Body Image Blues

Raise your hand if you have ever been unhappy with your body.

Don’t be shy, I am raising mine, I won’t lie.

In today’s society it is more often than not that people are unhappy with their appearance. I really hate this. I hate how the media portrays an image and everyone thinks that that is the way they are supposed to look.

I was really excited when I read this article: Aerie’s Unretouched Ads Challenge Supermodel Standards For Young Women.

Basically, Aerie is the popular teen store American Eagle’s sister company that makes lingerie (No, not the skimpy, sexy stuff. They make practical undergarments and loungewear for women & teens). Aerie has started an Ad campaign for 2014 that features only un-airbrushed models. They want to show women of all ages that everyone is beautiful just the way they are, sans Photoshop. After all, that is mostly what we are getting from the media, Photoshop.

american eagle unretouched

While many people rave over these campaigns for their appreciation of real beauty, others get into a rage over them. Some think that these campaigns are a disgrace to the models being deemed “not real”, and that by saying you are featuring REAL beauty is to say that size 0, totally toned women are not real/don’t exist. Of course they exist and no one is saying that they aren’t beautiful beings. I mean, obviously they are, they are on the cover of magazines for heaven’s sake! What is simply being said is that this is not the only way to look, and if you don’t have the tightest tummy out there it is OK.  I think that it is really important to get this straight.

Everyone has flaws, even the models that grace the covers of magazine. Yes, Victoria’s Secret models are thin and they are real, but that is not the only body type that is beautiful. None of these campaigns are saying that being overweight/obese is a-okay, they are saying that being healthy is. And no, I am not saying that Victoria’s Secret models are unhealthy either. YOU are beautiful, even if you don’t wear a size 0.

Are you happy with your life? Good. Are you healthy? Great! Being happy and healthy is all that matters.

Body image issues are WAY too common today. There are a lot of factors that play into these issues (even down to genetics!!), but there is no denial that the media plays a part in shaping how we see ourselves.

Another good campaign I have come across is Special K’s Fight Fat Talk, which aims to create a positive approach to weight management. This one has sparked some controversy because of how the company promotes its products for weight loss. Basically, I say that it is a positive step. They are trying to contribute to the movement of focusing on health and less on the way our body looks. Let’s not look too far into it, it is a positive thing they are doing.

Like I said, I won’t lie and say that I am lovin’ my body 100% of the time. I am human. I have “fat days” as much as I hate to admit it. But I challenge those negative thoughts as much as possible because I can realize that they are irrational and ridiculous. I have family and friends who love me, a career on the rise, and a healthy body to boot.

Here are some of my strategies to combat body blues

  1. Remember all of the things your body does for you. We put these things through SO much that we hardly think twice about. Strolling through the grocery store, sledding with the family, swimming in the ocean. Let’s not take these things for granted, they wouldn’t be possible without our bodies.
  2. Say “who cares!” I literally say this out loud. Are you healthy? Do you have the energy to live a life you are proud of? Good! So, ask yourself, who cares if your tummy isn’t perfectly flat? Chances are no one notices it but you. We are our own toughest critic.
  3. Read inspirational quotes. I love going on pinterest and (for sometimes hours) scrolling through the “quotes” category. So many motivational quotes, sayings and pictures to lift your spirits.
  4. Think of all of the things you are thankful for. There is so much more to life than what our bodies look like. What about the awesome job that you are doing at work? Or how about the scarf you just knitted? These are the things in life to focus on and be proud of.
  5. Lastly, remember everyone who love you and remember why. They love you because you are you. They don’t care if you don’t have washboard abs.

I am sorry about going on such a rant today and if my rambling didn’t make sense. Sometimes I just get so worked up!

My final word is just to focus on being healthy and happy, because, in the end, that is all that matters!!!

Sources

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/17/aerie-unretouched-ads-photos_n_4618139.html

http://www.specialk.com/en_us/fightfattalk.html

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