My name is Valerie Deaune Rutledge. I am 33. I am 5’5…on a good day. I weigh somewhere between 120 & 130 pounds, I think. My clothing size varies depending on the number of carbs I’ve consumed on any given day. Stretch marks decorate the sides of my hips where my body strained under the pressure of carrying my children. My cheeks are dimpled, and I ain’t talking about the ones above my neck. There is a single age spot on my face. It’s right next to the wrinkles that feather out from the corners of my eyes, proof that I smile often & laugh easily. I have deep lines across my forehead, reminders of the times I’ve lain awake at night with worry. I have knobby knees, scaly elbows & not-so-white teeth from TOO MUCH COFFEE.
Why would I share these things with you, these personal details that most would consider flaws? Because I have had it with society defining us based on what is seen on the outside. I want to free women from the negative body images that plague us and keep us from being who we were created to be. So what my body is flawed according to the standards that are spat in our faces everywhere we look? I am so much more than a body.
I am a mom, and a pretty good one at that. I am a wife who loves her husband fiercely. I am a sister & a daughter. I am a writer. I am a friend. I am sensitive & compassionate. I love hard & forgive quickly. But most importantly, I am a child of God who tells me I am fearfully & wonderfully made. The same God who doesn’t make trash so why would I allow myself to believe that I am?
I am beautiful, so are you. Even with our flabby arms, sagging bottoms, wrinkly skin or whatever else makes us cringe when we look in the mirror. Ladies, when you stare into the eyes of your reflection, stop criticizing what you see. Begin to praise yourself for all of your amazing qualities that make you unique! Your intelligence, your sense of humor, your love for others…those are the things that make you lovely.
No more body shaming! Ignore the ads that offer quick fixes to “repair” all that is “wrong” with you. LOVE YOURSELF!
Can I offer a challenge today? Compliment your friends today, not on their looks, but on some other quality that you think makes them spectacular! I’m going to blow up some Facebook pages 🙂