Half-Marathon; Or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love My Body

As someone who is acutely aware of healing body image issues, I salute this post.

The Z-Axis

I’ve never told anyone these things. My parents, my sister, my friends – no one. So heads up. You’re the first to know.

For the last few years, I have grown, slowly but steadily, to despise the way my body looks.

When I was a kid, I was always told how skinny I was. I didn’t break fifty pounds until I was eight years old. In high school I was always the smallest – height and weight – of my friends. I grew up knowing, somehow, intuitively, that ‘being skinny’ was something good, that it was something I should maintain. In high school, that belief was confirmed and reinforced by magazines, friends who were constantly ‘dieting’, and my school’s insistence on athletic rigor and social ostracism of students who didn’t fit the body ideal. But I was always warned that, as a woman, ‘my time would come’, I would have kids…

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Up to 275 schoolgirls were abducted from their classrooms.

Two weeks ago.

Two weeks ago.

Everyone in any relevant position of power – and I do mean everyone – has been slow to act on this. And, if you’ve been living off of mainstream media, you probably haven’t heard much about it.  One of the reasons undoubtedly has to do with the fact that these girls are in Nigeria.

Image courtesy of the BBC
Image courtesy of the BBC

Two hundred and seventy five girls.

And now?  Reports suggest that they’re being forced to “marry” the militants who abducted them.  What this really means is that they are, in all likelihood, being raped and enslaved.  There has been no massive response by the Nigerian president or military. Yesterday, parents and supporters in Nigeria protested for the second straight day to raise awareness about the plight of their children.  On social media, the hashtag #bringbackourgirls is being used to spread the news and promote the sense of urgency.  Many of us have been tweeting and talking about it, particularly over the last week, but almost none of us reacted quickly enough.

President Obama personally spoke to the recent Donald Sterling mess in the NBA, but, to my knowledge, has not said a word about these two-hundred-and-seventy-five abducted schoolgirls.

There’s a Change.org petition to sign.  Please do what you can to inform folks in your circles about this and let us all know what we can do to help.