I’ve been thinking about body image a lot, specifically about what the taste makers would like us to aspire to, all of the photo-shopping and the reality of what we really look like…
I’m not going to say too much about the body type that’s in fashion. We all know that it points to Kim Kardashian; a cinched hour glass, a sizeable chest, tiny waist, gentle abs and a large bum on rounded hips. This topic has been done, and done to death. We all also know that is just what’s currently in, as we’ve gone through phases of aiming for various different body shapes, and women flocking to the plastic surgeons to achieve them.
Why are women changing their bodies to go with what’s in fashion? Because the media tells them to… Representation really matters! Subliminally, we’re being pumped with messages about how enhance certain features and diminish others. We live in age of an enhanced diet culture, where we are health-concern and looking for extraordinary ways to stay in shape.
We’ll lace ourselves into body morphing corsets; drink laxative “diet teas”, try strange detoxes like the Cayenne Pepper, Honey & Lemon “diet”, mix protein shakes, meal replacement bars, diet milkshakes, eat pre-prepared low cal, stuff down low fat meals.
All of this in the name of getting into “shape”. We need body positivity now more than ever, women need to know that it’s okay to be different and use their bodies for more than fashion statement. It’d also be great to have clothing that is more catered to those of us that are left out without the heft of prices too, (I’m not talking plus & petite, as it is not always that simple).
Is it shocking to think that behind the media there’s probably a bunch of old white men pulling the strings, making us all dance to their tune?
For those of us that are trying to genuinely be healthier and have a better quality life, fair enough, but ask yourself, whose guidelines are you following? BMIs, though the medical standard, are not 100% on deciding how “healthy” you are. You can be bigger/smaller and still be healthy, it’s about working out what your optimum body is, and making healthier choices to maintain it.
There really isn’t a point in going on an actual “diet”, it makes more sense to have an overall lifestyle change. For me at least, diet now means a group of things that I can eat; & at the moment it’s lactose free (or dairy free) and white meat, or fish friendly.
You can’t set your sights on achieving the taste maker’s ideal body, you’ll be left behind when it changes, & as we all know, fashion goes in cycles. Think of it this way, you are more than a fashion item, more than a commodity, more than a phase, being yourself is always the best option, you can’t go out of style.
More importantly, it might just be physically impossible (without having work done) to attain the body the media suggests you should have, the hourglass figure while it’s the most “alluring” now, is not for everyone. You’ll need broad shoulders, equidistant to your hips, and a note-able waist in-between.
But you don’t have to be an hourglass, or kill yourself trying, you can be a pear, an apple, athletic or an inverted triangle, either you are you, & you are beautiful.
Maybe it’s about time we stop categorising our bodies and started just living in them?