There is a big difference between discomfort and pain. This can be applied to your body in a yoga class, or speaking about race and images in this country and the media. I am not trying to make any body feel uncomfortable, well only people that uphold a system called society that oppresses and puts people in boxes based on the way they look, and anyways who said being uncomfortable is such a bad thing. Comfortableness is the ingredient that keeps people in bad relationships, even sometimes abusive keeps you doing bad habits, in poverty and lots of other things. Uncomfortable is not pain it is the feeling that things need to change in order to grow. So attention I may throw out words that make you feeling un easy like the D word (diet) and analyze a system that boxes people in based on raise and continues stereotypes to continue keeping people of a darker shade oppressed and limited.
This may seem a little out there, some folks may think Im coco to put race race and body image in the same topic (i don;t know these people but they may exist). But I know for me they have always been connected. Being raised in a prodominantly Black community I was always aware that while the folks around me were more likely to tease a girl for being a bag of bones then a thich chick, the rest of the country was all trying to be a size zero. I was exposed to all types of food, some of it very healthy and not. I was raised by a village of woman of all sizes and walks of life. And over the years my weight has fluxuated from thick to skinny.
Exploring Body Image is one of those topics I usually associate with the media's perpetuated views of super models, and those health education documentaries that talk about eating disorders, but I want to talk about it on a personal level, and also look at how race and today's pop culture/media and stereotypes play into it. My focus is more on women's body image because I am a woman, I can only write on my experience, and what I hear from others, and see in the magazines and movie screens...
It all starts with food, toxic food continues a lot of other toxicness, in poverty stricken communities especially. The bottom line is no matter what race everyone deserves to be healthy, and healthy and skinny are not the same word. As I do more work in the field of sustainability I want to promote sustainable healthy eating. Just in that same way that Obama said "it shouldn't be considered 'un-black' to for a kid to open up a book and read." Same goes for eating habits in any ethnic group. Its one thing to have homecooked dishes interwoven into your culture from past generations in your family that you don't want to change. But its a whole differenty thing to have a tradition of eating fast food nation and dieing of diabeties and heart failure. Healthyness is not a white thing or a race thing its a human thing. I believe people are beautiful at any weight. Health is not only an image thing its a I wanna live my life without pain thing. It might be uncomfortable to begin to eat things that are better for you and cut out all the junk food, but it will take away pains. Trust.
It is called comfort food for a reason, it doesn't mean it should be your daily meal!
I say all this because this is the background yes you should be healthy! But that is completly separate from the immense amount of pressure most people, (women especially) feel to be skinny. Its the reason people develope eating disorders. So I want to stress that difference because some folks are naturally bigger and some folks are naturally skinnier and I am sick of people having little tolerance for the huge spectrum that is beautiful. "You are beautiful at any size" - dpesn't mean you can go eat whatever you want and stuff your face and never excercise, it means that if you practice a healthy lifestyle and still dont look like a skinny girl in a fashion magazine, you are not less, you are just as beautiful, and the problem is only that you are underrepresented, not anything to do with you.
I am guitly of being vain, of skipping meals to compete with skinny girls, and I am breaking bad habits to hold myself to what I say. It is about empowerment, health, strength, as well as wanting to look a size that complements me, and makes me feel good about my figure.