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“A culture fixated on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty, but an obsession about female obedience. Dieting is the most potent political sedative in women’s history; a quietly mad population is a tractable one.”
Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty are Used Against Women
I absolutely HATE swim suit shopping. There is no more crushing blow to my normally decent self esteem then to see my nearly naked body under horrible fluorescent lights. It’s like department stores deliberately use the most unflattering lighting so you will spend more time in their stores and hopefully buy more stuff. Newsflash: I don’t want to buy your clothes if I feel like I look terrible in them.
In an effort to personally feel less self-conscious and perhaps show those friends that struggle with their own body image see that we all have different shapes, sizes and flaws, I decided I’d post the dressing room photos I took on my social networks.
No, I didn’t do it for attention or to have folks compliment me and boost my ego. Any one of my friends will tell you my ego already has a swelling problem.
Nothing makes you quite as hyper-aware of your cellulite, muffin top, small breasts, and big thighs quite as much as hitting the send button on bathing suit photos.
I know it really doesn’t matter how my body is shaped. It is my body, and at its fittest or at its fattest, I still love it. It’s the only one I will have in this life, so I might as well appreciate every little dimple, doughy squish, or knobby bone.
I know that our perceptions — MY perception — of beauty is usually photo-shopped, airbrushed with massive amounts of make up, lit just perfectly and photographed at an optimal angle. We are lied to every day about what is beautiful. Deep down, we know that it’s all completely unrealistic, yet we still convince ourselves that in order to be beautiful we have to strive, sometimes even sacrifice, to attain unrealistic ideals of beauty.
I hate the whole “Real Women Have _____” meme, but I feel like this needs to be said:
Real women have flaws.
Real people have flaws.
Know that every beautiful work of art has them, but the only person that knows is the artist. As the viewing audience of art, we call these flaws “unique” signatures of greatness. If the artist doesn’t call attention to them as horrifying imperfections, all we ever see is a beautiful creation that speaks to our soul.