A recent post on my blog drew a lot of attention and reaction. I would like to say thank you to each and every one of you who offered encouragement and bravely admitted to identifying with body image struggles. Your comments on this blog and on social media showed me that, without a doubt, we are all in this together.
The vulnerability that some of you showed after I showed that vulnerability myself led to others commenting and showing their vulnerability. It was truly moving.
It got me to thinking that support and camaraderie doesn’t have to stop in the comments section. So I’ve decided to leave an open-ended call for submissions to this blog. I’ve seen the power that sharing stories of struggles with and triumphs over negative body image can have, and some of you have definitely proven you’ve got a story to tell.
I know it sounds scary, and some of you may be sitting there thinking, “No one wants to hear what I have to say. I’ll just sound whiny. Or stupid. Or like a perfectionist. Or a snob. Or a worrier.”
Let me just say that that’s a HUGE lie to tell yourself. I had no idea that sharing my story would lift other people up who had been hiding in the shadows of shame over indulging in a high-caloric snack or of displeasure with a number on the scale. Yes, it was a little scary to know that I was showing a part of my psyche that most people don’t see, but when I did and saw that other people – men, women, young, old – shared with me privately or publicly their own issues, I didn’t feel scared.
I felt comforted. I felt assurance. Assurance that I’m not alone. Assurance that I don’t have to let my daily body image issues get the better of me.
So if you struggle with self-esteem related to your body or your appearance, no matter who you are or where you’re from or what you look like or whether or not you consider yourself a writer, I want the honor of serving as an outlet for you to share your story.
Maybe you’ve conquered a negative view or your body. Maybe you’re still in the throes of fear or embarrassment. Maybe you suffer from an eating disorder. Maybe you hit a milestone in your fitness goals. Maybe you’re a new mom and cry, wishing you could lose the baby fat. Maybe you went a whole day without sucking in your stomach. Whatever it is, I guarantee you it’s an important story because someone else is facing the same scenario right now.
Whether your story is inspiring, encouraging or simply confessional, it’s YOUR story. And that’s what makes it beautiful.
We’re all afraid to admit we’re not strong and not perfect because we’re “supposed” to appear strong and perfect. Let’s trash all that and just be us.
Let’s stop pretending we’re fine.
Let’s stop wondering if we’re the only ones who feel this way.
Please send inquiries or submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.