Wednesday, January 1, 2014

"The Problem isn't on your thighs, honey. The problem is in your head"

And it is NOT your fault.

A facebook friend shared THIS blog post and it appeared in my feed today. Always up for joining in a rant/debate I thought I might extend on Arkansassy's (blogger Tyler Lucille) post by adding my opinion on the whole 'models make us feel shit because they are insanely "hot" according to a particular standard' issue.

source: quote by Rae Smith, theloveyourselfchallenge.tumblr.com


I want to start by saying this:

Weight and looks by themselves are NOT issues, weight & looks have become issues because money-grubbers like Karl Lagerfeld & Rupert Murdoch want to sell clothes & magazines & monetize the inherent human need to strive. They turned our insecurities into a market mechanism, which is just disgusting. Rather than using THEIR business-savvy to make us strive to be better, they chose to make us strive for a shitty keeping-up-with-the-joneses mentality. I want a 'real women have more shit to care about than the size of their ass, f*** off everyone who disagrees' campaign. Haha

source: weheartit.com


Historically, women have been valued moreso for their looks than anything else.  Although, in the pre-Christian era, prostitution was considered the world's most noble profession, in many tribal, nomadic and let's just face it and say non-Western (we really know how to mess everyone up, don't we?) cultures, not only this but many other strictly female professions such as midwifery and medicinal healers set women up with an image of motherly care, support and wisdom.


Over time, as we all know, the media was invented and ever since it's been easy to monitor changing trends in what people look like, dependent on who is/are considered the most beautiful woman/en of the era:

From Marilyn Monroe to Jane Fonda, and now to current It Girls like Alexa Chung and Theodora Richards, the body size trend seems to change more often than not. When Monroe ruled the silver screen women wanted to be her, they wanted silver curls, red vixen lips and killer curves. When Twiggy sauntered down catwalks it was all about doe-eyes and pre-pubescent ballerina style.

source: weheartit.com


It’s important to remember, when looking at such a destructive and damaging way of thinking, that body image issues don’t stem from looking at other women. They, like most issues, are the produce of negative comparisons. In our society we are often presented with one particular ideal that we are all supposed to strive to, depending on what society values most highly at the time. So, today we look at the young, fit, tanned modelesque women walking down a Victoria’s Secret runway in French knickers with not a dot of cellulite showing, and as the majority of today’s models fit similar descriptions, we begin to compare ourselves to this. But why?

I don’t believe that women are any more inherently competitive amongst themselves than men, I believe that from the day they are born women are specifically targeted by everything from film, to music to fashion adverts in magazines, and told they must be more competitive. Really, you might love Cosmo and Search for the Next Dallas Cheerleader or whatever it’s called, but when have you ever tuned into one of these streams of media and actually found something helpful? When have you ever flicked through a Cosmo magazine and found an article about being loyal to your friends, or looking after yourself properly (like, mentally, not obsessing about your weight)?

source: weheartit.com


Of course, we can’t only blame the media. Our media contributes not only to how we see ourselves, but how others see us and themselves.

Often, behavioural patterns are passed down through generations. It’s wise to take a look at your family’s behaviour and see how it might have affected you. I know that having people tell me to, ‘wear make-up to work’ or making comments about my weight only ever served to make me feel even more insecure than I already was, and created several year’s worth of struggle with my body image I could have done without.

It’s easy to see that the problem is not, and has never been, physical or even about ‘health’ as so many people will thinly try to disguise their comments by saying so. However, when one party tells someone they’re ‘too big’ and then, when they lose some weight tells them they’re getting too small, one ends up asking ‘why do they care?’ and, ‘is anything ever going to be good enough?’

For those who are commenting on another’s weight the answer is no, nothing will ever be good enough for them, but good news is that it’s not YOUR problem. Oftentimes people will project their own insecurities onto others by pointing out certain things they themselves struggle with. People who desperately want to lose weight might constantly nit-pick at their thinner friends, girls with acne might laugh at the girls who don’t cover their spots with make up, making comments like ‘I have bad skin but at least I don’t force everyone to look at it.’

Parents, ‘friends’, and magazines might try to sell a certain ideal body or look as an indicator of health and idealistic perfection, but we must remember that we all come in different shapes and sizes, and along with that different attitudes to health. And we should never sacrifice our health, mental or physical, to fit the mould of a certain societal standard.

I don’t believe it’s appropriate to comment on someone’s weight, unless you’re a doctor/health professional or someone who was actually ASKED to make a comment. Whether you’re overweight, underweight or a perfect weight, the way the issue of physicality is treated by our society has made it a very triggering issue for many people.

source: weheartit.com, Elkana

I am a young woman who has gone through period of being chubby, stick-thin, overweight, extremely fit, etc. Mostly because I'm a random, inconsistent person who one year decides to be a university-style alcoholic, the next a fitness freak, the next a total homebody. I'm not going to talk about numbers, BMI, etc, or anything else but at the moment I'm probably the thinnest I've ever been in my adult/late-teenage life, and I'm also probably the most unhealthy I've ever been, which is something I should certainly look at improving – but it’s not about weight.

These days, aside from my decline in veggie-consumption, I feel much better about myself because I have surrounded myself with people who generally don’t make triggering comments.

My advice for anyone going through body image issues is to remember; you are not your weight, height, skin-type, etc. You are you, a person of value in a society which tries to tell you your only worth can be measured physically.  

XO, Ellen