Stereotypical beauty…

It is all over. When you open a magazine, turn on the TV or pop in a movie. It never fails that there is some leading lady, 110 pounds soaking wet with stunning features. Am I really supposed to look like that?

Don’t get me wrong, I love roles where women are bad asses, kicking some booty and taking names. But I despise that young women and even older women are being forced to stare at these women and think, “Wow I want to look like that.”

We all have different bodies, our bodies have different structures, some of us aren’t meant to be 110 pounds, some of us are.

Last night my husband and I watched a horrific episode of Bones. In this episode they were discussing child beauty pageants. I have never had a strong reaction to them, but I wouldn’t want my little girl parading herself around, being judged by her beauty. Isn’t there enough of that in the real world?

Either way, this sparked a lovely debate. The big question, how do you raise a little girl to be proud of who she is, what she looks like and to feel good about being healthy, when there is so many influences that tell her she isn’t perfect, so therefore she is ugly?

I thought about myself. I was a blue eyed, blonde haired child. I was popular because I was adorable. I was even skinny. I played softball, was a cheerleader, had a dazzlingly smile etc. In Middle School I got my period and it all fell apart. Now I know that I have a hormone condition that greatly alters my bodies way of coping with food. Back then I assumed I was cursed.

Slowly my pant size went up, I watched in horror as my friends exchanged clothes and I could no longer join in with them. Finding fashionable outfits in a size 14 back when I was a kid was nearly impossible. I envied the girls who wore flares and hated my stupid straight legged jeans.

I started wearing black, tying my hair up in buns, defying anyone to even say a word. Other kids picked up on that, they poked fun, made snide comments and slowly my popularity status disappeared. I stopped playing softball, I stopped cheerleading.

In High School I reconnected with my best friend from 3rd grade. She was bigger, but wore it proudly. She had confidence and didn’t care what people thought. I clung to her. She was my life raft in a storm of uncertainty and confusion.

There are many times in social situations I still feel awkward because of my weight. I have always been a friendly and outgoing person, but being about a 100 pounds heavier than I have ever been has chopped my confidence in half. I now stay silent, secluded, when I do attempt to make friends I analyze if they like me for hours, if what I said was stupid. I wonder if they are staring at my fat rolls or disgusted by me because I am bigger. All really horrible thoughts, but they pop up anyways.

I have denied my weight, hid my weight and hated myself. I have eaten horrible foods and sat on the couch for hours, even days in depression. It wasn’t till recently that I decided I needed a change. Hormone condition or not, I will make this weight loss thing work for me.

I will admit, the idea of cute clothes instead of the weird clothes they shove bigger women into is appealing. The thought of being able to shop with my mom and sister again would be amazing. But I don’t want to base my whole weight loss mission off of society and what they think I should look like. I would much rather just feel better and reverse the side effects dumped on me by my hormone condition that is aggravated by being too heavy.

Sometimes while watching TV I will suddenly think to myself, I just want to look like that. But I have to catch myself and give a stern lecture about being healthy and not worrying about fitting into a stereotypical beautiful category.

Isn’t that what is so amazing about people, we are all unique?

How do you feel when you look at magazines and see the models? Have you ever felt ugly because you didn’t look a certain way?

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4 thoughts on “Stereotypical beauty…

  1. I think even many “skinny” people feel that way. I certainly have and I'm certainly not overweight.

    I tend to make friends with people who are not quite as close to society's norm for beauty. Why? Because they have struggled. They have worked to get where they are, and haven't been able to just coast by on their looks. And I prefer people with depth rather than just a glitzy exterior.

    But what I have learned in the past year is this: self esteem is just that. SELF esteem. It is how you esteem (to regard highly or favorably; regard with respect or admiration; value) your SELF. It need not have anything to do with how others view you. And by working to break that correlation between how others see you and how you see yourself, you begin find your self esteem. You learn to change those negative messages you keep hearing inside yourself. You learn to truly believe that you are beautiful, not because of how you look, but because of who you are.

    I wish you strength and perseverance in your weight loss, but even more, I hope you can begin to see you as you deserve to be seen. 🙂

  2. I agree. I think everyone, fat, skinny, tall or short has felt judged or awkward at some point in their life. I tend to write from a bigger girl point of view because I am one.

    I agree, making friends based off of personality is perfect and I try very hard to do the same.

    Thank you for the great advice! Each day that I take care of me, each day that I get healthier, I gain more and more self esteem.

  3. I just want to add… my ex pretty much killed my self esteem. It wasn't the greatest before we met, but many years with him left me totally relying on others for my sense of value.

    But in the months I've been on my own, stopping myself each time I heard those mental messages, I have realized I've changed. One day recently, on the way to work, I realized that mental messages that day were totally positive.

    I've learned that when I pull a stupid, it's ok to just shrug it off (I literally shrug my shoulders and picture it rolling off) and tell myself, “You did the best you could at the time, and now you've learned from this, so tomorrow you'll do better.”

    So I guess my point is… definitely take care of yourself. definitely get healthier. But don't forget to stop those negative thoughts IN THEIR TRACKS AND KICK THEM THE HELL OUT OF YOUR HEAD. They have no right to be there, and you have every right to tell them all the reasons they are wrong. And at first it may feel like a corny exercise and you may struggle to believe the reasons you are saying, but it doesn't take long before you will begin to find those positive thoughts coming naturally.

    Trust me, it's an amazing realization when they do.

  4. What an amazing story, thank you so much for sharing it with me. It is so nice to hear other peoples success stories in getting healthier and kicking the negative thoughts out of their head. It can be such a hard journey. I am glad that you did it!!

    Each day I get stronger, each day I get more confident, each day I get healthier. I just keep reminding myself to take it all one day at a time.

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