Sunday, August 2, 2015

Being Body Positive in a Victoria's Secret World

I am sure every girl out there struggles with their body image. I have,do, and will probably for the rest of my life. It seems to be our lot in life as a girls to constantly worry about our image, which is a product of society and culture that tells us our entire worth is derived from how hot, sexy, and sexually appealing we look. We are constantly bombarded with media and ads that tell us if we use this makeup brand, or this lotion, or this diet, or this what-ever-product we will finally achieve what society has deemed to be beautiful. This is all a lie of course because our natural bodies cannot achieve something that is a) un-achievable for most female bodies and b) completely artificial.

Copy Write of Victoria's Secret
I like to call this the "Victoria's-Secret-Beauty-Image." Why? Because it seems like all their models look perfectly like what Hollywood and the media have set up as the ideal beauty. They are thin, still have larger breasts, and most of all have the sex appeal for men. Which is mostly cause by body type, photo shop, and quite possibly unhealthy dieting.

However not only do we have companies projecting this image of what the ideal beauty is but we see it among stars. I know when I watch television or look at singers I want to see girls whose bodies look like mine however there are hardly any. This ideal image of beauty is so deeply saturated our culture that women who don't fit this mold are forced to change their bodies or are not allowed in to the industry. Why is there a lack of diversity in female body type? And when and actress is more "normal" sized she is ridiculed by the media as "fat." These messages trickle down very far and to the very young.

Photoshop is something that has become so common in changing how people look in the pictures that are used. Many people have commented on how unrealistic the changes that are make are. When a person looks nothing like their picture in a magazine there is something wrong. When we change them to look nothing like themselves we tell people that they are not beautiful the way that they are. That they are lacking and must be changed.

Me senior year of highschool and me sophomore year of college.

I was already concerned about my weight and tummy by the time I was at least 9. At the age of 12 I finally realized that the "Victoria's-Secret-Body" was quite frankly unattainable for my body. I could lose so much weight to the point of being unhealthy and still not attain it. Short of having multiple surgeries involving completely changing my bone structure and body it was completely impossible. I am just not built to look like that.

Once I had reached this conclusion I decided to just move on there was nothing I could do about. I think my personality of "just-get-over-it-and-move-on" is beneficial for me in this place. However, I could certainly have chosen to obsess about it let it press down on me. There are so many girls out there who struggle with body image who don't deal well with it. Young girls realize very early that there are expectation on their body and how they should look. I still struggle though. Sometimes I look in the mirror and wish that I could just somehow magically lose the fat in my stomach and thighs. Sometimes when I am out shopping I look at pictures and start to make a list in my head about how I don't look like them. I know when I go cloths shopping I don't like to admit that I can't wear a size small in any brand.

I can't say that there is any true solution to becoming body positive. I can give some suggestions. Make the choice to want to be body positive. Focus your good things. Document days when you are feeling beautiful to look back on and remind yourself of that feeling. Make a list of things about your body that you see as beautiful and why. Such as "I love my freckles because I think they make me look cute." Little things add up. When I have thoughts about comparing myself to others I try to remember that my body is nothing like their body and comparisons should not be made.

We need more visual images of a diversity of body types. I know there are many movements for this but we need to see so much more. You can all make s difference by supporting companies that do this. We have power as consumers to change the world. We can speak up more about wanting to see better representation and speak out against the use of Photoshop to change a persons body. We also need to be more open and honest about our own body struggles. Let's be honest being body positive in a Victoria's-Secret-World is hard and it sucks.

What are your body positive struggles? How do you combat them?

1 comment:

  1. You make excellent points and you are absolutely right. I find it disgusting that society pressures women to fit a certain mold and alter their appearance to look a certain way. We are constantly told by the media that we aren't good enough and that we have to buy things to change ourselves. I think you look absolutely lovely in your pictures by the way! One of the things I'm insecure about is how short my legs are. I can never seem to fit skinny jeans because they're always too long for my legs.