Woman’s body positive bikini message goes viral
Many women (and certainly many men) know what body shame feels like and understand the desire to hide your body.
Going to the beach and baring your body can feel more like torture than the chance to be liberated from the restraints of clothing.
One survey from earlier this year found that 70 per cent of women have moments of ‘hating’ their bodies every week.
Our bellies are the body part that make us the most uncomfortable with 82 per cent disliking their mid-section, while almost half (47 per cent) dislike their legs; 39 per cent are concerned with their arms or bum; and almost 37 per cent are unhappy with their skin.
One 21-year-old decided to confront her body shame in the most public and brave way.
Lesley Miller posted a photo of herself to body positive Facebook page, Love What Matters. Her moving post about her life-long struggle with shame and self acceptance has since gone viral with thousands sharing and posting messages of thanks.
“I’ve spent the past 18 years of my life waiting.
I kept my body covered up and hidden away. I told myself that one day I would finally let myself be seen; I would finally do all of the things I dreamed of when I was enough. Thin enough, happy enough, confident enough. When my body looked the way that it was ‘supposed’ to.
I fought my body every step of the way, continually ashamed and silent.
When I was 3, my classmates asked why I was so much bigger than them. Why I didn’t wear the same smock they did.
When I was 7, I lied to the lady at Weight Watchers, desperate to sit in on meetings full of middle-aged women trying to shed a few pounds.
When I was 9, I went to weight loss camp and stood in line the first week to take my “before” photo.
When I was 11, the surgeon cut into my stomach, and he told me how happy I would finally be. I was the youngest person to have weight loss surgery.
When I was 15, I started cutting into my own skin. I thought I deserved it.
When I was 20, I lost half my body weight in nine months, my worth for the day solely determined by the number on the scale being lower than the day before.
And then I got tired of waiting.
So now I’m 21 and I bought my first bikini. EVER.
You can see it all. Weird bulges and rolls of fat. Hanging excess skin. Stretch marks, cellulite, surgical and self-harm scars. Awkward protrusion on my abdomen from my lap band.
I want to learn to love all of myself, not just the parts I’ve been told are “acceptable.” Because the secret is, I was always enough. And you are too.”
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