Lately, I’ve been paying more attention to the various body types we see everyday (social media, television, movies, magazines, etc). And I have to be honest, I’m not enjoying what I am seeing. Let me explain why…
There is an article titled, “THIS Is What Real Women Look like in Bathing Suits” (you may have seen it floating around on Facebook), and it’s exactly what you would expect: women of various sizes posing in adorable polka-dotted bikinis.
Cool, seems like a good read. But wait, keep scrolling down and make sure to check out the comments at the end. Yikes. Women are upset… no, they are furious! Some comments express annoyance and question the author why a size 2 isn’t considered a “real” bodied woman. Some of these women discuss their frustration with “skinny-shaming” now that plus size models have been more visible throughout the past few months. There are some replies that push that the term “real” refers to the use of photoshopping, but lets be honest, there were probably some editing done to those photos. Nobody has such glossy chic legs like that!
Media campaigns have started to pin women against each other. For example, the Victoria Secret “Perfect Body” campaign that caused such serious debate, in addition to the release of Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign soon after.
But seriously, who decides what type of body belongs to a “real” woman? As far as I’m concerned, all human bodies are “real”. So why are women fighting against each other? Are we defeating the purpose of feeling love and support within the female community?
Personally, I have a hard time accepting my own body type (curvy and overweight) as something to love and cherish. I am not going to lie and say “I love me” just the way I am. Because, well, I don’t, and I’m just not there yet. Articles like this leave me even more confused about how to accept our bodies. And if this is confusing to me, then I can only imagine it’s confusing for other women, young girls, teenagers, mothers, etc.
And then I stumbled upon a great article on The Greatist (thank you Mom for introducing me to this website!) that offers an interesting perspective on the war of self-love, and how this is NOT a war on photoshop. Stop, SAY WHAT? That’s right… and I think I have to agree. Media will always post pictures of girls with a thigh gap, perfect spray tan, an overly expensive outfit, and professional hair and make-up. But when you really step back and think about it, the war on loving ourselves is within each of us. And the best way to conquer this is to change the way we think–to change our own psychology. Of course, this sounds WAY easier than what it is.
Take a moment to think about where you stand and how you feel about your body. I know that I cannot be the the only one who is struggling and frustrated. Those who successfully love you for you, well, I applaud you. Seriously, I do. And no, don’t expect to see me post a stereotypical article that reads “15 Ways to Love Yourself”. Nope. I don’t have the answers, and I’m not going to pretend like I do.
So lets change the way we think. Lets work together and be supportive of each other. Isn’t everyone looking for a happy and healthy body?
Here is my pledge to conquer the war–the war on loving myself and others.