Lovely Elizabeth of Delightfully Tacky, a blogger that has a huge part in changing my outlook on fashion and style and clothes in general, made a very thought provoking entry on her blog lately about body image in the media changing over the years and how it affects what we think about ourselves. By the way, I love how that girl can share her personal thoughts on very important social issues, always having great style and being mindful of other opinions. I really admire her in her whole amazing womanhood and I'll feature her in my Lovely Blogs cycle really soon so enough with bells and whistles for now, you know I love her and that's it. More love later.
This is a body-positive blog. I am a body-positive person. That doesn't mean I'm all lovey-dovey with my body. I have insecurities. I want to be better looking. I want my hair to be big and curly like they were in the past. I want my prognathism gone. I want my back to be straight.
The media and society perpetuating what media say, taught me that I should be slim, slender, smooth and sexy. All of those terms contain very strict images of that is considered by them. Slim is when you have no folds of skin on your belly when you sit. Sexy is when you wear short skirts and high heels. These words are, in fact, self-contained definitions. And those definitions are based strictly on visual imagery of overly-photoshopped models wearing clothes designed to make you feel a certain way. Those images are so common and so strong, they've become a sort of a reality that we tend to compare ouselves to. And yet, they do not represent any sort of reality. They are indeed a world of ideas and imaginations. But we do believe those ideas and apply them to our own bodies. And judge.
Being body-positive means, among other things, I try my best not to judge others and their choices. It also means trying not to judge myself. I'm deprogramming myself from judging and after going through my Project on Body, I think I'm succeeding for the most part. I started the project because I knew human bodies were different from what I saw in the media and I wanted to show that to the world of people who didn't have the same certainty about it that I had.
My project let me change my outlook on my body, too, and more than I would have thought. Here are some things I have learned.
I won't love my belly when it becomes bloated because it hurts. I won't love my hair on a bad day because it looks like I haven't washed it in a few days. I won't love my jaw for protruding, sadly, ever. Despite what many self-help articles (that I read as a research) told me, I've come to the conclusion that I don't have to love that. It's ok not to like something in yourself as long as you like yourself as a whole human being --bones and mucle and fat and skin and accomplishments and relationships and your story alike. And I do like it. In fact, I'm pretty much amazed at how great a human being I have become over the years. I have goddamn fantastic pair of legs, a cute face, I can sew a dress for myself and I had a hundred people come to my place, talk to me about their bodies and then show me those bodies, naked, to take photos of. And I made it all happen by myself. Is that cool or what?
The people that came to me, trusted me. They didn't judge my butt and teeth and skin and I didn't judge theirs. If we did, the photos wouldn't be as honest as they are. I saw them naked and all my mind was doing, was looking for a good photo of a fine person. It is possible and quite liberating really, that not judging bit.
You can't fix feeling bad about yourself if you don't stop justifying the evaluating of your worth based on what society told you is acceptable or not. There is nothing and I mean NOTHING wrong with wanting to be beautiful and striving for it, despite what we are taught: that it's vain and only silly girls do it. There is nothing wrong with wanting to take care of your body and your appearance, be it with cosmetics, physical activity or great clothes. It is good if you do it. But it is best if you do it because you feel like it and because you make your own standards of what is beautiful.
It's your body and you make your own choices about it. And those choices are ok as long as you don't hurt others with them. If you don't like shaving your private parts, don't. If you love your body thin, get it. If you like your body big, let it stay that way. You make your own decisions and have your personal motives for making them. Remember that and try not to judge others, as they have the same freedom to make a choice for themselves.
Do you have your own story to tell? A different angle to see things? Feel welcome to share.