A Young Cheerleader And Her Body Image Struggles
(Guest Blog by a girl who wishes to remain anonymous)
Body Image Guest Blog by a Young Cheerleader:
Young Cheerleader Struggles With Body Image – Most people think that the only ones with body issues are those who are either grossly overweight or anorexic. Let me be the first to tell you: that could not be further from the truth. As a person who has been involved in sports from the age of 8, I have always been aware of my need to stay thin. As an adult, I am still haunted by the voices from my past that continue to drive that point home.
My first negative encounter with regards to my weight came during my first year as a cheerleader. I was a “flyer” – the person that is lifted / propelled into a stunt. During one of these stuns, my bases made a comment about how heavy I was. Up until that point, I had never heard any negative messages related to the way I looked. I was young at the time so it did not register with me that those girls were possibly exaggerating, or maybe even just whining. All I knew, from that point on, was that I was heavy – FAT! I never forgot those words. From that day on, I became extremely sensitive about what other people thought or said about my body.
Puberty was possibly the worst experience of my life. As a young woman’s body begins to change shape, most girls undoubtedly begin to feel a sense of insecurity. No longer was I simply “The Short Skinny Girl Who Weighed More Than She Should”. I was now also “The Short Skinny Girl with Big Boobs“. Originally, I only felt the need to remain trim; but with Mother Nature’s help, I now felt the need to keep my breasts and body covered.
It wasn’t until I became a dancer that I began to understand that there was absolutely nothing wrong with me. My dance instructor explained to me that she once suffered from an eating disorder while in dance school. She explained how people do not always factor in someone’s muscle mass when they assess their weight and that she suffered as a result. I immediately identified with what she was saying. I felt a sense of relief knowing that there was a legitimate reason for my weight: I simply had a lot of muscle mass.
Even though I will never forget the experiences of my past, I am aware of my own power over them. I will probably always strive to stay thin, but no longer is it simply for its own sake. I do want to be thin, but I want to be healthy and happy first.
Perhaps the nudists of this world have a better and healthier attitude towards body image. I envision that most naturists are much more accepting of their own body. I hope that they are as accepting of those around them. I for one, feel that nudism, as a movement could teach us none nudists a lot!
Keep up the good work! Body Image is a big problem and I hope that one day we could all see people for who they are, not what they look like.
This guest blog post about body image was published by Young Naturists And Nudists America YNA.