I think that one of the most damaging, despicable and erroneous messages that the diet industry uses to sell us their products that don’t work, is that unless we’re thin, we will never be enough. Our lives will never be enough, our accomplishments will never be enough.
Sure you won a Grammy for your first CD and an Oscar for your first film, but are you thin? You’re the governor of a state and people want you to run for President, but are you thin? You’re thin now so we expect you to maintain that obsessively so that you are never not thin. You eat nourishing foods and move your body regularly, but are you thin? You’re a great mother but are you thin? You’re a successful business person but are you thin? You’re 4 years old but are you thin? You’re 94 years old but are you thin? You cured cancer but are you thin?
Let’s take a moment to consider that this is an artificial construct. That being thin is only valuable because of what our culture values at this time. The body size that is culturally valuable has been different at different times, and currently varies tremendously in different cultures and under different circumstances.
Let’s also be honest that if our body doesn’t match the ideal body for the culture and time in which we live, that can well and truly suck. We have some options: we can try to change our bodies, we can try to change the culture, or we can live outside it (somewhere on the spectrum from deliriously happy to miserable). But I’d like us to consider something. Consider that doing any of those things doesn’t change one simple thing: We are, each of us, already enough. Our intrinsic value is already beyond measure and, though we can forget that or try to profess it away, our inherent amazingness cannot be diminished by an arbitrary cultural stereotype of beauty, or an industry that seeks to make us hate ourselves so that we buy their useless products.
Consider that we are not more valuable if there is less of us, or less valuable if there is more of us.
Imagine what our society would be like if we realized the value of all bodies. If we expanded the concept of beautiful people to include everyone, thus rendering it both ultimately powerful, and completely powerless. Imagine how different our lives would be if we understood that comparing our body to anyone else’s is complete folly- as ridiculous as looking at two snowflakes and suggesting that one is more beautiful.
How would our lives be different, how would we use our time, energy, and money if we realized this one simple truth: We are enough already.
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