The other night while having dinner with some friends, the topic of Summer came up; from going to Airshows, wearing shorts and t-shirts to going to the beach and beachwear. All was going just fine, until the dreaded "swimsuit" issue came up. I didn't realized that for some people, specially women, this is a BIG deal and furthermore a very touchy subject. Specially for one of my most favorite friends on the planet, Melisa.
She is an adorable person in just about every sense of the word. The woman is fascinating and a blast to be around. But, a fiery repulsiveness to be seen in public in less than long sleeve shirts, jeans and long skirts become fighting words. I know, I found out about it!
I suspect she's not the only one who feels this way. In fact I know she's not alone on this self imposed commandment.
I've always felt curious to seeing individuals in the middle of 100° day at the peak of Summer, wearing heavy shirts, long pant and even sweat pants and layers of clothing, even at the local swimming pools. Why?!
My answer came that night with my friend Melisa. She does not like her body.
That blew me away, since she has a pretty face, nice hair, very attractive bust line and average built. I know that body acceptance is a big deal for everyone. Including yours truly. But, she has come to believe, that her's in particular is not at all good enough to be ever be seen in public. That made me very sad.
I supposed that somewhere, somehow, long ago, some one came along and made a rude comment. Or, maybe a simple gaze in the mirror didn't reflect the same image found on a fashion magazine. I don't know. But whatever the catalyst was that cemented the idea in her head that she was not "good-enough", stuck.
I assured her, that her beautiful face, personality and shape were pleasing and perfectly good enough not only to be at the beach but here, in these pages. The only response I got was an even more determined resolved to not do it.
Yup, time to back away!
Sure, I understand that sometimes flattery and adulation can be perceived as a self serving tool, specially coming from a "guy". But in her case, there's much more than that. She truly, is uncomfortable with herself.
I wonder how many perfectly, fantastic women out there, who are going thru similar circumstances. How many, good times, dreams and even relationships are going unfulfilled because of a miss-perception of oneself?
Body image is a powerful tool. It dictates how we move in society, how we maneuver in day to day living; Sometimes preventing us from living.
I love my friend and I can only hope that her wall, will someday give way to her full glorious self.