have been it’s own yearlong course.  Nutrition was covered in one or two chapters.  There was not another health class until 10th grade.  The 10th grade health class was just a repeat of the 7th grade health class.  Physical education was only required one semester each year from middle school through 10th grade, and you were not taught about what you were doing and how it benefit you.  A lot of times you would just run laps at your own pace or play a silly game.   After 10th grade it wasn’t even a required class.

Teach them how

I would love to see more emphasis on nutrition education in schools.  I feel like it should cover navigating a grocery store to find healthy foods.  I feel like it should cover protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, their purposes, and which foods are good sources.  I also feel like it should cover how to prepare simple healthy meals.  Basically, giving students a concrete understanding of how to eat healthy so that they know what to do and how to do it when they are on their own.

Teach them why

I feel like physical education should be required yearlong, every year.  I think it should not only be a class where you exercise, but learn about what different exercises do for your body.  Teach them why they need to exercise.  I feel like the classes should help educate the students so that they know how to put together their own exercise programs for healthy living.

A healthier future

Maybe with a better understanding of healthy living, there would be a greater appreciation for the healthy body, and all of the shapes and sizes it comes in.  Maybe then there’d be less body shaming.  Maybe then there’d be less people struggling with poor body image.  I can only hope.

For more on this topic:

Read my personal story, here.

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8 comments on “Time For A Change – Poor Body Image, Body Shaming, Unrealistic Emphasis on Perfection

  1. Pekebun
    April 6, 2015

    Cruel body shaming is a trade & is used by cold-hearted critics to appear knowledgeable & gain fame. I was a chubby teen with “puppy fat” who was constantly humiliated to tears. I know the pain. I hope many will get to read your blog & learn to help instead of plain cruel shaming for their own fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mireillesjourneytohealth
      April 6, 2015

      Thank you! Yeah, i just hate seeing body shaming. We’re already our own worst critics, so the last thingwe neex is other people putting us down.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Margret
    April 6, 2015

    I work at the school cafeteria. I’m the cook and I can tell you that here in North Dakota the food is healthy but the only problem we have is the parents who thinks its not our job to feed them with healthy food. They get very mad at us and we just following the government program. I hope parents will understand the important of healthy food. I love your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mireillesjourneytohealth
      April 6, 2015

      Yes, the food served in schools has come a long way. I went to elementary school in Canada, a very long time ago, and the food was so far from healthy. Hopefully it has improved! When I moved to the states in 6th grade we served a more well-rounded lunch. In middle school and high school, there were healthy options, but there were just as many unhealthy options. This is why I feel so strongly about educating students about nutrition and not just handing them healthy food. It’s because in the real world they have a choice between eating healtht and not. If we educate them, maybe more would make the healthy choice.

      Like

  3. Karen
    April 7, 2015

    I believe the First Lady has put an emphasis on healthy school lunches and she is the first to grow a vegetable garden as soon as got into the Whitehouse. It is a start.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mireillesjourneytohealth
      April 7, 2015

      Yeah I’m pretty excited about it. I’d like to see her do more. Glad that she sees the problem and is trying to fix it.

      Like

  4. Ashley
    April 8, 2015

    Great post! Xo

    Like

  5. Pingback: Letter From A Child – Poem | Mireille's Journey To Health

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