Monday, June 18, 2007

Body Image Manifesto

We thought we were done with this. We thought we had learned, grown, evolved.


But...apparently not.

The Body Image Madness stops today.

We can run for 5 hours straight or power through a 5K faster than ever before. We can swim and swim and swim. We can power a machine up hill after hill using only the power of our legs and hearts and minds. And from this moment on, we will approach our bodies with gratitude for these things, for what they are and can do - instead of disdain for they are not.

We've been on this journey for many, many years and have come quite a long way. But still, even after all of this - the good feminist upbringing, the women's studies degree, the full multifaceted lives, the training, and the races - we still have those moments when it's our our stomachs that we're obsessing over and those times when we think our muscles should be more defined and those secret seconds when we wish the number on the scale or the dress tag was lower. And we hear our friends - athletes, cancer survivors, women of every size and shape who are changing the world every day in incredible ways - saying the same.

This year we've trained harder and with more focus and determination than ever before. We've approached food as both fun and fuel and our bodies have significantly changed as a result. And still....STILL, summer is once again here, we put on our bikinis, and see flaws.

It's insidious the way that the undulating self-worth that underlies this madness rots inside our otherwise confident core. It connects us to so many women - known and unknown -- and it connects us to the women living at Genesis Home.

We are all working to create lives of wholeness and meaning. For us, The Body Image Madness sneaks up and makes us think - just for a moment - that perhaps we are not already enough. For the women we know who are working to leave homelessness, it's a myriad of other issues that stops - just for a moment - the progress they have made in their own journeys.

We have had enough. And once again, it stops today.