Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Oh, give me a reason to be beautiful


I'm not having a good night. I feel fat and hideous. What I would give to feel content for longer than a minute... I hate to admit that I am affected by it. There are so many important things to worry about in the world and this is hardly one of them. I am well aware of that. I am well aware of the hypocrisy. I also know that being bombarded with images of so-called perfection on a daily basis has a way of making a girl feel like she should be thinner. Perhaps comparison is inevitable? I can't seem to control my mind. As much as I know that the woman I am is not defined by what I look like, I'm not going to lie, I worry. Man, I have big boobs, my arms are a little chubby, I don't have 5 inches between my thighs, and my stomach isn't immune to bloating. My awareness of these facts makes my body a backdrop for my everyday life. My stomach, back, butt and hair are in my peripheral vision, not my sole focus, but definitely tickling at my consciousness. I try to remind myself that healthy girls don't envy other women's small frames or sunken cheeks. They don't feel guilty for not being as thin, or muscular as a magazine clipping. But here I am, insecurity-laden, nervous and wishing that I could become Miss Skin 'N Bones. Here I am, flipping through Victoria's Secret catalogues wishing that I could order the bodies instead of the clothes.

12 comments:

Liz said...

i think we all feel that way sometimes. you're for sure not alone. the media does its best to really screw us all up. we just gotta really try to find peace in what we have. even though it can be a struggle at the best of times.

JaG said...

Girl, please don't feel bad. You are in the top 3 of the most beautiful girls on my bloglist, no kidding! And it's not just the pictures you post, I've seen you in person, remember?

I do know how you feel though. Just yesterday I posted about a documentary I watched online (it's here: http://www.beperkthoudbaar.info/docu/) that's all about how the media and the cosmetics industry is making us all feel ugly and abnormal. Photoshop is the devil, I swear! These days women want to look like people in magazines who don't even really exist! I know I'm pretty skinny but flipping through a fashion magazine can make me feel bad about my body too!

Try not to worry too much. You look awesome, you really do, imperfect and all. You even made me feel scared to talk to you because I thought you looked so great and I'm not saying this to be nice. I'm not that kind of nice ;-)

(Maybe I should put this long comment in an email instead of here, but f*ck it, everyone should know I think you're beautiful.)

Jennifer Stoddart said...

JaG, thank you so much for your kind words. I almost cried while I was reading your comment. You are such a sweet and beautiful girl.
I appreciate your positive energy and encouragement more than I can express.

I am going to go check out that online documentary right now.

JaG said...

Jennifer, you're welcome. (And I'm sorry that most of that documentary is in Dutch.)

J said...

You are very honest. I feel like this sometimes (I love the last line) but try to pretend that I don't.

- J @ Hollow-Star.net

Jennifer Stoddart said...

I try to pretend too- but that's why I wrote this- because it was exactly how I was feeling. I didn't write this to fish for compliments, or as a woe is me kind of piece. I think that no matter what we look like, and no matter how many bigger problems there are in our lives, a lot of us feel this way sometimes.

Keira-Anne said...

Not sure if this makes any world of difference, but upon not-so-close examination of most pics in the VS catalogue, it's evident that their Photoshop dude isn't so skilled. The blur marks on their hips and stomachs are as badly done as the obvious chop marks carving a few inches out of their inner thighs. It's a marketing machine designed to make you feel the way you're feeling, and to me, that's horseshit. It's not realistic and it ain't pretty. You, however, are. Chin up, honey.

Jennifer Stoddart said...

A very good point that you make about the VS Photoshop dude's skills, Keira. I guess you kinda do have to laugh, hey? Thank you, my dear.

Phaedra said...

I can totally relate to how you are feeling. Especially difficult is when we are aware that this (body image) isn't that important, yet it seems to pop up and challenge us in ways we sometimes don't know how to deal with. And as we all know, the media has plagued with image after image of what we *should* look like. Bah.

Even though we've never meet, you write from the heart, which to me, is the most beautiful gifts one can share. And for what it's worth, I think you are a very attractive young lady.

Barbara Doduk said...

Jennifer, a while back I posted this on my blog I thought you'd be interested in this, as it is a commercial showing just what they do, to sell us a false image of what women should be. There are two commercials by DOVE on this blog post of mine, I think you should watch both.

Onslaught

PS, I agree with what was said in the comments, it is bullshit, and most females feel this way too, all of it is an emotional blackmail to encourage us to BUY things to make us believe we are only beautiful with their products.

Jennifer Stoddart said...

Thanks for mentioning the Dove campaign, Barbara. Those are seriously excellent commercials with important messages.

Barbara Doduk said...

Thank DOVE for their realism. I love their pro-age commercials too. Cheers!