When I sit across from coaching clients, mostly via zoom, I often hear the words streaming out of their mouths “I just don’t feel like I look like someone who is an influencer, or has any chance of being successful on social media. I don’t feel like … I’m well… pretty enough.”
It reminds me of a time, when I was 24 years and yearning to deeply be loved and seen by my boyfriend. He was my first real boyfriend and I really wanted to show up for him in all way. He was much older than me, had traveled the world, and was wildly successful as a consultant during the mining boom.
He was also a deeply wounded man, who projected his own sense of rejection upon his partners.
He’s deep requirement: Skinny, thin, petite.
I crash dieted for that man. I ran twice a day, lived off of long blacks, Diet Cokes, religiously tracking points and fat-free yogurt.
It worked. He said what I thought I needed to feel secure in our relationship: “you are finally skinny.”
He didn’t say he loved me. He didn’t say I was intelligent, vivacious, tenacious, funny, interesting, or beautiful.
He said I was skinny.
And in a world, where the dieting rhetoric is SO strong in all generations for women, we are often sold and believe that:
skinny = loved / important / famous / worthy / lovable / successful.
As I progress through and with my journey of recovery from a Binge Eating Disorder, I recognise so deeply the pangs of many women’s hearts to find love, self-acceptance, and beauty in their lives. It’s often so interwoven with appearance and the curation of social media feeds that are deeply unattainable.
Yet, we still buy into it. The dieting and wellness industry are a Billion+ dollar industry preying on many souls of women who are not necessarily looking for overt fame and fortune — but are looking for belonging and significance.
Skinny won’t bring you any of that. Promise. I’ve tried.