Friday, June 25, 2010

Just Be Yourself: The Body

Hello, internet. Today I'm going to share with you some personal information. I'm 20 years old, 5'4" tall, weigh 171.5 pounds, and my measurements are 39/30/40. That's who I am. And I can't be anyone else.

Recently there's been an onslaught of Lolita blogs writing about one big issue; body image. My favorites are this lovely and thoughtful post by Victoria Suzanne of Lolita Charm and Miss Lumpy's very personal post. So I thought this might be a good opportunity to do another post in the Just Be Yourself series.

There is one thing in this entire world that lets you enjoy fashion of any kind. One thing that, if you didn't have it, you wouldn't be able to even put on a shirt. Obviously I mean your body. The reason we enjoy fashion is to decorate and flatter our bodies, not to starve and mutilate the very things that let us live. And yet we do it anyway. Constantly trying to push ourselves in a direction we were never meant to go down. Telling ourselves that we're not beautiful/sexy/cute/small/good enough for anything we want. Personally I've been in this rut for a while now. I think a lot of women are very good at ignoring or debunking compliments directed at them, thinking they're patronizing or pitying, even though the vast majority of them are certainly sincere. But we transfix our imaginations on the image of the perfect body, an everlasting goal that only gets harder and harder to reach with age.

Women come in a lot of shapes and sizes. To compare yourself to one of the starlets in a movie or magazine cover is near suicide, but unfortunately those images are bombarding us at ever hour of the day. But I've noticed that more often, I'll be envious of the bodies of normal women. They don't have the money or time for personal trainers and strict diets, but they look perfectly fine. Why can't my tummy be that flat? Why can't my arms be that thin? That woman over there probably knows how to handle her body. But the truth is, you'll never know what that woman goes through every day. Her body is not the same as yours. She could be thinking the same thing about you at that very moment. Why aren't my boobs that big? Why don't my calves curve like that? Why is her butt so cute when mine isn't?

I sat down last week and just wrote out the things I like about my body. I had spent so much time thinking about the things I'm not satisfied with that I didn't even bother with my positive attributes. It turns out I have at least two and a half pages worth of good physical characteristics, and I'm sure most girls could think about that much if they tried. It made me realize that a lot of what I'm focusing on isn't a big part of me overall, it's just the negative part. The list of things I want to change is much smaller.

Being a big comic book and movie fan, I recently read an article about the new Jonah Hex movie coming out. In the article, it was mentioned that Megan Fox wore a corset during the filming that brought her waist down to 18". She said that during action scenes they loosened it because the crew was afraid she would faint, and that when she took it off her midsection ached and deep grooves were imprinted into her skin. I'm personally a big fan of corseting, I think it's a fun and lovely way to achieve a beautiful silhouette, and it can sure make you feel sexy. But I don't think an 18" waist is safe in the slightest for someone who hasn't trained her body for it. Megan Fox is already incredibly skinny, I can't understand why anyone thought it would be even sexier if she was that unnaturally thin. I'm at least glad that her pain was brought up in the article though, rather than just a bunch of people oohing and aahing at her tiny waist.

So internet, what will you do now that you know my heavy secret? (and that pun was intended) I feel pretty fierce. And I know sometimes I watch what I eat more carefully than others. And I try to work out an hour every other day. But what I really want is for my body to be healthy. And if my textbook hourglass figure is what my body considers healthy, then I am more than happy to oblige it. If you listen, your body talks to you a lot. Mostly it's just telling you to just be yourself.

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