Wednesday, July 4, 2012

How to Love Your Body Part 2

Missed Part 1? Read it here.

Good morning, and Happy Independence Day! (aka Fourth of Juuuu-laahh) <---said in a Southern accent.

So, yesterday I started discussing what I feel is a very important and understood topic among women - body image. Body image is such and issue in our society today - it's everywhere. In our families and home environment, in jobs and interviews, in television, magazines, and media.

Photoshop manipulates models' bodies into something that they're not, and fashion puts pressure on models to be thin in order to "wear the clothes." This ends up making both the model and the viewer feel like their body isn't good enough, therefore leading to low self-esteem, so on and so on. It's basically a lose-lose situation.

Today I'd like to talk about these views that society comes up with about image. It makes me a little, ahem, pissed off at society. Sometimes I just feel like God shakes His head at some of the things that are said and believed nowadays.

Right. This is going to be a long post.

I recently wrote my final paper for Lit about how society contributes to bad body image, low self esteem, and eating disorders among women. Yes, I believe that family and genetics and stuff like that plays a rather large role, but come on. Size 0? Really?

I have many, many annoyances when it comes to society. (These are not listed in order of most obnoxious - they're all equal to me.)

One: the "Pear," "Apple," "Ruler," "Triangle," blah blah blah body shapes. If you have hips, you are not a pear. You just have hips.

Two: Certain body shapes cannot wear certain items of clothing. This is kind of a weird one. I believe that if you have a curvy body, larger bust, should probably stick to clothing that is, ahem, appropriate. The best example/analogy I can think of is the television show "What Not to Wear." It has women of every body shape - curvacious (and vivacious!), tall and lean, body-builder, wheel-chair, double mastectomy...they've seen it all. All of them feel like their body isn't worthy of dressing in a way that is not only stylish, but makes them feel beautiful. And every.single.woman. who is nominated onto that show - they look so, so beautiful. Not just because of the clothes, but because it looks like they take care of themselves, and they look happy - from the inside. Okay. Done gushing.

Three: Thin is happy. *Smacks forehead with hand and weeps a little exasperatedly.* I'm not even going into this one.

Four: You must look like a model/actress to be beautiful. This means lean, fit, and perfection. This annoys me *almost* as much as number three. It's more of anger/frustration than anything. People: models on magazines are Photoshopped. They are not real. I shall show you:

Notice how they thinned her arm, made her legs longer, and flattened the top of her shoulder. Do you see anything else? Personally, I think she looked better before Photoshop.


They also eat crazy diets, like living on kale chips and hummus every day. A lot are just not healthy, and definitely not happy. (Drugs? EDs?)

Five: The Ideal Body. I think we all know what the ideal body is. It varies from person to person, depending on confidence level, personal preferences, etc. - but I have a suspicion that it's a pretty basic idea: lean, fit, toned, curvy but not too curvy. Thoughts like "Don't let your thighs touch!" or "Have perfectly toned slender abs and and a flat tummy!" bring you down. Some people's body types simply don't permit this - especially depending on age, if you have had kids, genetics, etc. Everyone wants what they don't have.

Six: Looks are tied to success. Tricky one, too. I think this goes along with number five. The thing with this is you have. To accept. Yourself. I can't stand that women think that they must have the perfect body in order to be successful in, well, anything. Getting a boyfriend. Having a good job. Liking the way you look. Having a good self esteem.

The last major thing I have to say is: Accept yourself. It takes time, and patience, and often it takes pain. But it's worth it. God blessed you with the body that He created. He planned it!!!! Take care of yourself, and you won't feel so trapped. Poor body image hurts. It cripples. It creeps into everything you do, everything you think.  

I leave you on this note: You can't change what you've been given. Accept it, and love it. Food for thought.

I can't wait for you to read Part Tres!!!!

What bugs you about society's ideas? Everything?!

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