But seriously. I think as many people need to write on this topic as possible. What is going on with our frame of mind? How do we think it is okay to show photoshopped models and portray them as the idolized images of beauty?
When we see a woman like that, we think it is beautiful. or hot. or sexy. or the only way to get a man. or the only thing that you should strive for. or that it is healthy. How in the world do we expect people to be healthy when we are bottle-fed images that are FAKE? Good question. I wish I had the answer…but I think it changes when people become aware, converse about it, and share images that are beautiful and NOT the status-quo.
Now I’m not here to attack celebrities and say that without photoshop they’re ALL UGLY. Because that isn’t true. But what is true is that we have this altered perception of what is beautiful. Beautiful, naturally, is symmetry, aesthetics, appealing to the eye…not perfect. Everyone may have bags under their eyes at some point. That doesn’t make you ugly. A 40 year old woman may have cellulite on her thighs, even if she is in killer shape. That doesn’t make her ugly. What makes someone ugly is how they behave – towards themselves and towards others and towards this earth. What makes someone beautiful is the way they love themselves, others, and the world.
Rachel Brathen, my role model, just posted something on this topic, so I felt that I should finally get around to posting mine. How do you learn to love your body? Well first of all, accept that it is yours, and your stuck with it for the rest of your life, so you might want to try loving it instead of hating it, or you’re in for a hard life with that body of yours. Secondly, understand that what you’ve been taught isn’t the truth. If you grew up with Barbies, you may have always compared yourself to those Barbies. That is a lie. Want to know what Barbie would look like if she was a proportionate to the average American girl? Here you go. Want to see what the “real life” Ken and Barbie look like? Because some people have gone extreme and used plastic surgery to get this look…and in my opinion, it is pretty disgusting.
If you grew up in America, in the 1990s, you were probably surrounded my images of beauty. We lost the idea of curves. The idea of 6 foot, long legged, skinny, big-breasted, blonde hair goddesses was the norm. Now, there are some women who are naturally like this – and more power to them, they are beautiful! However, the majority of us aren’t like that…so how do we deal?
If we could be photoshopped all day, everyday.
Accept that what media tells us isn’t the whole truth. Accept that you are born with what you have. Look for celebrities out there who are more similar to your body type. I like to stay away from comparing myself to 6 foot tall models…as I’m barely 5 foot 2. Instead, if I look for celebrity inspiration (fashion, fitness, haircuts) I go search women like Mila Kunis, Natalie Portman, Rachel Bilson, Demi Lovato, Kim & Kourtney Kardashion…all these women are GORGEOUS and under 5 foot 3.
Now, even though I offered the list of short celebrities, I don’t want to make a case for comparing ourselves to celebrities. Celebrities main work is to maintain their appearance. They have access, connections, and money to get top of the line spa treatments, designer clothes, vacations, etc etc etc…you know, all those things that us 8-5, middle class, young professionals may not have the ability to access to make us look fresh faced, flattering, and perfect. We have to remember that reality is different than Hollywood. 100% of the people in this world don’t have the ability to look perfect all the time. Love yourself anyways.
I, for the life of me, have yet to find a pair of jeans that I love. I’m super curvy – there is an 11in different between my waist and my hips (more than a Coke bottle) and I’m also short. I vary between a size 0 and a size 8. I don’t fit in “short” inseam jeans anymore (thank you yoga)…but regular are still a bit too long. So I struggle all the time with jeans. I constantly feel like they don’t look good on me..that maybe my love handles are too muffin-toppy…maybe every time I bend over my butt crack hangs out…but that is life. Until I can sew my own, work with a seamstress who can custom fit, or I can afford top of the line jeans…I’m going to have to deal. Sometimes I’m going to go with jeans that are too big in the crotch because that happens a lot. Sometimes I’m going to wear a really lose shirt so that I don’t notice the muffin top. Other times, I’m just going to rock it and love myself no matter what. Okay, I should always love myself no matter what.
Do you think you’d be that much happier if you were skinny? Well, you really won’t. The skinniest I’ve been in my life was a size 00, 105 pounds, and I was severely depressed. I cried every single day and didn’t know why. I self-harmed. I felt horrible. I felt ugly. My boyfriend at the top stopped finding me attractive. Everyone in my life thought I was anorexic…and I wasn’t purposefully one…I just had no appetite. I don’t know why. I blame it on birth control (the depo shot)…but it may have been a number of things. It may have been my unhealthy relationship. It may have been related to past trauma. It may have been a chemical imbalance. I don’t know why … but I do know that it was the best I ever looked in a pair of jeans (in the skinny is attractive mindset) but I still felt ugly. I look back on pictures and sometimes find myself thinking, ‘jeez, I looked so good back then’…but then remember how I felt, and it would never be worth it.
Heavy or skinny…happiness is within
Currently, I fit into the same size jeans that I did at my heaviest, my freshman year of high school. They are a size 7. And I look great. My butt looks amazing. My muffin top is little, but strong and squeezable…just the way a real man would like it. I have a little gap in between my thighs…oh the thigh gap! Let me rant. So, many girls these days are set on getting the thigh gap. Definition: if you stand with your feet and knees together, there will be a gap in between each thigh all the way up your leg to your pelvic bone. When I was younger, the thigh gap meant that your thighs touched, but there was this cute little triangle – basically saying “this is where my vajayjay is” – and it was oh so desirable. I think it is a really sexy look, so do a lot of men. Now, the thigh gap is a unrealistic desire for many. Unless your hips are wide, this is almost unreachable at a healthy weight. Plenty of beautiful women don’t have a thigh gap. Some of the most beautiful women (in my opinion) in this world don’t have a thigh gap: Beyonce, Zooey Deschanel, Jessie Andrews, , Rachel Brathen, Robin Lawley, and the list goes on and on.
Beautiful, without a thigh gap.
Love yourself and it will shine through. Hate yourself, and it will unfortunately shine through. Never measure yourself by the number on the scale. Measure yourself in the love your show yourself, others, and the world. So start loving and stop hating! ❤