WHO (Des Moines) Anchor Erin Kiernan has decided to stop body shamming herself.
Kiernan posted on Facebook, resolving to no longer criticize her own body. You may remember Kiernan as the Anchor that posted the selfie after having her baby and taking on the haters that said she didn't look like the same woman.
Well, Kiernan is back with another FB post which has almost 6,000 likes and was accompanied by a photo of her in a bathing suit. She described the photo as featuring "average Erin," from two years ago, before her son was born.
"It's me when I'm working out on a regular basis but not killing myself," Kiernan wrote. "It's me when I'm eating healthy, but not denying myself the occasional cheeseburger or glass of wine. It's just plain old me.
"The thing is — when I first saw this picture I was horrified. My inner dialogue went like this … 'Cellulite! Huge thighs! Stretch marks! Blech!' "
The Des Moines Register writes that body image has been on Kiernan's mind since around Memorial Day, when she posted an essay titled, "Put On Your Damn Swimsuit" to Facebook. The essay was written by a mom who decided to ignore that gnawing voice inside her head saying, she wasn't good enough, she didn't have a bikini body, and challenged herself and other mothers to put on a damn swimsuit.
Kiernan thought the piece was fantastic, she said, but the next day she had a hard time putting the message into action.
"I went to try on my old swimsuits and none of them fit and I had a meltdown," she said. "My husband went out to Target and came back with all these cute suits in every size. But I've never stopped thinking about it."
Kiernan dealt with bulimia in college and has been a vocal advocate of exercise through her "Workout of the Week" segments. It's impossible to diagnosis women's proclivities to dissect their body down to just one issue, but Kiernan said in an interview she thinks it starts with "how we talk about ourselves."
"That internal voice as well as what we actually voice, both of those can be really toxic," she said.
But policing that internal voice isn't easy.
"In my rational mind, I know I possess other qualities that are more important than what size I wear or how flat my stomach is or if I have cellulite on my butt, but it is really, really hard to fight that inner dialogue and I think many women are afraid to say, 'Yeah, I'm awesome.' It's like we are conditioned to say we are less than whatever the standard is."
"I've reached a point in my life where I just don't feel like faking it anymore," she said. "For me personally, it is empowering to put a picture out there that is totally unflattering of myself.
"I am feeling more comfortable in my own skin now when I never would have before. And, yeah, I hope others feel empowered, too."