Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Learning to Practice What I Preach

Some of you may remember last year the controvery over a digitally altered Ralph Lauren ad with a model so Photoshopped, it was laughable.  Well, laughable and at the same time sobering.  Recently the model, Filippa Hamilton, was being interviewed over the whole broohaha and while sometimes it's hard to feel sympathy for an obviously gorgeous woman, in these circumstances I did. I also thought: damn, if she's not good enough, what about us mere mortals?

I've had a couple of recent conversations with some girlfriends and the topic of weight and body shape and expectations came up.  It seems like on one hand we are trying to educate our daughters on being healthy and that beauty comes from within, and yada yada yada.  On the other hand, there's a lot of us that are beating ourselves up because we don't look like what we see in magazines.  For me it's a constant battle, because since I was in high school I've struggled with eating disorders.  I'll skip over all the history and the why's and where-for's, but I'm acutely aware that while I'm preaching to my daughter a postive message, I haven't internalized it myself completely. 

So I was surprised during a chat with my friend that I made the comment about a thin celebrity: "That can't look good naked.  Seriously, would a guy find that sexy?" Then while browsing about the Ralph Lauren ad, I came across a discussion board: www.boingboing.net comments where a male poster wrote:  "Anyone who browses porn magazines or videos for five minutes will quickly realize that the US male ideal of feminine beauty looks nothing like the anorexic women portrayed in women's magazines. By and large, women are responsible for making other women feel bad about themselves in this country.

Ok, leaving off the whole *porn* thing, that comment really resonated with me.  I'm a 39 year-old 5'1" mumble-mumble-lb woman.  I've had three kids and unless I undergo plastic surgery, I will never have Double-D's or a Brazilian butt. I will never have a super-model's lengthy legs or saucy pout and perfect nose.  My goal is to accept that and be the best *me* I can be, in a healthy way.  I pledge to stop nit-picking every flaw I see in the mirror - especially in front of my daughter.

I need to practice what I preach.

1 comment:

LSMAXX said...

As you know, I have also struggled with eating disorders for a good part of my life, almost killing myself (with lack of food) the year I met you. While I don't have any children to be responsible for I still feel I have an obligation to talk about what I went through with other women. Mainly though, my talk isn't about how harmful these crazy diets are, it's about how harmful some of our 'girlfriends' can be...and what has been dubbed venus-envy. It has been a difficult road but so worth while once you find that friend, or group of friends, who truly love you for who you are...who can be happy for you when you look amazing, rather then get jealous and try to bring you down. It was truly a revelation when I felt this kind of joy toward my own friends when I saw that they had lost a few pounds or looked fabulous in their bathing suit. THESE are the types of women we need in our lives. And the type of person I strive to be now.

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