Say bye-bye to bad body image talk

Courtesy of CNN Living:
By Mina Samuels
Editor’s note: Mina Samuels, author of “Run Like A Girl: How Strong Women Make Happy Lives”, is a freelance writer and editor who does triathlons, marathons, yoga, rock climbing and kayaking.

(CNN) — The other day I tried to calculate how much of my life has been spent standing sideways to the full-length mirror, trying to determine if my stomach looks flat enough in the outfit I’m wearing so that I won’t descend into crankyville.

Is it every day? Thirty seconds? More than once? With time off for good behavior when I’m backpacking, and there are no mirrors available. Oh, and yes, the tic is worse on days I feel a bit blue.

What a waste, truly. And I’m not alone in this, right? After all, there would be no Sara Blakely, queen of the Spanx empire, if I were.

I am, in case it wasn’t already blindingly obvious, a woman.

In a room of 50 women the other day, I conducted a quick straw poll. “How many women here feel good about their bodies?” I asked. Only two hands went up, and they were wobbly and tentative at that. That’s 4% of the women in the room. In an independent study, only 12% of women thought they looked good in a swimsuit. I guess that’s three times better than my poll, but come on, both of those numbers are ridiculously low.

Is this really how we want to live? — in a state of perpetual discomfort about our bodies.

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