I have a theory: in order to change the way our children feel about their bodies, we have to change the way we feel about ours.
The word is out that we are doing more harm than good through dieting and idealizing thinness, and we have been doing so for decades. The scary truth is that our children, young women, men, and mature adults everywhere are still struggling with body image.
As this issue has smattered itself all throughout my life (read about my body image challenges here), I think about it often. I wonder what it takes to change the thinking of the adult mind so that we can transfer a new thought pattern on to the minds of our growing children. If we think about connecting ourselves to the earth and to our innate necessity for food, there is no place for such distorted views of body image. Our sizes vary as humans, just as our minds, emotions and genetic makeup.
How strong our body is, though, that’s up to us.
What we do every single day matters. What we eat, how we move or don’t move, how we behave, and what we model. If, as a society, we began to idealize strength as an attractive attribute as opposed to thinness, could we send the growing generations down a much more promising path to wellness? I wonder.
Just to be clear, I don’t mean bulging biceps and rippling pecs here, just simple strength: in being, in body, in mind, in creative energy, and in kindness.
And maintaining a strong body is a crucial aspect of thriving health and disease-prevention.
What if, instead of starving to be thin, our growing children were striving to be strong? We may overhear a different kind of language in the playground and on the street? We may hear:
“I wish I was strong-er, look how beautiful that strong woman is, let’s get on a get-strong diet or I’m going to change how I live and eat so that I can be strong”.
And it will likely have to begin with you.
So, my lovely friends and parents of all shapes and sizes: let’s begin a conversation about strength and aim to teach our impressionable young people about its beauty and its incredible power.
It’s time to kick skinny’s butt and make room for a generation of stronger bodies.
Need inspiration? Read this