Updated: Jul 7, 2020
I hopped in the car and could barely contain my excitement. It was a big day after all… I was headed to a seamstress to be measured for my bridesmaid dress.
I was only eight years old so to be asked to be a junior bridesmaid for my dad‘s wedding seemed like a pretty big deal.
We got to the seamstress’ house and I joined the rest of the adults in the sewing room for our fitting.
When we got there the other bridesmaids were already chattering about how they wanted to lose weight before the wedding.
These women were beautiful but I remember them poking and prodding at different areas of their bodies, claiming they want these areas “gone” and inquiring about how many inches the seamstress would be able to take their dress in if they lost the weight they had desired.
It was my turn to be measured, and I don’t know why I did it but as the seamstress took the measurement around my waist I decided to suck my stomach in and hold my breath.
No one told me to do it, it just felt like the right thing to do.
When I got home that day I decided that I should also go on a diet to get ready for the wedding...yes, I know.. I was only 8.
You see…. these women that I was surrounded by were absolutely stunning but they didn’t see what I saw in them.
From that information I decided that there must also be something wrong with me right?
I started going on extra bike rides and did sit ups and push-ups in the basement.
I hardly ate much of anything. I knew that fruits and vegetables were good for me so I tried to get away with mostly eating those foods.
I even started taking a herbal appetite suppressant daily. And it really worked for me... probably because I was on 65 pounds.
Now I want to make it super clear that I don’t blame these women especially now that I am the same age that they were back then. As women it has become normalized to only engage in conversations that have to do with why we aren’t good enough and what new diet we’re trying.
Because this seems normal we may not even realize that impressionable ears are listening. Maybe you have a daughter or even a granddaughter at home. Understand that they look up to you and mirror your actions. They think that you are the most beautiful human being that ever walked the earth. So when they hear you putting yourself down they start to wonder if there’s something wrong with them.
Be mindful of the conversations that you have in front of children. They are mirroring everything that we do and say.
We empower young girls when we lead by example.