Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Body Image

Body image has been on my mind lately. A lot of it is because I'm getting married this Saturday and what bride doesn't think about how she is going to look or how she will be perceived? However, I think we as women often think about body image far too much. I recently read this article: The vintage girl – a new feminist? and it really got me thinking about the way we think about our bodies in today's culture. 

I know that being healthy is important. I work out and try to eat healthy, but lately I've realized that what our culture is often times telling us is that that's not enough. I need to be a certain size and weigh a certain amount. I came to grips today that that is not important. I read this article and just starting thinking about how wonderful I felt while staying healthy, and began wondering why I still felt the need to try to shrink my body down to a smaller and smaller size? There's no reason for me to. I'm staying healthy and that is what is important. 

We are bombarded constantly with images that we are "supposed" to look like. As an example, I love Pinterest, but I've become slightly disturbed by some of the things girls have put on there. Such as:


Under these images are words like: "Wow, what a motivation". That disturbs me. Before I go on I will say I have been just as guilty of looking at pictures and thinking "This is a great motivation" I'll look at this and think "I need to work harder", but then I started thinking how twisted that really was. I'm going to sit and look at a picture of a very thin woman and think "I need to be that". Some woman are totally beautiful and slender and other women are beautiful and curvy, and we are all shaped differently. No matter how hard I try I will never have slender ankles and legs. I will never have a tiny booty AND that's ok. I need to embrace my body and be a healthy me. 

This just happened to be a small wake up call for me. On my wedding day I may not be 100 pounds and be what our culture today deems perfect, but I will be perfectly happy with my body just as it is, and who I am.

I encourage all of you to always be yourself. Dress how you want, be healthy, but don't obsess about a weight or the way you're "supposed" to look, it's not worth it. You're supposed to look like you. Nobody else.

xo,
 Em

23 comments:

  1. I read this one, and it makes me happy. I love you, my darling sister.

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  2. it is scary what the media has done and how they plaster magazines & movies with what they think looks good when in reality everyone is different and curves are a good thing and worrying how much you weigh is a bad thing. i have noticed too that magazines and media are focusing more on being healthy and eating right but then it makes me think about the guilt of eating a huge cheese burger or having french fries every other day..you know what i mean. i mean i eat what i want but there are times when i choose a salad over something fried because of guilt, not due to gaining weight but knowing that it really isn't good for me. yes we should eat healthy but we shouldn't feel guilty about wanting to eat whatever we want sometimes. its good for the soul :D hope this made sense!
    xo,
    cb

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  3. Cb: I totally agree! I ate fries and some desert today and thought...wow, I shouldn't eat that. But that was just silly, they tasted amazing! Of course I should eat them :)

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  4. Great link, thanks! I think it's because the emphasis is on the clothes, in the vintage scene, rather than the body. It's about finding the perfect garment, and I agree that having to be aware of your own measurements and shopping from different eras does wonders for your confidence. I was wearing a vintage felt hat out on Saturday night, in fact, and a girl at the burger van told me she loved how classy I looked - yep, vintage can even make you look classy when you're queueing up for a dirty burger at 1am! I also think that vintage fashion appeals more to other women, who appreciate the references and the effort that went into finding the clothes, whereas the kind of high-maintenace current fashion discussed in the article is purely designed to attract men. You have to ask yourself: what kind of girl do you want to be?

    I have no doubt that you will be an absolutely beautiful bride, and I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful wedding day!

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  5. Good point you make about the "motivation" some girls pin on Pinterest! I'm really sick of seeing "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels" with the comment from the pinner "so true!!!!"

    Thank goodness there's girls like you who help to promote positive female body image :)

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  6. Such a great message. Glad you wrote this.

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  7. Awesome! I love this. Thanks for posting...and best wishes for your upcoming wedding!

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  8. Positive body image is must nowadays. You know what...I don't go to the gym...I hate the gym, so why would I go? I love ym body and I don't want to look like somebody who doesn't enjoy a cake.
    And yes, something does taste as good as skinny feels...self esteem. some of these girls need to get THAT down their gullet! Did a blog post on this recently too (http://shinypigeon.wordpress.com/2011/12/13/why-self-esteem-is-not-a-bad-thing/). Gosh...I am always surprised at myself over how strongly I feel about this!
    You will look gorgeous on your wedding day! :D

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  9. A lovely post!! And thank-you for sharing that great article.

    I occasionally have to deal with snide remarks from people who insist it's "anti-feminist" and somehow incredibly passive to dress in styles of the '40s and '50s. Sigh. Wish I could show them that article! I had really terrible self-esteem in my early teenage years, but as I increasingly immersed myself in the fashions of the past, I gained so much more self-respect and acceptance. Now I almost never have "fat days" or frumpy days... oh, the magic of a waist cincher and red lipstick!

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  10. Oh, I couldn't agree with you more!! Thanks for posting such a great article! I wish more women were able to embrace this mindset. We'd all be healthier and happier! I know it is so cliched, but beauty comes from the inside...self-confidence and comfort in your own skin (whatever shape and size that may be) really is beautiful.

    You're going to be a lovely bride!

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  11. I am really, really depressed with this body image stuff. I used to be a bigger girl, and I never used to even notice this despite all of the media trying to enforce skinny as "sexy". Then I made my first blog and this really skinny woman constantly harassed me calling me a cow, fat, white trash, and just all sorts of things, making all sorts of assumptions about what I ate, saying that my boyfriend was going to leave me because I was "fat". Yep, this is an actual blogger that did this, and a big name blogger too. Up until that point I didn't even notice that there was anything wrong with me, I was so happy in my own skin and felt confident. After that it just went completely downhill. I ended up loosing around 40lbs and made a new blog, but ever since every day has been a constant struggle to maintain my weight at at least 116lbs. This whole body image makes my life a constant nightmare even though I'm not even really that thin. Sometimes I just refuse to go out for weeks at a time because I'm so stressed.

    Anyway, sorry for such a long comment!

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  12. Harlow Darling:
    I'm so incredibly sorry to hear that. That is so horrible, and just wrong of anybody to say those things to another person. I hope that in time you can heal from the damage that person has done. You are beautiful no matter how much you weigh. I'm still coming to grips with that idea, and it's so wonderfully freeing.

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  13. Thank you for this post! I wish people thought this way more.
    People get looked down on for being too 'fat' OR too 'skinny', even if they can't help it! It's just wrong.

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  14. Great post, Emma! Body image is a hard thing...I try not to focus on the way I look, but rather the way I feel. When I eat foods that are greasy and processed, I usually end up with a stomach ache. I guess that's my motivation to eat more fresh foods! One of my favorite "motivation" pictures was a photo of a trash can with the phrase "Don't treat your body like a trash can." I love that the focus isn't on how much food you're eating, but rather the quality of the food.

    It's the same with exercise! It releases some AWESOME hormones that just make day to day life so much more tolerable. Ask anyone that knows me, I'm much more pleasant now that exercise is a part of my lifestyle. haha! Anyway, just wanted to add my two cents. You were a stunning bride...everyone at your wedding couldn't stop staring at you, you are so beautiful!

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  15. Great post! I love how vintage fashion brings ladies together. xx Fran

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  16. indeed a awesome post.
    thanks for your thoughts.

    you´re beautiful.

    runesbaby.blogspot.com

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  17. I have read this post and I agree about being healthy and doing the best that we can with what we have. Great read! You are beautiful. dawn suitcase vignettes xo

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  18. Amazing blog post- thank you for sharing.

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  19. I have curvy and super curvy friends. I also have flat and flatter friends. I love them all. I think they are all equally beautiful. But what is not beautiful at all is a judgmental, haughty attitude one towards another. This is a great reminder. "those pinterest post disturb me too"

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  20. UGH! I hate worrying about body image too! I guess as a woman none of us are exempt from the horrid feelings of discontent with our body. Its funny because I have been every imaginable size. I don't know what its like to stay one size for years at a time, heck even months most of the time. My weight is a yoyo. I have had five children and with each one I gain weight, then lose weight, then gain, etc. Now after my fifth child, two years later, after breastfeeding.... I am finally starting to take off the 70 lbs I gained. I have been every size from a 2jrs to a 20 womens. I am currently in a 14/16. I am a good mother. I homeschool my children. I cook and clean and take care of our pets. I get up every day and exercise, I eat very healthy, I try my best to be what I feel is a good person, I try to think of others and help out people who I don't even know, yet because my weight is not currently a teeny tiny size and the scale doesn't agree with what I think I should be, I feel like an inadequate woman. I hope to get to a point where my weight will even out and I will stay a constant size (of course to me I hope its a small size) but maybe it will remain a struggle for my entire life. I NEVER look at other woman critically, I think everyone is beautiful if they try and take care of themselves. You are a very pretty woman and I think you look great. Don't let those that belittle others to make themselves feel better have an effect on what you do. You look great!!!

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