Imagine If We Never Had To Talk About Body Image Ever Again.

Updated: Aug 2, 2019

Imagine a world where confidence, self-awareness, kindness, a sense of community and shared humanity was everything and all we knew.

Take your time. I'll gladly wait.

There would be no young girl walking down the street with her shoulders slumped and her eyes to the ground.

There would be no professional woman leaving a business meeting thinking that her colleagues are judging her size.

There would be no door not held.

There would be no dad thinking about how he does not look the same as he did before kids.

There would be no ads describing what we should look like or aspire to or celebrate or accept.

There would be no young boy wondering if he was acting “like a man” or "masculine enough".

Imagine a world where confidence, self-awareness, kindness, a sense of community and shared humanity was everything and all we knew.

A young girls walks tall with lightness in her step and her eyes confidently meet yours.

A woman devotes her energy to sharing what she is able to offer.

Every door is held open.

A dad plays with his kids treasuring their enlightened faces.

People identify themselves by their passions and skills and joys and gifts.

A young boy follows his heart.

I want to believe that the fitness, nutrition and associated wellness industries have good intentions - maybe even the best intentions. Industries devoted to making people move better, eat better and feel better sounds ethically legit. These are “industries” and, although money in and of itself is not a terrible thing, financial motivations do complicate matters.

The lines that connect intentions to actions and desired outcomes do not, ahem, line up.

The foundation of industry marketing is this: being in “good health” makes you feel good (intention). Then, dear industry, why is the plethora of information, images and mantras (actions) coming at me make me feel like I'm never doing enough (outcome!?!!?!)?

I'm not just referencing body image here. I mean - everything.

You eat after 8pm? You don’t go to the gym? You aren’t cleansing? (That’s a whole separate post coming later. Teaser: Oh no! You don’t have a liver?!?!?).​

​ You do not juice? Your BMI is what!?!?! You don't carpool? You don't deadlift? You don't go outside everyday?

You don't wear shoes?

You wear shoes?

You eat carbs? (That's a whole series of upcoming posts. Teaser: Carbs do not equal definite death. And btw: tomatoes are delicious.)

You don't eat meat?

You eat meat? You get your nails done with those chemicals?

You aren't participating in a $300/month shake and supplement diet? You participate in a $300/month shake and supplement diet?

Negativity City.

Judgement is rampant. Everything is classified right or wrong.

People find their mountain, sit and take a good, hard look down.

Now, I'm a huge advocate for having an opinion and a voice which inherently requires you to make a judgement. However, I think there is a huge difference between making a judgement call (for yourself) and placing a judgement (on another). (We all know a vegan advocating yogi who demonstrates low tolerance or acceptance to those who share a different ideology.)

Back to bodies.

There are societal reasons that body image is complicated. I'm not even sure what the "ideal" image is right now. In my lifetime, it has gone from waif to slightly curvy to fit to lean to curvy-curvy (please forgive me re: the labels).​​​​​

Full disclosure: While I was looking for a word to describe the women celebrated in the Dove ads, my first thought was, "you know, "womanly". As though a certain body shape depicts what it means to be a woman. Yikes. This _____ runs deep.

Anyway, this is all to say that we are not biologically pre-determined to find one look attractive. We are (gently) guided towards certain ideals via culture. Although I'm only able to reference history books, none of the above examples regarding the evolving feminine "ideal" at any point in my lifetime would have garnered the ol' double-take in the 1500s.

So - let's just ditch it. Yes?

I understand this is, perhaps, impossible. But that would be a sweet little reality, right?

People could place their energy towards doing what makes them intrinsically feel good instead of extrinsically through the approval of others.

Hmmm ... it does not sound nearly as impossible. It still means you can lift heavy things at the gym or put on make-up or volunteer or run 5K charity races or put on your fancy pants or drive a fun car or do juice cleanses or work towards a physical goal.

It's simply the underlying motivation that shifts. Step 1: Decide on something you think brings you fulfillment, joy, love or all of the above. Step 2: Ask yourself: Will this bring me fulfillment, joy, love or all of the above if no one knew about it except for me? Step 3: If no, restart at step 1. If yes, DO IT. Play with it. Step 1: I feel that ... going to the gym brings me joy. I feel that ... eating local foods makes me feel fulfilled. I feel that ... working towards losing 15 lb would make me feel great. Step 2: If I went to the gym and no one knew about it, would I still be joyful? If I ate local and I didn't post about it, would I still be fulfilled? If I lost 15 lb by walking everyday, eating more vegetables and hitting the gym 2x a week and no one noticed, would I still feel great? Step 3: If no, back to the top. If yes, DO IT.

Imagine if we never had to talk about body image again. Ever. As though it was never a thing.

A body, although to be respected, nurtured and cared for, was simply a vehicle for experiencing life.

We were just too busy enjoying our life in our body to question what it looked like.

live your life through your lens - the only one that matters

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Hi! I'm Jess - 

I am unbelievably impressed by the resilience and strength of the human body and spirit.

I coach people towards their deepest goals. 

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