Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I'm not alright, you're not alright

I struggle with self image like nearly every American, I'd guess. Those of us plugged into the media in the forms of TV, movies, magazines, newspapers, and/or radio have all got the message: Thin is Good. Thin is moral. Thin is the priority. Thin is healthy. Thin is the only form of beauty.

Thin is ever increasingly hard to obtain in our sedentary, high fructose corn syrup laden, fast food abundant, speed of light world. It makes me think of the Rubenesque beauties that were heralded for their voluptuousness perhaps because high calorie food was difficult to obtain and having extra flesh was a sign of wealth and prosperity (and I'm sure a nice way to stay warm in those drafty homes of the 16th century).

In celebrities we've got a few awesome men and women with some curves and rolls that show one can be chubby and healthy. One such celebrity that passes for fat is America Ferrera.

She's a lovely woman with beautiful skin, a warm smile, and a healthy and curvy body.

And here is the lovely Ms. Ferrera in a magazine shoot

What? Where are the lines on her neck? What happened to her cute freckles? Her soft arms? And did she get a breast enhancement?

Clearly not. She's been altered by the infamous air brushing that is rampant in every fashion magazine.

No wonder no one feels beautiful enough, good enough.

While strides are being made I still struggle with accepting who I am and what I look like. I don't expect to look like the magazines models (because I know they are fake) but it can be hard to get the logical side of my brain to link up with the emotional side. I know that beauty doesn't make a human being a quality person but the constant battering of thin imagery takes a conscientious decision to overcome. I'm still working on it each and every day and I know that I will for a long time to come. I hope that my daughters and son grow up stronger and more self assured than I am. The best I can do is try my best not to expose my children to this type of media until they are older and can process it better as well to not let them know about my unhealthy self image.


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