TV’s Positive Body Image Reinforcement

I’m anticipating my anniversary, which comes on Friday, with the same excitement I have every year. This time around, we will “Adorn” our ears with a little live music from singer Miguel the night before, and we’ll have a nice leisurely anniversary day, with our son in school. (Parents, am I right that daycare/school on a weekday is the best “babysitting” arrangement ever? Ha!)

Whenever I look at my wedding photos or think of my wedding–our joyous DIY effort that wisely spared our combined newlywed wallet–I can’t help but remember that I weighed 40 lbs. more at the time. At that weight, believe it or not, I didn’t really stress about my weight (not even when a friend of a friend tried to rain on my parade with a snarky comment). I took for granted that my weight wouldn’t go up in the time leading to the wedding day, causing a wardrobe emergency. And it didn’t. But with a chance few minutes of watching the “Mike & Molly” show premiere earlier this week, a I gathered that Molly suffered some angst over her weight, pushing herself to become a certain size to fit her dress, then becoming frustrated when she didn’t in time for her wedding. All of these things related to wedding preparation and immortalization of the wedding day in photos and fond memories have made me think about body image, and the love/hate relationship we sometimes have with it. (And the particular brand of stress that comes several months before a wedding!)

Ultimately, it sounds like Mike allayed Molly’s stress by letting her know he loved her just the way she was. My husband has done the same–complimenting me at both sizes (one of the many, many reasons why he is truly, amazingly awesome!). I feel now like I was lucky to have felt pretty comfortable about how I looked back then. Now we just need a romantic getaway in Paris like Mike and Molly to be the icing on the cake!

I may have avoided body image stress nearly 10 years ago for my wedding, but those thoughts have crept into my head lately. The war of the part of me that wants to lose more weight to lose more weight and fit an image of myself that has been a guiding beacon during the past almost four years, and the part of me that is finding clothes that I love, more comfortable in my skin in general from a psychological standpoint, and generally fine with how I look right now. Honestly, I can’t call right now which side of this internal debate is going to win. But I want it to be the one that will have the best balance of confidence and contentment.

Another surprisingly positive body image moment that I saw on TV last night was Lady Gaga, having discussed past battles with eating disorders, and admitting to being comfortable with having gained about 25 pounds. She has enlisted her fans to embrace the various sizes in which bodies come in real life. It sounds like she is dieting at the moment and may not stay at her current size, but in a Huffington Post article, she says she is looking to find a new place of balance in her image, which I’m assuming, and hoping, means something that’s easy to attain and maintain.

External, media-encouraged forces of body image dynamics won’t go away, obviously, but people in general, and people who have struck out on their own to lose weight in particular, owe it to themselves to weigh their thoughts of having the perfect body versus being “perfectly me.” I’m starting to see that this is another area of self-examination for me to push through.

UPDATE; Here’s a pic from the Miguel concert. We ate at Reef, a Caribbean restaurant in Philadelphia, had a great night.

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If “Mig Money” comes to your town, don’t miss out on an electrifying R&B experience!

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