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Why or why are we women so fixated with our body image? We all want to be taller, skinnier, have bigger boobs, smaller boobs, longer legs, smaller butts, more shapely butts, less hair, more hair, plumper lips ………………….The list just goes on and on! Why can’t we just accept what nature has handed us and be happy? Wouldn’t it be an extremely boring world if we were all the same size and shape?
We have experts comparing our body shapes to fruit like apples and pears or geometric shapes like triangles and squares! My reply to that is that I’m a woman, not a piece of fruit! Every magazine we pick up features stick insect models in designer clothes that hang off their shapeless bodies. For some inexplicable reason we all want to be like them – like amazons with no breasts or hips!
So I am practically 5 feet nothing tall and I am a curvy girl! I wouldn’t say that I am particularly overweight and I’m certainly very healthy. However, every time I go to my GP she calculates my BMI (Body Mass Index) and says you are on the high end of the recommended scale so you should lose a few kilos. I have been this way since I was in my twenties and despite being on every diet known to woman I cannot maintain a skinny body (unless I’m prepared to eat a lettuce leaf and 3 litres of water per day!) I’m simply not meant to be slim – this is my shape and I’m stuck with it!
What many women may not fully appreciate, however, is that many of the faces and bodies plastered on magazine covers, television screens, movie posters, and billboards are maintained through unhealthy or unnatural means. In more and more cases, too, the images are literally impossible to attain because they are computer-generated! Legs are made longer or thinner, imperfections air-brushed away, and the beautiful face and form “manufactured” through a composite of “perfect” parts from several different women. Women with more ordinary attributes may experience relief in knowing that not even the models can look this “perfect.” Nevertheless, many of us hold such images in our own minds as the standard against which we measure our own beauty.
My 22 year old daughter, who is also very petite, complains constantly about her shape. She says things like “I want to have skinny arms like my friend Bree” or “I wish my butt wasn’t so flat”! Naturally I assure her she is perfect just as she is because as her mother I can appreciate her uniqueness and beauty. I nurtured this gorgeous little thing in my uterus for 9 months and then nourished her from my breasts for another 9 months. How could she ever be anything else but perfect!
Like most women, I spent most of my 20s and 30s believing that I’d be happier, more popular and more successful if I lost weight. Now when I look back at my old photos I think how gorgeous I was. I was not in the least bit overweight! It was just that I didn’t measure up when I compared myself with other women who I thought were happier because they were taller or skinnier than me. What I needed was someone to boost my self-confidence and tell me that I was perfectly ok just as I was.
Sure, I look at women my age with a super critical eye and make comparisons like: “she has a flat tummy but has no boobs” and “her legs are skinnier than mine but she has cellulite”. That is just human nature. I have learned to accept my body – even though it looks nothing like that photo I saw of 67 year old Helen Mirren looking fabulous in a red bikini! At the end of the day I wish to be healthy and look half decent in my new skinny leg pants!
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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