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 

Pinned Image
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!


  1. This seriousily made me cry. It is as if I wrote this. Especially when you wrote about what comes to your mind when looking in the dressing room mirror. EXACT same thing as me. As for me, body image has been something I have struggled with since middle school. In high school, during my sophomore year I was anorexic, and during my junior year I was bulimic. I still struggle with my body on a daily basis. It is one of the hardest demons that I face. And especially now that I do fashion blogging, and I see all these fahion bloggers like Bee and Liz, who are all SO skinny. I think to myself, I have all the same gorgeous clothes, but I would just look stupid trying to look fashionable when I am clearly not skinny. I don't know why I think this way. Honestly, it is Satan trying to fill our minds that we are not good enough and never will be. But we both know that is not how God sees us. Since becoming a Christian (3 years ago) I have been able to overcome my eating disorder and learn to love myself (although it is still hard). But I have come so far from where I used to be.
    Thanks for sharing Sam <3

  2. I hope and pray you will come to see yourself as others do - gorgeous, funloving, and compassionate. I was with you at Saks and got to see your darling image in those dresses. Look into the mirror with open eyes, girl! I think all women sturggle in one way or another with this issue. Thank you for your honesty about your feelings, and for voicing something lots of others are feeling. This will encourage them to examine the validity of the judgements they are making about themselves, just as you are doing. With love from your adoring mother!

  3. To be honest with you I think this is an issue that we all women struggle with at some point in our lives. I remember that in my late teens and early twenties I felt some kind of pressure to stay thin, I already was, but I still felt it and you kind of give in into the whole madness. Now in my early (early) thirties, I feel very confident and I just want to feel good and healthy more than anything. I'm a runner, and have been for very long and I love to exercise (swim, hike, anything!) but I do it because I love too and because it makes me very happy not because I want to look a certain way. Of course is nice that because you do push-ups your arms are toned and all that but that's not the main reason why I do them. I think that there is a moment in life when you realize that first, our lives here in Earth are so infinitesimal that obsessing over looks becomes even more infinitesimal. Think about it, who, in 100 years, is going to remember if you were fat, skinny, had cellulite, or any of that: NO ONE! Even when we read about famous people who are no longer with us, who cares? they are not even here!
    Secondly, there are far so many important things in life to concentrate on that just looks. We have to learn to stop thinking about it so that we can enjoy life to the fullest. Otherwise life is going to pass right in front of you and you are not going to enjoy the ride.
    This is what I think and hope it helps ;)

  4. thank you so much Gaby. So blessed to have people like you in my life.
    And sam, your mom sounds just like me.


  5. A contemporary author wrote the following:

    "Because of your womanly nature, I don't think you could ever understand all the emotions that are awaken when your features are caressed, not to mention the immesurable satisfaction that the act of possessing you conveys. And so I feel pity for you, and get a glimpse of the goodwill the Creator had for me when He put you around."

    I think he would have very well wrote this for each and every one of y'all... :)

  6. I have recently come out of treatment for an eating disorder. EDNOS. So much has changed in my life, but the body image issues and normalizing my eating is something I struggle with everyday. A critical body image thought can destroy a day, a week, a month... Finding your worth in other places in your life is important, as is ignoring fad dieting and even the chit chat that most women think is normal ( "I hate my thighs." " Oh yeah, I hate my stomach") I could write forever about this. The utter hopelessness that you will never be perfect enough, the inability to focus because you are thinking about what you ate, will eat, etc. I would always be happy to talk about this and send my best thoughts to you. I also think the same thing as LA in the Bay...that I have cute clothes and style, but I'm not fooling anyone. It is a struggle, but I see hope. I hope you do too. xoxo

  7. thank you so much for sharing this! amen! so many women struggle with image issues...including myself..i loved reading this!! thank you for your honesty about your feelings. xx

     Katie Carlin-Daily Crush

  8. I am so honored and blessed that you all are open to sharing your personal struggles on this topic. It is comforting to know I am not alone, and there is strength in numbers. Thank you all for being a valid part of this discussion!


What say you? I'm all ears.

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