RELIGION CORNER: Body Positivity — Your Body is a Temple

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My granddaughter Lola Skye Belis was recently crowned Miss Pre-Teen Grand Canyon, Arizona in 2022. Her platform is “body positivity.” In an interview with Lola, we discussed her platform. Here’s what we talked about:

Lyndia: Tell my readers about your “Body Positivity” platform, let us know what you think about it.

Lola: “Honestly, I believe we are all beautiful. Although we come in all shapes and sizes, we have different heights and colors, each of us is an original. Beauty comes from inside your heart – it’s not not something you buy on Amazon.

When I was only 3 years old, I said something to mom that she never forgot. As she was driving me home, I said to her, “God sent me to spread love, did you knowI don’t really remember saying that, but mom said she would always remember, and I still feel that way.

Lyndia: Lola, how did you find your subject?

Lola: Earlier this year, I had an experience that helped me choose my body positivity topic. Allow me to share this story with you.

During the global lockdown, my closest friend had gained weight. When it was time for the 4th and 5th graders to return to school in person, I was so happy to see everyone, especially my friends. It was like we hadn’t seen each other in years. I was so happy to see her big smile in person instead of on Zoom! Since this article is public, I will not share its name.

As the school days progressed, we all had a hard time getting used to leaving our homes, but my friend seemed sad and I just couldn’t figure out why. We were all so tired of wearing masks – could that be why she looked so depressed?

We went on a three day science camping trip, which we were all very excited about. This would be the last event of year 5, and we had never been camping before. It was also scheduled for the day after my first contest with The Arizona International Pageant. Guess what? I won the title of Miss Pre-Teen Grand Canyon! I was so proud of myself.

When we got on the bus to camp, along the way, during the ride, I told the class how nervous I was during the contest, but it was so much fun!

Lyndia: Tell us about how your friend refused to do her homework because of her weight gain.

Lola: On the second day of camp, we had to climb a rock face and zip line as a daily challenge. We all lined up but we were all so nervous. My friends and I were excited but moved to the back of the line. My friend’s turn came first. We all applauded her, [but] something was wrong. I could not understand.

Lyndia: What happened?

Lola: Turns out she was bothered by the extra weight she had put on during homeschooling and Zoom sessions. She felt that everyone was laughing at her. It wasn’t true at all. She didn’t want to climb in front of everyone. She jumped up and started crying, hysterically, and ran straight for the cabin.

Once we all had a chance to relax, dine and party in our cabin, we talked about what happened. She explained how she felt about her recent weight. I think she is so beautiful. I could see how hurt she was, so I wanted to know how other people felt about their bodies.

I wanted to know why everyone is expected to be the same size! Thin is not synonymous with health. Thin is not synonymous with happiness. Not all heavy people are unhealthy. Not all heavy people are unhappy with their bodies.

I started researching weight, health, exercise and what people consider beautiful in various countries online. I asked Google, “Which country has the heaviest people?” I couldn’t believe it!

Lyndia: So what did you discover?

Lola: The United States was No. 1. We have the strongest army, the most food, the most technology, the most freedom, but we also have the heaviest people. As my grandmother would say, I invite you to “think about these things”

Beauty comes from within. I challenge everyone to embrace your body, no matter your size. The more you love each other, the more it shows – it’s your own beauty. Thank your body for taking care of you. Talk to your body and thank it. Finally, find a walking partner and walk daily to get that blood flowing through your body.

Thank you grandma for allowing me to share my post on your platform.

Lyndia Grant is a speaker/writer living in the DC area. His radio show, “Think on These Things,” airs Fridays at 6 p.m. on 1340 AM (WYCB), a Radio One station. To reach Grant, visit her website, www.lyndiagrant.com, email [email protected], or call 240-602-6295. Follow her on Twitter @LyndiaGrant and on Facebook.

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