Big can be Beautiful
I was sitting out in my backyard the other day staring around at the different trees and bushes that are blooming and I had a thought…”the bigger tree really is the most beautiful”. Then, as someone who struggles with weight and body image I started to create an analogy in my head, related to my trees.
This tree is huge…it has a big trunk, a big system of roots, big branches and it covers a big section of my backyard. But you know what else it is? It’s beautiful. It has beautiful, green leaves and it provides wonderful shade in the heat of the summer. It is the picture of strength and confidence. No little wind is going to knock down this tree – it is going to stand strong. And even though it might lose some of its leaves during a rough storm and its branches might bend, it will come out on the other side still green and beautiful.
Now, this little tree on the other hand is…well, little. It doesn’t have many leaves so it’s pretty dull, and it’s already leaning over like it can’t support the weight of its own branches. There have been many times that I’ve had to go out and gather fallen branches after a storm, as this little tree just doesn’t have the strength to survive strong winds. There’s nothing wrong with the tree, and it’s not an inferior tree simply because it’s smaller, but it doesn’t inspire a sense of beauty or radiance or strength as the huge tree does. Someone could walk right by this tree and not really notice it there – it just kinda blends into its surroundings.
When both the little tree (on the left) and the big tree (on the right) are compared side by side the beauty and vibrance of the big tree is obvious. Its colors are richer and healthier and it provides an inviting canopy, which screams out shade and relaxing peace. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who would choose to hang out under the little tree rather than the big tree, and I think most people would right away point out how beautiful the big tree is.
Big Can Be Beautiful
I’m sure you know where I’m going with this, but I’m going to spell it out anyway…big can be beautiful. Whether we are talking about trees or our bodies, big can be beautiful. It makes me so sad to think of all of the time I’ve wasted in life staying isolated and alone because I was so ashamed of how “big” I was. I can think of a slew of bigger women I’ve known, either personally or in the media, who could outshine anyone! Their confidence and personality is what draws people to them, not the size or shape of their body. Some people are naturally beanpoles and some people are naturally larger. That doesn’t mean that one is better than the other or that either one should be ashamed. It’s the inner sparkle and energy and vibrance that people notice.
I’m not naive – I know that our society favors skinny people. It’s all over magazine covers, billboards, and Victoria Secret store windows (seriously, some of those are just obscene and inappropriate for the mall!). Thin is definitely in, so it’s very hard to feel good about yourself if you feel like you’re not in the norm. It’s hard to not walk around town and wish that you looked like the skinny marathon runner that just blew past you on the sidewalk, or the tiny teenager who’s wearing the halter top and mini skirt and pulling it off beautifully.
Understand that I’m not saying that it’s ok to be obese and unhealthy – health is vital to life and should be paid attention to. If losing weight is necessary for your health then you need to make an effort to get to a healthy and comfortable size. What I’m saying is – don’t ever be ashamed of or try to hide who you are on the inside. Be confident about what you can offer the world and find a way to be at peace and happy with your inner self. Not everyone was born to be a skinny stick and if everyone in the world was the same skinny stick it would be a boring, one-dimensional world. Sense of humor, kindness, empathy, a nurturing spirit, artistic ability, a beautiful voice, confidence – those are the parts of you that are important and that people want to experience.
Remember the beauty that’s so apparent in the big tree? Let that beauty also be apparent in you and in your life – the physical will fall in line naturally.
Let the natural, beautiful you shine!