Wednesday, May 21, 2014

#SuitYourself and #YouSuitMe

Body image is such a difficult, personal thing. Women verbalize it more, but men face challenges as well. To compound the issue, we tend tear others down, especially when safely behind a keyboard and screen name. Somewhere along the way, society taught us that we will feel better knowing that someone feels worse.

I have a daughter who I am trying my DAMNEDEST to bring up to be strong in her confidence of herself. Having been what could generously be described as small my whole life, I know the feelings that my long, lean daughter might face. It crushed me the other morning when she came bouncing in to tell me what she weighed, and was excited because she had gained 3 pounds. I never, ever want her weight to be a focal point for her!

Many of you, my friends, are also raising kids. Let's work on teaching them 2 things -

First – that they are beautifully and wonderfully made. What some might perceive as flaws are an element of their design.  We are not all supposed to be the same (wouldn’t THAT be boring!?) and that they are loved, supported and fantastic, just like they are.

Second – that others around us are also beautiful and wonderful. Do your kids hear you laughing about someone’s appearance? Or making snide comments? Do you spend more time tearing others down or building them up? How do you talk about YOURSELF? Are you constantly focusing on a bulge, a bumpy area or a jiggly spot? What could you be saying (or NOT saying) that reaffirms for your kids that we’re all beautiful in our own, unique ways?

We’re entering the time of year where we all show a little more skin. Shorts, tank tops, and of course the dreaded swim suit. Here’s where we have the chance to make a difference.

An Atlanta-based radio morning show, The Bert Show, is kicking off summer with their second year of empowerment. They are encouraging us all to take a swimsuit selfie and post it – Instagram, Facebook, whatever, but be BOLD in knowing that you’re powerful, beautiful and confident. The hashtag being used is #SuitYourself. Read more about it here, and see how things went last year!

I want to go one step further. I want to follow that hashtag, and comment on as many of those folks as I can, sharing something I LOVE about each person’s picture. I encourage you to do the same – if not as part of the #SuitYourself campaign, just make it a practice to compliment someone every single day. You will feel far better knowing that you’ve made someone smile than you ever would tearing someone down.

I’m going to add my own hashtag to the mix here, and comment with #YouSuitMe – because you do. You are who you are, and you should ROCK that confidence!

So – #SuitYourself (link to your photo in the comments for me!) and tell others #YouSuitMe!

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