Let’s take it back.
It's 2001. I sit at a cafeteria lunch table, pushing my food round on my plate as I stare at my 5’0 - 92 pound friend. I decide to skip this meal...and maybe dinner. All I've ever wanted to do, is be the cute skinny girl. I’m 5’3” 120 pounds...I'm only 12. I’m in the 6th grade. One of the only girls in my class with boobs and a body. I will do anything to be “ tiny” or be a flyer, instead of the stacked base on the cheerleading team.
Fast forward, what feels like a million years, to my 30’s. As I work on a perfect 17 year old face for prom…. I listen to the challenges they face. I think about when my life seemed so complex at that age and appreciate the stress they feel. College. Fitting in. None of it is easy. I reminisce on my first heart-break, the first time a friend turned on me, and fighting for that boys attention. It’s all so raw at the time and so hard to process….
Then, I count my lucky stars because so much of it, I didn't combat. Some, are being bullied on social media. Some, made a mistake while partying and now theres documentation of it on Instagram. They are terrified of doing or saying anything stupid that can be misconstrued and will affect them getting a job one day.
I cringe at the thought of it. Trust me, I am a put together mom of 2, but I did plenty of stupid shit. If there was as much “ web” activity 15 years ago as there is now….I would have moved to Alaska and changed my name.
My generation (the early to late 30’s) just missed all of this.
What are we talking about here?
Let’s glance at this generation. The current teens.
They are already a VP of a brand, and that brand is, themselves. They’ve had to know how to represent themselves since they were old enough to have a smart-phone. They’ve grown up being “famous” in their own towns. Everyone knows what they’re doing. Everyone knows what they are playing. Everyone knows if they’re a good student...thank you mom and dad for posting on facebook (guilty).
Whats my point???
The young woman of today... are starting to flip the script. They are using their power….of social media voice for positive reinforcement. They’ve learned how to be diplomatically correct way earlier than I did...they didn't have a choice. They’ve learned how to speak their current truth...and are okay with that changing. They accept adolescence and don't apologize for it. They embrace themselves and who they are. Most importantly, more and more young women are changing how we quantify a “ beautiful woman”.
16. Beautiful. Strong as hell. She’s never been the “tiny” girl and she doesn’t care to be….especially now that she’s been inducted into “The 400 club”. That’s right. 3 lifts, equalling to 400 pounds.
I saw Alex, at the gym one day…..in the zone. Dead-lifting. In a deep sweat. Hair NOT DONE. NO MAKEUP on. Looking beautiful as ever. PROUD OF HER STRENGTH...and even more, building it. Not hiding at the gym behind a face of makeup… a crop top and see-through leggings. Not flirting. Shit...not even making eye contact. It was her time. Her and her body….that she is proud of.
I looked at her….and all I could think was, “THAT! That’s what I want my girls to look up to!!!!!” A REAL woman, a PROUD woman. A BEAUTIFUL woman, a STRONG woman. And then, this blog.
Let’s break the internet with positive body influence.
Less structural changes with surgery.
Less false illusions of what we “ should look like”.
Less starving ourselves.
Less trying to be what the media tells us to be, and more ourselves.
Most importantly….let’s keep teaching it at home.
Let’s take a second to stop and thank this incoming generation of women for changing the game and leading the way for the babies following them.
Thanks, you little bad-asses. You are admired.
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