Musings on Body Image

I’ve been thinking about body image, self esteem, and why do we harp on ourselves instead of celebrating how wonderful we are.  Where does that come from?  Why do we want to be a body shape that is not real?  I think the last question is becoming more and more real with the rise of photoshopped pictures in magazines and print.  Almost no one in a magazine looks like their picture.

 photo a63edd1e-265c-4492-99ab-c3a5be547552.jpgTheir pictures are slimmed down, reshaped, pores, and facial hair erased.  There is no way for anyone to hold up to that ideal in real life.  We need to educate ourselves about media manipulation of pictures and not compare ourselves to them.  I look back at images from fashion mags in the 80’s when I was a teen and the models were not complete sticks and we lacked the technology to morph them into other shapes. Take a look at this site Photoshop Altering Images and Our Mind.  It gives you a good idea how much someone is changed by touching up the photos.

As a teen and young adult I truly believed I was not thin.  I was, but my mind told me other things.  I know why I had crap for self esteem heading into my teens.  The move to Salt Lake City and a year of ostracization due to religious discrimination tore me apart and left me a depressed mess who did not fit in. Eventually not fitting in became my m.o as I discovered, Punk, New Wave, and Death Rock.  But I digress.  What I can’t imagine is going through that and seeing only stick thin women in magazines. Because yes we do look at them and compare ourselves to what we see, especially as young women.

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I thought I was a heifer, so not true.  If I was that thin again I’d jump for joy.  Weight was one issue I could control by eating or not eating.  My outside surroundings at school were hostile until I was able to transfer to a different one.  But I could control how much I ate and when I ate it.  So I did and in the end it didn’t help me like myself any better, but it was what I had so I used it.

I find I crave to see images in print that look like I do.  That look like real women.  I am tired of seeing fake bodies.  One of my favorite quotes is from Helena Bonham Carter and it is “I do think imperfection is underrated.” Find your imperfection and celebrate! I am.