Body image is such a strange, strange thing. In my case, it can also be a very fragile thing. This post could go a thousand different ways but let’s start here…
I’d like to think that I know better than to be jealous of something I see on instagram. I know that most people out there aren’t purposely posting their less than flattering moments, that they’re really only posting when they look or feel good and that’s perfectly fine! It’s not that I want to revel in their ugly photos or anything. For me, it’s just so easy to get discouraged when I see beautiful person after beautiful person after beautiful person. Perfect body after perfect body. I know, and have briefly written about how one person’s beauty doesn’t take away from your own but some times it’s hard not to feel crappy. I’ve been struggling with that a little bit lately.
On top of this, Jeff and I went shopping together a week or two ago which should have been a fun thing but I left feeling a little bit blue. I’ve found that most stores in the mall don’t really carry clothes that I would or can even wear. My local H&M is consistenly sold out of anything that isn’t a size 2 or 4. I rarely fit in Forever 21’s clothing and their plus size section is too big. It’s like there’s a gap of sizes that got left out. If I do magically fit in their clothing it’s obscenely short. Again, making it unwearable. Then when we went to Victoria Secret, where Jeff was so kindly offering to buy me something, they didn’t have my bra size.
In the grand scheme of things, it’s small fries. I don’t regularly shop at the mall nor did I really need anything but it’s hard to not feel discouraged. I felt like a giant. Like I was “too big” to be a woman. This is a super crappy feeling I deal with quite often. I am not a delicate flower. I have never been. In middle school I was proud to be bigger than all the boys. I was strong, and not to be messed with. Somewhere along the line I became self consious of my size. I wanted to be small, delicate, “feminine”, and perhaps most of all, shorter.
This whole flare up of feelings at the mall happened two or three days before I needed to take some photos for an “in kind” campaign I was doing with Athleta. That just means they sent me some clothing in exchange for photos. I had picked out two things I was super excited to wear – a striped sports bra + a cozy sweater. I picked the two of them together with a specific photo in mind that I would take. My deadline was approaching, and despite any negative feelings I was having toward my body, I had to get at least one photo.
I took a handful, not expecting too much. Wouldn’t you know it I LOVED what I was getting. I ran back in front of my camera, posed some more, and got even more photos I loved. Photos that made me feel good about my body. Photos that showed me my own body in a different light. That helped me remember how incredibe my body is. Maybe its not the thinnest, daintiest, petite thing but it’s a damn work of art. This body is strong. It houses all the good things I have inside me. Most importantly, it’s the only one I have.
So what if it will never grace the cover of a magazine? Ahem, I mean, I did that already. So what if it doesn’t garner attention from every dude on the internet? I don’t want that anyway. So what if I can’t buy cheap-o clothes from the mall? I should make smarter purchases, anyway. It’s like I’m intelligent enough to know that the reasons I want my body to look a certain way are stupid but still can’t help but sometimes feel like my body could be ‘better’. Fitting into clothes from the mall wouldn’t make me happier. Being pestered by more men who only like the way I look certainly wouldn’t make me happier. So why do I feel this way sometimes? It makes no sense.
I guess I just wanted to write this post to 1) celebrate a time when I felt really happy with my body and 2) share that even the people you might look up to still struggle with the same things. It’s only human.
Quick run down of some important things –
- The beauty of another does not take away from your own!
- Everyone EVERYONE struggles with their appearance from time to time – even that human who you think is like the ultimate good lookin’ person! Chances are every once in a while they look in the mirror and think “who is that dingus?”
- Taking selfies isn’t vain, sometimes it can be a really cathartic experience that will help you see things a little bit differently.
- STOP COMPARING YOUR BODY TO OTHERS. Everyone is built different.
- Not being petite doesn’t make you any less womanly or worth any less.