These Are All Just Nice Words Unless…

A friend of mine posted Ashley Judd’s 2012 comments and defense of her “puffiness” today on Facebook. Though I adore Judd’s sentiment, they are only words unless we act.

We’ve had more than two years since she spoke out against misogyny–and what have we done about it?

This may seem like a sidestep, but please bear with me.

My son adores Batman. He has two different Batman costumes, Batman pajamas, and for the last year, he has really, really, really wanted a Batman hoodie.

Well, I found a Batman hoodie about a week ago in a local store. It was his size, and in our price range. Even though I knew he would love it, I hesitated. The hoodie outlined a six-pack abdomen, and I knew it carried a message.

Batman Boys' Fleece Hoodie with Mask-Black
photo credit

 

Do I really want my less-than-eight-year-old walking around thinking he needs to have amazing abs to be a valuable person?

(Hopefully you already know the answer to that question.)

What we might find even more remarkable is that my son is on the high end of the sizes carried. I think the store had them as small as 2T (that’s 2-Toddler…).

And so I begin, on my little corner of the blogosphere, to raise a voice. A voice of action. A voice of love–for ourselves and for future generations. What will you do today to #ShareGoodness? To promote a positive body image–no matter the shape or size? To share acceptance?

Recently, I was assisting a local choir director with sizing choir members for costumes. As I placed a measuring tape around each of their bodies, I felt a tension equalling a sadness in many.

Though the numbers attached to each body varied, they were all beautiful. Each one has a gift to share with the world. Each one is valued and cherished. Each one is important.

I wanted to scream to them from a housetop: YOU ARE ENOUGH. YOU ARE VALUED. YOU ARE LOVED–JUST THE WAY YOU ARE.

I hope you feel my love for you. I respect you as a fellow human–no matter how you look or what you wear or where you live. I love you.

We don’t need a six-pack (real or through a hoodie) to be someone’s superhero. We do that each day by simply living the lives we are born to live. (No, I’m not going to break out in “Climb Every Mountain“…I’ll let you do that yourself.) 🙂

I hope we can love ourselves and others enough to share this message of acceptance, in whatever sphere we may be. We are amazing, and now is the time to raise our voices. Now is the time to shine.

You Gotta Work

So, with a little music bopping around in my head, I have a tiny piece of wisdom to share this fine morning.

I thought I was being nice.

I thought I was being helpful.

You see, up until the last week or so, I have been doing a bunch for my kiddos. I was never one of those women who thought that kiddos should be without responsibility…our kiddos have their share of chores and babysitting and tidying…but I was definitely doing more than I needed to for them. Like, if they didn’t put the cereal away in the morning, and they were rushing out the door to meet the bus, I would put it away for them. Or, if I was having company and one of them didn’t put clothing (that I lovingly washed, sorted, and sorta folded for them) away, I would do it.

Yes, as I write this I am feeling a little slushy inside…like I’ve known for a while that they are old enough to pull more weight around here.

Well, this morning, in no uncertain terms, I (lovingly) explained that I have done much for them…and that I enjoy doing fun things for and with them (like baking goodies or making treats or playing games and hanging out together)…and that they needed to show more respect to me in return.

Guess what? They were up to the task! I was surprised and elated to see that, as they went about their work and responsibilities with little guidance from me, they stood a little taller. By helping them get to work, they felt the value each of us feels when we ACCOMPLISH. And, I have to say, accomplishment is a great feeling. 🙂 I’m guessing that when they feel accomplishment and begin to understand their value in our family, in society, and in the world, that their self-esteem will grow, as well.

If you have kiddos, and they could be stretched a little more…to do more…to be more…then I say boldly, “GO FOR IT!!!!” You might have to use your words.  You might have to get a little tougher skin.  You will absolutely have to do more than just “teach by example.”  But it will be worth it.  Teaching them the value of work will stay with them throughout their lives…and, I dare say that the value of work is lacking in this world.

So get to work!