A Lesson from Lady Gaga

The onslaught of body shaming aimed at Lady Gaga after her 2017 Super Bowl performance set me off.

There were people on the internet calling her fat.

Apparently, it isn’t enough that the incredibly talented entertainer performed ON THE ROOF of a football stadium.  Or that she flew through the air.  Or that she danced and sang live in front of a crowd of millions for several minutes.  What mattered most, to some, was her bare belly that, to some, didn’t meet some made-up standard of what a bare belly should look like.

I have used A LOT of choice words to express how I feel about “bellygate,” but Jesus is working me.  So, I’ll say it like this…  #@$(%$$#$@#!!!!!

Seriously, are we really so fixated on “perfection” that we pick and prod at another person’s body and call them fat?  Or ugly? Or anything else that doesn’t encourage and lift them up?

Yes, we are, because we do it to ourselves all the time.

I am no exception.

I was in the third grade when my little 8-year-old belly spilled over my dance recital costume.  I felt like a failure.

I was only 8….

I’ve spent the better part of my life since then always looking for what was “wrong” with my body instead of celebrating it.  That’s the kind of self-torture that fueled unhealthy binge eating and put 267 pounds on a 5’2” frame.

Even when I hit my 100-pound lost mark in 2015, I looked at my naked body and all the “work” I had left to do.  One of the main areas was, of course, my belly.  I didn’t see abs anywhere, and there was wrinkled skin left behind.  In my mind, that meant I wasn’t “fit.”  My husband embraced the traces the journey had left behind by kissing my stretch marks, but I was so fixated on “fixing” my body that I didn’t celebrate the most important part – being healthier.  I still wasn’t enough.

The reaction to Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl body has blown the lid off of an epidemic we have with body image.  It’s the “not enough” syndrome.

You bust you’re butt at the gym every day and eat healthy, but you don’t have a six pack?  Not enough.

You have a six-pack but you don’t have a Kim Kardashian booty?  Not enough.

You lose 100 pounds but you still have a wiggle under your arm when you wave goodbye?  Not enough.

This has to stop if any of us are going to have a shot at living a healthy, happy and fulfilled life.  The truth is, there is only ONE thing we have to do in order to be enough: be alive.  We’re enough just the way we are at any given moment.  I’m not saying we should be complacent and not encourage ourselves to grow in any area given of our lives.  I’m saying we don’t have to tear down the awesomeness of who we, as we are, at any given moment.  Living in a constant state of “not enough” is torture that none of us should subject ourselves or others to, ever.

To anyone with any kind of belly – big, small, toned or in between – you have just the right kind of belly, because it’s yours.  And if you see an 8-year-old dancer with some belly spilling out over her costume, tell her to shake it all over the stage.  Who knows, maybe she’ll shake it all the way to the Super Bowl Halftime stage one day like Lady Gaga.

In case no one told you today… You are enough.