Men. Stop Body Shaming Us.
They were slight, often “joking” derogatory comments…I’d respond with silence, or defence, or sometimes laughter to cloak my humiliation.
“You’re too skinny.”
“Your boobs are so little.”
“I’ve never met any other women with pubic hair.”
“You need to work out.”
Your version may be different from mine but I’m sure you can relate to insinuated put-downs from lovers, boyfriends, husbands, or from yourself. Subtle or maybe not so subtle.
I called a friend to complain about the latest I’d heard from an ex-boyfriend after he confessed that he desires women that fit into his porn-fantasy; women with big breasts, tiny waists, and no pubic hair. He isn’t the first man I’m hearing this from.
In the back of his mind he was craving something else. I’m not talking about fantasies here. I’m speaking about the inability to sustain an attraction to something that’s not his conditioned ideal. Admittedly the conditioning is mostly from porn and media.
I haven’t had a television for years but I’m no stranger to the exhausting and unattainable air brushed, computer generated images that we’re bombarded with constantly, daily. Even women with good self-esteem are up against an avalanche of comparison and messages of not good enough or, not something enough.
I’ve always had a fairly healthy body-image and mostly I just want to feel vibrant after a decade long auto-immune condition. Sure, I want to be attractive to the man I’m with and until recently assumed that if there was a connection and good love-making, that he actually was into me sexually and that I didturn him on.
As women, how can we ever measure up?
Most of the women I know are doing their damnedest to take care of their kids, get to their job, cook healthy meals, exercise a bit, and still have some energy not just for their partner but for themselves too. Living up to some perky-breasted-Brazilian-waxed-ideal isn’t even in the realm of priorities or possibility for many women.
What’s your “not enough?”
If I’m totally honest, I’m noticing my confidence wane slightly as I age. I feel my skin dry and beginning to droop. The lines on my face expose my age. My ass isn’t tight and I do seem to be growing more hair in more places then I ever have. To have this confirmed by men amplifies my feeling of less than, of no longer having the ability to attract a man and feel sexy in my own skin.
I can definitely go there mentally when I’m not feeling resourced and full of vitality. When I’m in my natural state of Wholeness I see and feel my power and source it internally. I need no man to lift me up and he certainly can’t tear me down with any demeaning comments. I know my worth and beauty as a woman.
All women are beautiful—all creatures are designed perfectly for the existence they came here to fulfill. I’m so committed to living from my perspective of Wholeness and radical self-acceptance; pubic hair and all.
What about you?
What will it take to dissolve our own body shaming, ladies? What will it take to teach our men how to be present with us and fully see us, no matter what size or shape we are in (I understand I’m generalizing. I’m not speaking about all men here.)?
This body is constantly changing. It will get old. It will eventually be dust. It won’t matter what size waist or tits we had.
Every day that passes I recognize I am one day closer to not being here any more. HowI spend my time here and how I feel is more important to me than how I look.
But some days, I fight the battle of not enough-ness. I know you do too.
Let’s make a pact. Let’s commit to celebrating ourselves as our messy, imperfectly-perfect, sexy, loving, and vulnerable selves that we are. Let’s remember the truth of who we are. We are friggin’ manifestations of Divinity! Tapping into Source energy plugs us back into that remembrance.
Practicing self-acceptance despite all of the internal and external noise that may be screaming something else, is essential. Let’s be a bit more forgiving to ourselves and others—men and women, ‘cause we’re all in this together.
Beautifully said Melanie. Grateful for the reminder to embrace deeply total self acceptance. Namaste
Yes! Blessings, Melanie
If a boyfriend shames you about yourself…..leave!
That’s a good standard to hold!
Light ahead, Melanie
Wow, love this Melanie!
Thank you for putting into words, the very thoughts of so many of us women who deal with this “not enough” syndrome in our lives every daily.
I’m becoming more aware of the external sources of this, as I feel I grew up thinking these comments from men and even other women were normal.
I recently asked my husband of 20 years to stop commenting on my weight etc. After so long, I finally realized how demeaning these comments felt, and the inner dialogue that would insue. I don’t believe his intention was ill, but the affect is a slow burn of self esteem and “not enough”.
You mentioned the INNER dialogue as well. This has been one of my worst enemies in the past, and something I’m vigilant about practicing and teaching to my clients everyday.
I realize that I’ve been far more demeaning and critical of myself than anyone else could ever be. Changing that inner dialogue is so vitally important to achieving a happy whole life!
I celebrate with you our messy, imperfectly-perfect, sexy, loving, vulnerable selves!
And to remembering the truth of who we are!
I so appreciate you sharing your thoughts and experiences. And how powerful that you’ve requested that your husband not comment on your weight. I agree, it’s the “slow burn” effect combined with both external and internal degrading voices and beliefs.
I love your willingness to change the inner dialogue, this is where our power lies.
Here’s to you and your deep love of self taking more and more mental real estate to remember the truth of who you are.
So much love to you.