I hope you’re feeling light and peaceful today. There’s always a sense of peace for me when the sun starts to come out and shine on all our lives. I know being in the sun for a long time has some down sides, but I simply can’t help it. I’d like to say I want it to be 90 degrees everyday forever, but “the grass is always greener” Ya know?
Since it’s getting to that time of year where we’re going to start thinking about weekend beach trips, swimming, and being outside all the time, I figured we could talk about one of those things that sits in the back of our minds lingering in its own bubble…. body shame. I know it’s a hard time of the year for those of us who have had consistent struggles in our perception of our own bodies. Earlier this month, a photo of Khloe Kardashian broke the internet, I know I know. You don’t have to tell me. I’m really going to talk about body shame and the Kardashians at the same time.
This is real, okay follow me right… I swear I have a point. A photo was leaked earlier this month by one of Khloe’s assistants, and in Khloe’s words, this photo “wasn’t supposed to be seen by anybody”. The photo is a photo of Khloe (obviously) in a small bikini, but this isn’t why she was upset about it being leaked. She was upset because it wasn’t photoshopped and edited the way we usually see her body on social media. This struck a chord with me, not only because she was feeling shame about her real, human body. But because she wants to hide. I know that feeling.
The media poured out of our screens projects an impossible standard of beauty. This situation made me sad to read knowing that even huge celebrities that are normally worshipped for their beauty and their relationships with their body (the relationships they project on the internet for us to see and ingest) still have shame around their body. When in our Instagram follower reality, we look at these women as flawless, or at least as a societal standard. In no way am I blaming her for this shame, I hate to say it’s a natural thing but unfortunately it is natural in today’s world. I want to blame the world for the media that we ingest… When all it is, is very edited, curated, and filtered for us to compare our natural worlds with, creating insecurity in more things than just the way our bodies look.
I’m getting off topic, anyways… What I wanted to say about this story is that we needed that photo. I know personally that I needed to see a raw unfiltered photo of someone that is worshipped for their flawless form and in edited photos, seems to meet all our world’s impossible beauty standards. The pressure to be perfect will turn all of us inside out if we let it. In a world where most photos are polished before posted, it’s a lot more difficult to accept a “normal” (whatever that means) body.
For many summers before and especially first getting into recovery, I felt dreadful of the moment I’d have to be 1. Sober at the beach and 2. Sober while in my flawed vulnerable body in front of my loved ones. But my attitude has shifted. For the last couple years in my recovery journey, I’ve hyper focused on how I talk to myself and see my own body, and how I can shift the narrative of my itty-bitty committee in my head, to talk nicer to myself. To not put so much pressure on what I look like in a vulnerable form, but what it feels like to lay in the sun with my friends and enjoy the present moment. When photos are taken, trying not to ask if I can see it before anyone posts. To even start with acknowledging the shame that’s been built into society around a natural human body. It starts with acceptance, which might feel like a bit of a stagnant word, a word that there’s not much action behind, but it takes that acceptance to work towards what I really want…radical self-love. This is a lifelong journey, but to be able to enjoy the ride means trying not to judge myself on how slow or fast or which direction. I want to empower myself and folks that also have struggled with their beautiful bodies to be able to take these steps with me. We just must remember, one thing at a time.
Enjoy the sun 😊. I’ll talk to ya soon.