The other day at in the women's locker room of the gym, two likely young 20-somethings were having a dramatic conversation in front of my locker, so I really had no choice but to overhear everything they were saying. One of them -- who, I must note is tiny all over but blessed in the bust -- was freaking out that she gained two pounds. Her friend was consoling her that sometimes that just happens, and "like, the other day she totally only ate salad and still gained weight!" Upon hearing this, I wanted ... to ... cry.
Really, ladies? This is what we spend our time, money, and mental anguish on. Going crazy over two pounds here, one pound there. Our breasts, our noses, our hair, our eyelashes! We fail to truly see what we look like. We often exert so much energy hating how we look. It's no surprise a new poll of 3,000 adult women by myspecialk.co.uk found women don't really feel confident about their bodies, inside and out, until they're 52 YEARS OLD!
Congrats to the Baby Boomers who get to enjoy that mid-life self-esteem boost, but I think it's absolutely ABSURD that we are spending half a century generally being uncomfortable in our own skin. This is not good news for younger women.
Who wants to waste precious time, over 50 years (or, maybe it's more like 45, since we don't begin the lifetime of picking apart our physical appearance until we're about 5) not enjoying their body, not being proud of how they look, not feeling beautiful? We should be able to enjoy the kind of self-esteem reportedly experienced by the Meryl Streeps and Helen Mirrens out there -- but we shouldn't have to wait until we're over 50 to! We should be able to feel that good about ourselves in our 20s, 30s, 40s ...
Of course, self-esteem and positive body image is definitely not something we can turn on and off like a light switch. For many of us, it's a constant battle to be happy or even okay with what we see in the mirror. But hearing this news should serve as a serious wake-up call that we've got to do better and we deserve better. It seems like doing whatever it takes to love ourselves more sooner -- be that a bit more self-compassion, a little less freaking out on the scale -- could save us years of unnecessary discomfort and unhappiness.
Do you agree that most women don't feel comfortable with their bodies until they're in their 50s? Are you happy with how you feel about yours?
Image via BrightStarPhoto21/Flickr