Body Acceptance in fashion and in my own head
This is what I looked liked right before I begin an earnest work out program in Dec of 2010. This was about a week in and I had seen my body start making changes, could feel myself getting stronger. Today I’m sitting at my laptop recovering from a Taco Bell bender late last night. I realized something as I was shoveling empty calories down my gullet, I hate my body. No matter how many affirmations or cute pics or body acceptance blogs I read every time I look at the above picture I want to vomit. I don’t blame the fashion world, movies or media. I blame me.
Some people might think this is because I don’t like the way I look and that is a major part of it. But I think the the thing that bothers me the most is that I’m still so far away from what I believe is an “acceptable” weight. I don’t look the way I want to, the way I think I should. Because I’ve tried so many, many times to change and have failed I get disgusted with myself and the tape recorder in my head plays the same old songs “you’re never going to do it anyway, so why bother?” or my favorite “you’re so gross looking, don’t work out in front of people” as if somehow my “fatness” would get on poor unsuspecting skinny people if they shared a gym with me.
I’ve made the decision to begin working out again, probably for all the wrong reasons. I want to look better in a bathing suit, I want my pants to show off my bum not my tummy and because I want my old sex life back. None of these having anything to do with my health, because well I’m 27 and a heart attack is not likely so it’s also not likely to be motivating to me. Now a new Italian stretch wool shift dress? Now we’re talking motivation. I learned today that if I want people to accept my body, I have to do it first.
Body acceptance in fashion is slow in coming but with new health initiatives on runways, more advertisers promoting the idea that women of all sizes are beautiful is slowly happening. Although a young girls plea to Seventeen Magazine to have at least one untouched picture per issue was flatly denied, we still hold out hope. More and more women are standing up and demanding to be represented in the media, advertising, movies and magazines. You can’t ignore us, we’re not going away and we have every right to be here, in the spotlight taking center stage and what most of us have found, is that getting face time is hard but once you have it the response is immensely positive.
Plus Size fashion has made major strides in the last decade mostly due to the fact that dollars speak louder than anything. We buy from people who make clothes to fit our bodies, plain and simple. (Take notice High End Fashion Houses) In this economic crunch no design house should be overlooking what is over a a billion dollar market. It has long been thought that plus sizes were a realm of bargain basement department store bins, with no glamour and no advertising appeal and so many designers have shied away from creating clothes for the curvier set. In the June issue of Full Figured Magazine below you can seen model after model gorgeous looking, curvy and definitely advertising pieces that make you want to run for your credit card because yes you’ll take 3 of those leather stretch corsets thank you very much even at $80+ dollar price tag. Why because we love looking and feeling sexy, just like any “normal” size woman.
Body acceptance is tough for all of us because for so long we’ve been conditioned to hate ourselves, buy this product or that and you can be just like J Lo! We’ve all heard the late night infomercials about how “Insanity” worked for them and they lost upwards of 200 pounds! All I can say is stop the insanity! Do what works for you, makes you happy and provides the healthiest, best possible body for you. If that means never being a size 2, then that’s ok. Being a size 12 is pretty freakin’ awesome too, or 18 or 28 or 32 or whatever. No one is as beautiful, unique and amazing as you’ll ever be so make sure to take care of yourself in the best way possible, because we need all the help we can get.
Go out today my lovelies, create memories, strive for excellence and above all make a difference in first your own life and then in someone else’s even if it’s just giving them a much needed smile or nod of encouragement. That other chubby girl who lives across the hall from you, let her know how cute her outfit is, or how awesome you think her band is etc. We could all use a little encouragement now and again.