Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Body Love

Embarrassing confession:  I spent most of yesterday hating my body.  Even as I type that I hate myself for hating myself.  Tres chic women don't hate their bodies!  They are effortlessly cool, calm, collected.  So why can't I be like that?  I sink deeper into my guilt for feeling this way as I examine all I should be thankful for- having two legs that carry me around daily, a family that loves me, friends that could care less what size I am.  Furthermore, hating my body is not really something I'm supposed to do, after all, I studied eating disorders and their link to the media in college and was enraged by the thought of women defining their value from their size.  Yet, that's what I did for most of yesterday.  And I know I'm not alone.

It all started in the dressing room of Saks Fifth Avenue.  I grabbed a few beautiful dresses from my favorite designers (Parker, Rebecca Taylor, Haute Hippie) in my usual size, and headed off to try them on.  Much to my dismay, I see my reflection and that mean inner voice begins berating me before I can stop it- 

"What's wrong with you?  Why haven't you been working out more?  Why have you been eating without counting every single calorie that enters your mouth?  Look at that cellulite on your upper legs.  Gross.  How will you ever be able to pull off an outfit post like your favorite bloggers?  You'll never look as good as them."

I instantly begin counting the times I can make it to the gym this week to make up for the grilled cheese and clam chowder I had for lunch.  I hate that I do this; I don't like it and I so desperately want to love my body just as it is.  I know many women do this very thing, and my heart hurts for each one of them.  My heart hurts for myself.  

                          Pinned Image

My mind then remembered an image I stumbled across on, you guessed it, Pinterest.  The image is from Healthy is the New Skinny, a website dedicated to bringing a message of health, joy, and responsibility to the beauty and fashion industries.  The image is truly provocative:

This photo shows Katie Halchishick (co-founder of Healthy is the New Skinny and the Perfectly Unperfected Project) holding a Barbie doll in the November issue of O. Dotted lines indicate what would have to be cut away in order for her to have Barbie’s body.

I am so grateful for websites like this one.  Another great website that provides me with a healthy dose of reality when I am playing battles with the mirror is I Am That Girl.  This movement was started by former Survivor contestant, Alexis Jones.  She blows my mind with her goals for women across the world.   Alexis challenges women to think of all that could be accomplished if we spent half as much energy pondering how to cure cancer, perfect our government, or end world hunger that we spend hating our bodies and being fixated on the physical.  She calls the movement she kick-started "Bellism."  Here's a short video she created explaining her passion and vision for women worldwide-

At the end of the day, I love fashion and beauty products, and I don't think either industry is evil by any means.  If anything, they have awakened a part of my creativity and make my daily life more fun.  I do, however, support more realistic images of women in the media.  Women of all sizes truly are beautiful, and one day I will learn to love my curves as much as Kim Kardashian does.  ( Did I mention my hip measurement is the same as hers? :))

Pinned Image

   Here are some of my favorite classic beauties that didn't fit the bean-pole standard- aren't they gorgeous?

Ava Gardner via my Pinterest 

Marilyn Monroe via The Selvedge Yard 

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Sophia Loren via My Pinterest

I am curious- do any of you struggle with loving your body daily?  If so, do you have any suggestions for getting your mind off the physical, and becoming more accepting of yourself?  I'd love to hear!
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