Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Let's Talk About Body Image

This is a subject that I think any woman out there will want to have a read of. Why? Because we're all seeking validation that we are the ideal. For many years fashion has given us tall models very slim models with legs for days, Barbie gave us the same thing to feed our children with. But over the past few years plus size models have been ebbing their way into the catwalks. Now I sat there and thought 'wow great! This is a huge step forward'. Now what I meant by this isn't that they're finally promoting the 'average' woman, but rather there is a new dynamic in the mix.

Yes the catwalks and magazine pages now might be full of both size 4 models with abs and size 14 models with nipped in waists, which are still unattainable images for the rest of the public. But it's a step in the right direction. Give it another 10 years and for fashion to take another step and we might be seeing girls with inverted triangle shapes, big boobs and then straight down from there. Or women with small boobs but Beyoncé style back sides. We aren't at this equal plain for all women yet, but we're a step closer.

I have had heated discussions with many a friend on the topic of body issue, and we all say the same thing 'I don't feel pretty'. One of my best friends is more of a column shape, she's a size 6/8 and I think she's stunning. But when we discussed this topic last week she said she doesn't feel pretty anymore. She said that because of all of these images on the internet! The 'when did this because sexier than this' Now she eats right, and she has been the one to suggest a McDoanlds on occasion, but you know what? That's her body shape. She will always look like that. 

I also had a conversation like this with my little sister. She's 17, a size 10 but she has more of a rectangular body shape. She still has a waist that comes in, but not as much. Yet she is super active! She rides horses 4 days a week and mucks them out another 2! She's been doing this for 3 years, and that is still her body shape. She is active and she takes after my mother, who is a size 8 through dieting, exercising and doing everything right, but she has the same body shape!

I am a size 10, with 41 inch hips, 26 inch waist. I have the classic 'hourglass' shape. Yet I don't feel beautiful, I still see women in magazines and actresses on TV who have slender legs, and flatter tummies, and who still have this straighter shape. I have also had people use back handed insults to take a dig at me for my size. But I am healthy, I eat right, and occasionally I indulge in some cake. I might not be the healthiest, and I could exercise more but I look in the mirror and think 'no I'm alright actually'. That confidence has taken me 4 years to develop, and I think one of the biggest things that helped be get there was having a boyfriend who tells me I'm beautiful everyday. If someone says you're ugly everyday - you start to believe it - it works in reverse too. 

I also think it is important to mention Marilyn Monroe here. She was not a US size 12-16! To accommodate for the worlds ever expanding waist lines the sizing charts were changed, a size 8 today was a size 16 then - yes - but it's still a size 8. She was sewn into her clothes most of the time as well, and she was an extreme hourglass shape, which is a completely unattainable look anyway unless you're born with it!

We as women need to stop looking at everyone else with envy, and start looking at ourselves with love. This is the only body you get, and so long as you're healthy, then sod the rest of it. You can't change the shape you were born with, just do your best. Even if you eat right you might still be what is considered 'big' and if you eat KFC everyday of your life you might still be considered 'small'. But it's just how your body works. 

We need to get over this obsession with how we look and actually understand that we're all in this together! How will we ever change the world of fashion and the way men perceive us unless WE change are perception. Until we can not be either jealous or bitchy about every other female how do we expect the industry and the male half of the population to do the same?

We are all in this together. We are the most perfect version of ourselves.

Please tweet me on this topic, I am very interested to hear your thoughts! @KHarriet

*All images courtesy of Google.

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