The stories of my life on a little island in the middle of the Mediterranean sea ... and my occasional adventures beyond these shores.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Love Yourself The Way You Are

I was browsing around on Pinterest the other day when I came across this:
Source: None via Lorna on Pinterest

My first reaction when I saw this was to snigger and think ‘really’? But my next reaction was one of shock and alarm. Why, you may ask? Because some women posted comments that were in total agreement with this statement. And this set me thinking about the power that the media in general has over women and their bodies. I would have thought that after so many celebrities have come public about their own battles with anorexia and bulimia, a message like this would be considered both banal and unacceptable. Apparently not. Now I am all for healthy eating, and I see nothing wrong with eliminating  junk food, but do some women still not realize that eating a balanced diet is essential? And that population genetics plays a big part in our body shape? That it is normal for a woman to have some curves or some fat and that we can’t all look like walking planks? Why we beat ourselves up constantly about our body shape is beyond me – and I am saying we because I know of very few men who go to the extremes that some women do to look skinny. In fact, in this long list of celebrities who have spoken openly about their eating disorders there is only one man (Elton John and, without any disrespect to Sir Elton, we all know he is not an archetypical male). What scares me is the effect that a statement like the one above will have on teenage girls, especially on those who already have self-esteem and self-image problems. We have become obsessed with our appearance for all the wrong reasons. It seems that the superficial has taken precedence over what really matters.


Perhaps it’s about time that all women take a good look at their shape, at their body frame and like what we see in the mirror. Perhaps it’s about time that we embrace ourselves as we are. And perhaps the poster below should be displayed along-side adverts featuring impossibly thin models.

After all, all cigarette boxes come with a health warning. So why should the attainment of an impossible body weight not come with its own?

8 comments:

  1. Hi Loree..wow..thankyou..a very powerful and important post..thanks for sharing your wisdom! At one time in my life when I was a counselor I worked closely with a girl with anorexia in a group home..it is an awful disease to see someone go through..heartbreaking! More positive rolemodels of women and men are needed to the very sensitive and impressionable minds out there. I recall a young male as well..that every rib/bone that became visible near the skin was like a huge victory..so it touches both genders powerfully..and it is really sad!

    On the bright side..There are also some very empowered young women too who are very wise and don't buy into that thinking..which is SO great! Your passionate article touched me deeply..and it was like a light shining with hope...thankyou for sharing it..awesome!!
    Kiki

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  2. I guess I'm somewhere between supermodel and the Body Shop model. (Bit closer to Body Shop. ;)

    I used to run almost daily in my twenties, but married life and becoming a mom changed all that. I've weighed the same for the last nine years (with the exception of my pregnancy) and I feel very good about being neither too thin nor overweight. I'm blissfully average. :)

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  3. Well put, Loree!
    Interesting post.
    Sue.

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  4. A touchy subject for sure. Thin doesn't always mean anorexic. After my husband I died my weight went down to below 100 lbs. I am 110 lbs now, it took me 9 months to gain 10 lbs.

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  5. well said, and i couldn't agree more. (and i love the jk rowling quote.)

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  6. I love the saying in the Body Shop poster, and I'm very thin, but I don't think it's pretty to be too skinny.

    Healthy looking is always best, and I like what you said in this post..Too many women tried to be like super model!

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  7. Interesting ! I think it's also a fashion, look at Ruben's times the women were rather "round". Who wants to hold a skeleton in his arms ?

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  8. I definitely agree that we should be teaching young girls to love their bodies whatever shape they are. I think the media should be promoting 'healthy' as beautiful rather than 'skinny'

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