Wednesday, April 24, 2013
My Cross: Body Image
I love the beach and ocean more than all other landscapes that I have been fortunate enough to gaze upon. What amazes me about this is how my self-esteem about my body image is changed. I have hated my body since I entered the second grade. Yes, second grade. It is the biggest part of my cross that I bear. In those younger years, I wore extra clothing to cover myself. After many years of struggling with my weight with the military and gaining weight dealing with medical issues, I still hate my body. While in Cancun, my image began to change.
The motel we stayed in for a week displayed an art form I have never seen except in photos of medieval artwork and prior. Of course, I am not an expert in art. But the images celebrated real women. In the restaurants, hallways, lounge, and even our room, the artwork displayed older women; mothers and grandmothers. Not one woman in the artwork displayed anything less than voluptuous curves. Being surrounded with wall hangings like me added layers of new self-esteem to my psyche.
On the beach and around the pool, real women celebrated life. They wore swimsuits and didn’t try to blend into trees. Of course, model like women also cluttered the area, but they didn’t intimidate me as much. I swam in the ocean and the pool not worrying how bad I looked. My body carried three beautiful babies and now battles aches and pains I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy or the two skinny bikini women in the elevator.
Once back in the states, I didn’t think much of body image. Traveling all day left me tired. The first day home, I became very sick and lay in bed for about 24 hours. We drove to a local resort that caters to downhill skiers and water people for a conference. There are two huge pools and two hot tubs. All the self-esteem I gained through the culture of Mexico melted away in the swimming pool. The rest of the weekend I tried melting into the wallpaper.
All of us have crosses to bear. Mine is body image. Lately, I find wrinkles and grey hair is adding to the problems. Getting older in the American Society is hard. I do pray and work at remembering God loves me. He molded me. However, I am ready to move to Mexico next to the beach!
In the Hallway
In the Lounge
In Our Room
Blessings to you all.