Stand Up.

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IMG_7315After my last post on being confident and letting everyone else in the world be confident, too, I received a lot of positive feedback and people who have felt the same way. Like, why can’t women support each other, despite our different shapes and sizes?

Last night I received a screenshot of a thread on Facebook. It went like this:

Facebooker #1: “I don’t have a thigh gap. I’ve never had a thigh gap. I will never have a thigh gap. I’m ok with that. You should be too. Get over it & move on!

First 2 commenters: Leave uplifting, supportive responses telling facebooker # 1 that she is beautiful and loved.

Commenter #3: “Thigh gaps are for girls not women.”

This comment receives 2 likes at the point I receive this screenshot.

 

Well, this is my response:

Facebooker #1: I’m sorry if someone has made you feel thigh gaps are of any importance. And hallelujah for accepting your body! Loving yourself is far greater and satisfying than dwelling on what men, women, or media tell us.

First 2 commenters: What lovely friends. It’s encouraging to see women respond with compassion.

Commenter #3 and all the people who agree with this comment or ‘liked’ it: Yuck. Did demeaning women with thigh gaps make you feel better? Did it take away our God-given strength and beauty of being a woman because our legs don’t touch?

My thighs don’t touch. I have a thigh gap. And now me and everyone like me is suddenly labeled a girl instead of a woman?

This body of mine has birthed a child straight out of my vagina and my body healed.

I’ve had another baby cut out of me and my body healed.

I have fed both my children from my breasts, with boobs that exploded to be significantly larger than my baby’s head. (Take that boys who publicly named me president of the itty bitty titty committee in Sunday School as a youth. Yeah I cried for weeks over that.) And my body healed.

I can get on my spin bike and sweat from every pore, rip every muscle while working out. And my body heals.

I’ve had blistered feet, sliced fingers, gashed shins, and bruises galore from hard work. And my body always heals.

This body God has given me is amazing. And it does not belong to a girl. It belongs to a woman.

And what about girls? What if young girls see that disgusting comment?

When I was in 7th grade, my mom started me on doctor prescribed fat shakes that she would make with ice cream instead of milk. I would drink one of these once or twice every day. In addition, my mom would make me a baked potato and put all kinds of crap on it because someone told her it would help me gain weight (no idea if this holds any truth because I certainly didn’t gain any weight).

Do you think my mom did this because she didn’t think I was pretty enough?

No. My mom thought I was beautiful, just as I was, and reminded me often. She did this to stop my tears. She did it because she understood what I was going through at school. My confident mother, who’s beauty everyone admires, knew what I was going through from her own childhood.

What kind of cycle are we continuing? If your child is overweight, will you tell them that they will never be looked at like a real woman because they are fat? If your child is underweight, will you tell them they will never be looked at like a real woman because they are so skinny? No.  And it won’t just be because we love them, it will be because we genuinely think our children are beautiful, despite their size, and we hope and dream that the world will see them the same way we do. Right?

So yeah, what if a young girl sees that disgusting comment? What if she takes it to heart? That size is what makes you a real woman? Is that how you want children to think? Is that how you want a delicate, thin girl to feel about herself as she unknowingly becomes a woman?

Think about what you say before you say it. And have some compassion and love towards all women. Because we all need each other.

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