I have fucking awesome friends. They are intelligent, deep, hilarious, and beautiful. They have another trait in common: they all want to lose weight.
Lately, this is a part of every hang out. Talking about wanting to “tone up” or “lose 5 pounds.” Every compliment seems to be met with “OMG I feel so gross I need to lose weight.” I mean, some of these women have 6 packs and they walk around saying stuff like this out loud, so I can only imagine what is going on in their heads.
This is no doubt the result of generations of social imprinting. We live in a patriarchal society, and although the paradigm is shifting, we are still dealing with rampant misogyny. Women did not even get the right to vote for CENTURIES after men, so you can see how we have been trained to think that our thoughts, opinions, and voices don’t matter. We were put here to serve men and bare children. Theres nothing wrong with either of those things! I love serving my husband and totally want to have kids! ALSO I want to be a sparkling, badass, unicorn DJ! Go me!
Along with the message that we are here to serve men comes the message that we should be sweet, quiet, pretty, and small. As small as possible. It seems like the more weight we have on us, the less value we have to society and therefore, ourselves. But we are women, and we are designed to have fat on us. Breasts, booty, and the extra padding that it takes to be able to safely transport new life into this world AKA create miracles with our precious bodies (if we so choose)! We fluctuate with the moon and the weather because we are deeply connected to the universe in ways that men will never understand.
Ever since you were given your first Barbie, you were given the message that beauty is a skeleton with big tits, blonde hair, and pale skin. Does this sound like something to strive for? FUCK NO!
From this early age, we are taught that beauty is this thing that exists outside of us, thus we are separated from it. We are fed a constant stream of intentionally curated messaging that we are not skinny enough, not pretty enough, and not enough in general. Empires are built on our self doubt. This becomes our inner monologue. That’s where shit gets really fucked up! (HELLO, BRAINWASHING!)
We watch TV and movies where the actors are flawlessly made up an airbrushed, we flip through magazines and drive by billboards where the models are photoshopped to inhuman extents, we scroll thru our feeds and compare ourselves to women in our social networks. Waist size, cup size, and number of likes over character, accomplishments, and how we impact the world. We fall into the trap of valuing what men see in us over how we feel about ourselves, again separating from our true power and potential. This is damaging on a personal level but also has a ripple affect on society as a whole. It teaches us that women are the competition. It keeps us separated and weak (divide and conquer much?). We are caught up in the petty minutia of other peoples opinions (which really have nothing to do with us but are just reflections of how much they like themselves) instead of exploring the glorious and infinite universe that lives within us! When we are deeply rooted in who we are, we open up the portal to connect with other powerful, grounded women. To create with them, to empower them, and to love them FOR (not in spite of) their different shapes, sizes, colors, ages, ideas, thoughts, humor and who the really fucking are. As scary as this might sound to men, it is exactly what they need.
When women get together, everybody wins. Look at the world we live in, it needs a goddamn woman’s touch. A force to speak up for children, animals, planet and ourselves of course! The magic that we are born with is the medicine that can heal the world. I believe this with all my being.
But we can’t act small. We can’t be starving ourselves or working out to the point of exhaustion. We need energy and strength if we want to change the world. This is a letter to my friends and everyone. I love you. I hear you. I see you. You’re perfect, fabulous and loved AF. The only reason I have any of this information to share is because I have you guys in my life. You are my best teachers. Let’s be the generation that shifts the narrative. Let’s accept compliments. Let’s be on the same team. Let’s eat, drink, and wear whatever bathing suit we want at the beach. Let’s start talking to ourselves in a kinder, gentler way. Let’s speak up. Let’s stop apologizing. Fuck shrinking, let’s grow! Because at the end of the day, "life is too short not to love the shit out of yourself." -Florence Given
You don't need to lose shit, baby. You're fine as hell just the way you are.
With maximum respect and all the love in my heart,
Art by Florence Given