Today alone I've heard about 4 dozen commercials on the radio about perfecting my skin, hair, body... Here's just one example:
There I am, basking in the gloriousness of Of Monsters and Men, tapping my toes to the tunes of "King and Lionheart" - and then, suddenly - I am rudely interrupted.
"Stop using filters to make your skin look flawless. Start using Olay Fresh Effects for skin so fresh it needs #nofilter"
Heads up, Olay Fresh Effects!! - My skin's never gonna be "flawless". No one's is. I have come to just accept this. It's always going to have blackheads, the occasional pimple (although I did just have a WICKED bout of adult acne, which is finally healing), skin discoloration, blemishes.. oil... and yea, now I've got a few wrinkles - so what ? Can I please just go back to listening to my music now? Gracias.
P.S: I know you've airbrushed whatever models you have in magazines and television commercials flaunting your product. I know your product is full of a bunch of fillers and other crap that sound really effective, but actually aren't. I have stepped behind the curtain, beauty industry. I am onto you, playa, and I'm not buying it. #nicetry
I take a break from my endless data entry to check out the good ole Yahoo homepage for some cool movie news, and other news from around the world. Yes, I realize Yahoo isn't the numero uno place to read up on the world, but I'm a pretty simple gal, and I just wanted to see cute pics of babies cuddling with puppies, read up on Nelson Mandela's legacy, maybe catch some movie trailers, the crash on Jupiter, the life of an asteroid - Oh and see what the latest is with the Loco crazies in Texas who clearly have no idea what it means to live in a free country (That's another rant in itself).
Anywhoo, here I am perusing - and what do I find but these fascinating articles topping the charts:
Jennifer Lawrence cut her hair and it is adorable! - Love this girl's stance on appreciating your own body image, but her hair? Who cares??
Kim Kardashian is unhappy with her bikini pic - Don't love this girl at all, and couldn't care less.
Victoria Secret fashion show article - SHOCKER
Gisele Bundchen's breastfeeding glamour shot -really?
Kelly Pickler wears a dazzling dress to the ACAs - do. not. care.
Keira Knghtly re-wears pink wedding dress - good for you for using that thing more than once!
Blake Lively rocks a lace dress - We get it, "hot" chicks are rocking fab dresses...
Kim K wows in a yellow outfit at an event ya dee ya dee ya da - AGAIN with the Kim K??
Spencer Pratt gained 50 pounds - Who is Spencer Pratt??
How to KEEP OFF THAT HOLIDAY WEIGHT!!!! - but, it's the holidays.. and I'm gonna eat... so....yea....
Gap thigh workout! - UGH. Listen, I'd love for my thighs to not touch, but not because it's trendy.. it's because sometimes, I chafe. Humidity + Skin + Fabric = not always the best feeling ever....
Oh and some article about the "perfect" woman mashup that some super bored British beauty retailer put together from the faces of Jolie, Kunis, and Kerr - uuummm.
Ooodles and oodles on who is wearing what, who looked fab, who looked fat, who hates how this other person looks. Eat this not that. Don't get FAT this holiday, do this instead... Nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels..
Luckily I stumbled across some great articles on airbrushing debunked, a beautiful photography self portrait experiment that really exhibits learning the art of self love, and some other super articles I decide to share on the Facebook. (Links at the end of this article)
I am still not safe, though! Once I'm done spreading the joy of what little POSITIVE body image media I find on the news circuit, I see my news feed sprinkled with the self loathing/shaming/hating of some of my friends:
"I really wish my ass wasn't so big" - First of all, you're exaggerating. This is coming from a person who I know for a fact is a size 6. a SIX. She is also, clearly, prone to hyperbole. I am a size 10. If your ass is "so big" where the hell does that leave mine? Guess it's big too.. but you know what? Most men, like big butts.. and I cannot lie.. oh yea.. I went there.
Hey Big Booty - Who cares if it is big? Oh, you care - ok, well then If you don't like it, go to the gym, because wishin' ain't gonna shrink it!
"I seriously need to get in shape - I am DISGUSTING" - whoa, simmer with the smack talk, homie. You are not disgusting. Are you grimy, or are you just out of shape? If you feel like you need to get in better shape, start squatting, but don't be so MEAN to yourself. Negative talk gets you nowhere.
"Kim K hates her bikini body - I haven't worn a bikini in my WHOLE LIFE #wishiwasyou" - (No, really, you don't... did you SEE the Kardashian Christmas card? OH and.. do you know how she got famous?)
I don't wish you were Kim Kardashian - I wouldn't be your friend if you were, and that would make me sad.
Aye Carumba!!! These are all women I know. These are my friends, and they are not being very nice to themselves. they have fallen victim to the crushing self image obsession that the media pushes upon them.
- All jokes aside, I'm totally guilty of doing this too, and still definitely have days where I spend hours upon hours being bombarded by billboards, magazines, commercials and radio adverts about perfecting my body, my skin, my hair, my eye lashes, my brows, my bum.. and sometimes, it's just all a lot to take. It can be crushing - even to a really self aware woman like me. I find myself comparing my various features to models, to actresses, to other real women I just see out on the street. I know those models don't really look that way, I know there's some serious airbrushing going on. I know that, while some of these women may have clearer skin, more fit bodies, and longer, shinier locks than me, I keep in mind that I am not defined by my skin, my pant size, or my sense of style - and neither are they. They have been given what they've been given, and so I have I. I can take care of myself just like they can. Maybe they need less upkeep than I do.. Maybe I have to just work harder. So what? I'll do that, but I will do it for ME, not for the media, or a boyfriend, or anyone else.
I also know that there are some seriously great articles and stories out there combating the media's overwhelming surge of "fix yo self" messages. Despite all the "woman power" in the world though, it can be really hard to feel awesome (or at least, adequate) when you're constantly being told you shouldn't. When you are constantly reminded that there's always something to fix, that someone else is always in better shape, has better skin, or better hair. When I am seeing all of this, feeling myself getting sucked into the "fix yo self" gimmick, I have to stop. I have to ask myself - why do any of those features that these people possess qualify as "better" than what I have? Who deems their amazingly tight, size 3 ass, to be better than my, fully rotund, semi tight, voluptuous one? No one but the media. They value a sexy size 2 over a sexy size 10 or 14. Tight abs are in and curves are out. We are seeing a lot of this change, but not soon enough. So, it's up to us as women to speak up, to change our own train of though, to educate ourselves.
I pep talk myself a ton. I rationalize. I try to point out the features about myself I really love - both physical and otherwise. I try my best to focus and share those articles and spread the word. I try really hard and most of the time, I succeed. I go to bed proud of myself, being thankful for the body that I have and the work I have done to be healthy - both mentally and physically. I am a goddess. I am beyond amazing.
And then sometimes, after all my pep talks, hard work, practical reasoning, and pats on the back - I have that tiny, body image obsessed, goddess in the back of my head whisper, " no, seriously.. it would be nice to have a smaller ass...".
Yea, kinda super vain goddess, sometimes, it would. Sometimes it really would.. but my ass is the size it is, and I still really love it. Not that it's important, but I've also had several compliments on it. I know that if I want to, I can change it, but I'm not gonna beat myself up over it. I workout when I can, eat healthy (mostly) and I try my best to take care of myself and enjoy my life. If my ass stays this size my whole life - I'll be OK as long as I get to live my life and have an awesome time with awesome people, who also dislike Kim Kardashian... (kidding).
No, but really... take that bikini body and run with it, KK, and as for the rest of you, don't waste time trying to be the model you see on a magazine page, she doesn't exist - YOU do. Spend the time being the person YOU want to be, not some false concept of a person the media, beauty companies, and others want you to.
Some articles I saw today about body image that I liked: