The art of being imperfect

images  It all started with this. I happen to come across a picture of the beautiful Christina Hendricks and became enamored. Her beauty overwhelmed me. But more importantly, I could relate to her.

As an artist, I found this picture of Christina absolutely stunning. As a woman, seeing a voluptuous woman represented on a major magazine cover was empowering. Finally, someone who looks like…me! The skinny models that grace the cover of most fashion magazines hold no value to me. As a size 12/14, I can’t relate. And I feel that it sends out a negative message to young girls, as if to say only if you are young, skinny and pretty, the world could be yours.

I spent a majority of my teens and 20’s trying to fit into the “proper” mold the media and society forced down my throat. Crazy diets, ill-fitting clothes, pills, powders and deprivation were the norm. And of course, me choosing to work in an industry where superficialities are celebrated and encouraged didn’t help much either.

Ever since I became a mother, especially now that Little Woman is entering her pre-teen years, the game has changed. I want to protect her from any insecurities that plagued me during my own youth. I want her to take comfort with herself as the beautiful, intelligent, funny, sensitive, compassionate person she is. She’s not the thinnest of her friends, she already knows this, and is the first to point out parts of her body still covered in baby fat. I am equally quick to throw back that IT’S OK!

I Continually reiterating the fact that her body is still a work in progress, and knowing she comes from a family of well-endowed women, she’s destined to have curves. And IT’S OK!

So as a writer, rather than just put words on paper (or the entire world wide fucking web) I thought I should make an example of myself by doing something that actually scares the hell out of me, something completely uncharacteristic and so radical, just to prove a point. Not only for myself, but primarily for my daughter. I expose so much of myself each week with my writing, so why not this?

IMGP7342  This is me, in the raw. No Photoshop, no body makeup, nothing. This body has taken me on adventures all over the world. This healthy body has allowed me to breathe, walk, talk and think. This body has given life to two beautiful children. This body has given pleasure without complaint. This body has survived more heartache and unparalleled happiness than I ever knew possible. And for that I’m thankful.

Finally, after 43 years, I’ve decided to stop fighting the conflict between my head and my body. I’ve slowly come to accept my body for what it was meant to be, and am always reminding myself of the wonderful things it has done.

It’s been a slow process, never easy. I take it day by day, every single time I look in the mirror. It is what it is. And IT’S OK!

 

I’d love to hear about your personal self-image journey. Please contact me on Facebook or twitter.

 

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