BodyImage4Justice is pleased to present the newest story from Allies Week with this reflection from Joanna Marinova, Director of Press Pass TV.
It wasn’t until I turned 13 that I realized how many young women had body image issues. My school friends would talk about their “fat” or how “skinny” they were obsessively; conversations that did not resonate with me at best and were boring at worst. I was raised quite differently. First, my household had very little if any traditional media such as television and beauty magazines. Instead, I was surrounded by literature and arts. In addition, my father did not allow the adults around me to comment on anything physical when it came to me… I never heard things like “what a pretty dress you have on,” or “what a beautiful little girl,” etc. Instead, adults complimented my academic achievement, my artistic talent, my skills, and creativity. In short, anything but my looks. When it came to my body, my goals weren’t to lose weight but to swim faster, further, to be able to do a headstand, and as a result of pursuing these goals I achieved a healthier body. On the flip side, it cost me body awareness and it did not prepare me to deal with how the rest of society operates. However, I wouldn’t have it any other way! Today I work with young women, and I always try to make them understand that however God made them, there is someone out there for everyone! For me being healthy begins with self-love.