Friday, October 21, 2016


Once upon a time, last summer to be exact, I was traveling abroad with some of my best friends all over Europe.  It was absolutely incredible, something I'll have to get more into detail about another day.  As we walked the streets of Europe, a couple of my friends and I would notice some posh, chic, beautiful, stylish girl walking down the street and we would immediately say, "Are you kidding me?  She's adorable.  Did you see her outfit?!  She is so tiny!" and on and on and on.  While yes, these women were beautiful, there was a trend in our comments throughout our travels.  Can you guess what that was?  "She's so tiny." "She was itty bitty!" Apparently that was a comment that we made so much, that one of my friends was fed up with our comments and called us out on it.  She said, "why does every single person you guys point out as 'beautiful' or 'gorgeous' have to be skinny?"  It stung.  We of course responded with, "They don't have to be skinny to be beautiful." But I couldn't get her comment out of my head.  It has stuck with me since that day.

I kept questioning myself, do I really believe that?  Am I really that shallow?  And unfortunately, I had to be honest with myself.  You see, I have never particularly been confident or happy with my body.  There's always something that I want to fix, and I have always looked at myself in comparison to others.  No, I don't believe that you have to be skinny in order to be beautiful, but there was something to be said in the trend of my thoughts.  I pointed out all of those beautiful and skinny women, because I wanted to be like them.  I wanted to be skinny, stylish, and everything else that they were.  Sound familiar? Of course it does.

George Tesui: "Looking in the Mirror"

For centuries, women have done such stupid things to achieve this idealistic beauty that is unattainable.  A few months ago I went to a presentation with my mom about fashion through the decades.  I learned about fashion from the 1840's to the 1960's.  In each decade, there was something so idiotic that women were doing for the sake of beauty and of course we all laughed and thought, 'why would these women do that to themselves?' The truth is, 50 years from now women will be saying the same thing about our generation.  It is the same problem, just manifest in a different way. Women risk their lives for beauty, whether it be the tight lacers back in the days of corsets, or the eating disorders of today, something has got to change.  It is a bigger problem than anyone can fix, but I know that I can fix the problem in myself, and hopefully I can teach my daughters what I know and they can fix the problem in themselves. Hopefully all of you try to fix the problem in yourselves.

It's no secret that each and every one of us has some sort of issue with our body image, even the people who in our minds, have perfect bodies.  We are constantly wishing we could look like someone else, and that is just sad.  Each and every one of us is beautiful, no matter what our body shape may be!  We need to stop focusing on all of the things we believe to be 'wrong' with our bodies.  We need to stop beating ourselves up over every little flaw and imperfection.  It has got to stop!  For all of us.  We cannot constantly bash ourselves for being imperfect. Everyone is.  I have heard complaints from women of all shapes and sizes about their bodies, and it is just sad.  I know it is easier said than done, but let's see if we can reverse the way in which we view ourselves and others.  Imagine how much different our children may think of themselves if we simply change our own thoughts?

If you're holding yourself accountable to reach perfection, you're never going to get there.  What you can and should hold yourself accountable for is becoming your best self.  You're never going to look like Angelina Jolie, because you're not her. Because Angelina Jolie is a) a woman and b) famous she probably has things that she is self conscious of as well! That goes with every woman that you view as "perfect."  Be your best self in all aspects of your life.  If you feel like you need to work out more, by all means, do it!  But do it for you, do it for your health, do it so you can improve your quality of life!  If you feel like you need to be more spiritual, then seek the things that your spirit is lacking.  Do you feel like you need some intellectual balance?  Read a book, go to a museum, learn something new. Just be a well balanced person.  Be the best you can be in all areas of your life.  Stop comparing yourself to others, and focus on yourself (I don't mean that selfishly). Beauty isn't just skin deep, and it's something that each of us would do well to remember, myself included.

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