Today’s mindful rant is a gentle reminder to stay body positive (even when the media makes it so very hard to do).
I was inspired to write this message earlier this month when my postpartum support belt arrived in the mail.
A postpartum support belt is a waist and pelvic girdle that supports the abdominals and back in the weeks following childbirth. I anticipate that I will be wearing it under an oversized t-shirt (probably paired with a stretched-out pair of Nate’s elasticized boxer shorts).
This product is not meant to be sexy, look sexy, or even make me feel sexy. It’s purely functional.
So why is it, I wonder, that the company deemed it appropriate to use the following image in their instruction booklet?
I mean, come on!!
Personally, I’ve never had a body shape like this woman, but more to the point, NO-ONE looks like this in the days and weeks following delivery.
It’s so ridiculous that I had to laugh…
But for some women, this wouldn’t seem so funny. For those who haven’t strengthened their self-love muscle, this image could crush their confidence.
And it’s just one example.
Every day the media exposes us to posed, filtered, airbrushed, and unrealistic media images that have the potential to make us feel less-than.
They come from social media, advertising, and magazines, and they challenge our best efforts to feel body-positive and lifestyle-proud.
These images make us think we should look a different way (a sexy postpartum mama, perhaps), or live a different way, and sometimes they ignore us altogether.
Many of my readers and clients are women over 40 who have a keen interest in wellness, lifestyle, and self-love. But when I flick through the pages of health and fitness magazines, it is RARE that I see a female model over 40, nor do I read workout programs, nutritional advice or lifestyle recommendations designed for peri-, post-, or menopausal women.
(These absences are even somewhat noticeable in magazines geared toward this demographic — your demographic, perhaps — and I don’t know why.)
We can’t wait for the media to change. If your sick of not seeing yourself authentically and inspirationally represented, it’s up to you to take action.
Here’s what you can do:
- Write to the publication and tell them what you think
- Unfollow social media accounts or unsubscribe from magazines that don’t make you feel good about yourself
- Practice radical authenticity and wholeheartedly embrace your beautiful self
- Pay genuine compliments to other women (a rising tide lifts all ships)
- Support brands that support you. For example, Dove marketing campaigns tend to represent a variety of female body types. And BOOM By Cindy Joseph has a beautiful range of skincare that promotes pro-aging rather than anti-aging.
- Laugh it off, throw it out, shut it down, and pay attention to the life you ARE living and the body you SHOULD BE loving, rather than trying to attain one falsely depicted in the pages of a glossy magazine
- Practice self-love, every single day
And as always, let me know how you do!