I took my daughter to see the movie Cinderella.
Before we went I saw many articles about the actress, Lily James, who plays the part of Cinderella. The articles were about how she went on a liquid diet in order to fit into the corset for the beautiful blue dress. I shamefully jumped on the bandwagon immediately and was appalled that a woman would do something like that to her body, agreeing with many I follow on Facebook.
Then I saw more articles that included Lily James feeling the horrible effects of being body shamed. We were all body shaming her without knowing from her exactly what she chose to do for that role. As I read other articles where she explained that liquids during the scenes where she wore the corset didn't upset her stomach like solids did, I understood a little more. She then explained that she is a small build naturally. The explanation of a small build slapped me right in the face.
I have a daughter who is very petite. What if someday, actually I don't even have to say "what if someday" because sadly at the age of 8 it has already happened to her. Body shaming begins at a very young age and my sweet Bella has been teased more than a few times for being so "small" and has been told that she is too "skinny".
Bella is EIGHT. I foresee her as being petite her entire life, maybe she won't be, maybe her body shape will change and she will become more muscular like her mom. However she grows, IT DOESN'T MATTER. What matters is that she is always confident and happy with herself, living a healthy lifestyle.
A couple of days ago I decided to wait a couple of months before I compete in my next figure competition. I wrote about it in my previous post, I was body shaming myself and that is NOT where I want to be.
I have chosen this hobby of figure competing because I truly enjoy it, the one promise I made to myself was that I would never become ashamed of my body, be angry at myself if my progress is slow and never, ever put myself down for taking the time I need to improve myself in a healthy manner. I acted the complete opposite on Sunday and I shocked myself. Thankfully I have a truly amazing husband/trainer/coach who could see it all happen and he was there to pick me up and help me get right back to where I needed to be mentally.
As I think about that, I wonder if Lily went through some of those same feelings. Knowing how much of the world was bashing her for what she chose to do for her movie role. She was not on a liquid diet for the entire filming of the movie, people just assumed she was by her comments. I bet she wished she had never mentioned how she made it comfortable for herself to wear that beautiful blue dress.
I am not saying I completely agree with the process she took. Actors and actresses go to the extreme all the time for movie roles. You know what so do bodybuilders, figure competitors, models, the list goes on and on. I do hate how the entertainment community pushes for seemingly "thin" women and I also hate how so much of the fitness industry is focusing more on the sexualization of athletes and promoting poor nutrition to get "fit". However I will truly make a conscience effort not to body shame.
The movie was beautiful, magical and plain amazing. Bella LOVED it and she was extremely thankful to me for taking her. She never once mentioned how Cinderella looked so skinny and honestly in the movie it wasn't something that completely caught my attention. People have said they would boycott the movie because of how skinny Cinderella looked, they would not have their daughters see a movie where the main actress drank liquids rather than eating solids when she wore the corset.
You know what, the only way most of our very young children would even know that fact would be because we told them. Why in the world would we feel the need to tell them anything about an actresses "diet" for a movie role? Is it explained to them why some Disney or Nickelodeon actresses are smaller? Probably not because they are simply a smaller build.
So let's stop the body shaming. Some women are naturally thin, some women are naturally curvy, some women are naturally muscular. Let women be themselves and let's hope that we can all find a way to be truly happy with ourselves and portray that kind of positive attitude to younger generations.