Melanie Greeke took time out of her busy schedule of wrestling her three lovely children to write an inspiring piece on body image that I'd like to share here.
As women, we are told how to look, what we have to do to achieve this look, and how inadequate we are if we fall short. This irritates the absolute shit out of me.
Women in a size small have a hard time finding clothes and feel fat in a swimsuit. Why? Because the media has given us unreal expectations of what a female body should look like. Size small? Not small enough. Super-model size thin? Too thin! Eat something, you skinny bitch. Size 10? "You'd feel so much better if you were a size 8." Size 20? "You have such a pretty face, I don't understand why you don't lose the weight!"
Because fuck you, that's why.
I had gastric bypass in August 2010 in an attempt to prolong my life because my weight and family history were leading me down a road I didn't want to travel, with two little girls who needed their mom to be healthy.
I didn't have gastric bypass to be skinny; I didn't do it to look sexy. I did it to improve my health for my children. And it worked.
But, even after gastric bypass and losing weight, I still feel the need to hide my thinner body. Oh no, the extra skin on my arms is unappealing to some! Oh no, stretch marks!
Melanie, stop it. Your insecurities are ridiculous. Let it go. You are absolutely the only one who cares enough to notice how much your "bingo wings" jiggle when you gesture your hands...and even if people do notice, who cares? You know that shit is jiggling, too. Nothing to be ashamed of here.
So, I'm paving a new way for myself, and hopefully my daughters. We are going to love ourselves unconditionally. We will not engage in body talk or body hate. If we are feeling like there is room for improvement, we will improve, but no more standing in front of a mirror crying because skinny jeans make my thick Portuguese thighs look like sausages! No more will I allow the media to try to bamboozle me into thinking I'm anything less than absolutely spectacular. I'm going to love me for me. If I feel I need to change, I'm going to do it by myself and for myself. No man, woman, or TV personality will tell me what I need to look like.