Is someone out there actually demanding that a sexy, beautiful and talented star like Beyonce defend the shape of her body?!?
I am saddened that this is such an issue, but it will give me a chance to speak out against a sickness that has been plaguing our country. Our obsession defining beauty only being in the form of rail-thin women must stop.
Since when is "curvy" a four-letter word? Since when is size 10 considered "plus sized?" Well, that's what it is in the modeling industry, which is just ridiculous. And I love how people use the P.C. phrase "full figured," to describe a woman they feel is a bit overweight. It doesn't mean "overweight," of course, but it's the way people say it that clues me in to their real meaning.
Why are people not judging us by our character? Why are we subjected to public scrutiny if our body does not fit a very tiny "ideal." Who comes up with these ideals anyway?
I can see wanting to be healthy and toned by not over eating and maintaining regular exercise, but demanding that we are a certain size? That's like saying, oh, I'm sorry, you're not a blond or you don't have blue eyes. Or, your skin is too light or too dark. Can we say Nazis?
Hello! Women are SUPPOSED to have fat. Women are SUPPOSED to have curves. Ever wonder why super skinny / super active women do not have regular periods? It's because they do not have enough fat on their bodies! When a woman's body fat drops below a certain critical level, her body changes. The estrogen production actually decreases to pre-puberty levels!
You may say - well, this is just the rant of a woman who doesn't fit the size 4 and below ideal. I have to say I have never been a size 4 and will never be that small no matter what. I am not built that way. But I also have a pretty positive body image. Sure, I want to be healthier and stronger, and yes, as a result, less cellulite and a lower percentage of body fat. But my size does not define who I am or my self-worth.
I believe that as long as I strive to take care of myself: feeding my body good food; giving my body good exercise; feeding my mind; being true to myself; knowing who I am and what I want; that makes me a woman, a force to be reckoned with, not some weight-obsessed waif who only believes her worth lies in the hands of those who care nothing more for her than what she looks like. Yes! I blame women for giving others this power to tell us how we should feel about ourselves.
Ahem. My rant is almost over. I only have left to say that so many of our nation's youth and adults, for that matter, struggle with their self-image as a result of people telling them they aren't good enough because of their weight. Look at all the people with eating disorders. I can't deny that I believe there would be eating disorders regardless of the media objectifying women and telling us that we need to look a certain way to be beautiful, but I think that it is multiplied exponentially by the images we see and the opinions of those we look to for guidance.
It makes me furious that people out there actually believe that they are qualified and entitled to judge people like that. And then the rest of us tend to follow suit and think it's okay for us to make these kinds of deductions. I myself have been guilty of saying things like "whoa, she should not be wearing that," when I've seen an overweight woman wearing a bikini and strutting her stuff on a beach. What I should have been saying is "good for you!" If she feels confident and beautiful in her own skin and wants a good tan, more power to her.
If "skinny" is all people use as a template for judging a person's worth, then I believe their own insecurities are being transferred to those they pass judgement on and that's sad.
Hey, for those of you who need a reminder of what the world through the ages has thought about women with full figures:
Venus of Willendorf: 24,000-22,000 B.C. - a representation of fertility, femininity and beauty.
Marilyn Monroe: reportedly a size 12-14 - a woman just oozing sex appeal.
And of course, the woman who should remain exactly as she is: (tell me she doesn't look good).
I'm not going to say that "real women have curves," because it's not about your exterior that defines who you are as a person.
I think that statement is just as shallow as believing that you have to be thin. Some women are thin no matter what they eat; it's their genetics AND it doesn't mean they're healthy.
Some people may think that it's not realistic to focus only on inner beauty, and perhaps they're right because that's not the only thing we see when we initially look at a person - but there has to be a way to keep young women from believing that they would be much better off in this world if they were outwardly beautiful instead of smart, kind or talented. We should be teaching our kids about their contribution to this world and how to make it a better place, not just praising them on how pretty or how handsome they are.
I read something a long time ago that discussed the psychology of influence; and a woman was more persuasive if she had an attractive personality rather than if she was physically attractive.
Just stuck with me.
BTW, I think what Dove has been doing with their current "Campaign for Real Beauty" really hits a sweet spot for women out there. The advertising side of me realizes that their using this emotional connection to sell product. But when a company really understands their market and takes steps to walk their talk (like putting programs in place to boost teen self-esteem) - they deserve to sell more soap!