Tag Archives: body image

Bikinis, Confidence and Scarlett Johansson

Photo copyright of The Superficial.

Scarlett Johansson wore a bikini and people are all up in arms about the fact that she has cellulite.

Her body is pretty similar to mine. (Although her hips-to-waist ratio is better.) Right now my boobs are looking good. They’ve never looked better. But…when you have boobs and a butt and you have very pale skin and you’re of Northern European descent: chances are you will have cellulite.

You can tell in the series of photos she is very confident in her body. She knows she’s beautiful: she looks fit and proportional and sexy.

I went to Target to buy bathing suits and was dreading seeing all the bumps and spots. A funny thing happened, though: I began to see what I LIKED about my body rather than what I didn’t. I liked how long my arms and legs are. I liked my collarbone. I liked the way certain bathing suits made my stomach look.

I have no idea how this happened or why, but it was a very welcome development.

SO, what do YOU like about your body?

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Filed under body shit

A Weighty Issue

I’ve recently discovered a unique fashion blog that I really love. It’s written by a fellow IF vet, and it’s called Danimezza.

I have, like most women, a complicated history with body image. I have very small bones, and am tall, which are ingredients for a body type passable for fashion. My hips are a bit wide, which is a problem area I attempt to mask. I went through a phase senior year of high school when I ate two things: light yogurt and a salad. I worked out every day for two hours. I weighed 110 pounds (at 5’8″), and was exhausted every day: it’s a miracle I got into university. My clique of friends all dieted extensively. At the senior cruise, one of friends almost died. She had become so thin that her blood pressure plummeted dangerously.

Once that happened, I decided to chuck the starvation plan. I ate normally but continued to work out. I gained ten pounds, but was still passably thin. Being skinny stopped being an obsession.  This lasted throughout my twenties, with a brief foray into dieting for my wedding day. (Which was stupid and unnecessary: I look too thin in the photos. My dress was a Vera Wang: I used to make a decent amount of money, and this was my one splurge on myself. I thought I had to be thin for the dress, because it was FASHION.)

When I started to go through infertility, the drugs I took added weight. I got into the high 130s. My friend, on a shopping trip, told me, “It’s OK! You’re not thin anymore, you’re just normal.” Ouch.  That day, nothing fit me well and my love for fashion died a bit.

I’ve always had mad love for fashion. In high school, I would cut out ads and editorials from Vogue and try to piece together my own version of a signature style: at that time it was California girl meets Bridgette Bardot. It was a bit weird: cut-offs with fancy flats, French twists with jeans and dressed-up t-shirts. Denimn shirts tied at the midriff with a polka dotted skirt.

Claudia

Photo credit: By loungefrog (claudia) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Karl Lagerfeld once said: “Fashion is the best reason to diet.” Unfortunately, that stupid stereotype has remained with me, however: I thought fashion looked best on the thin.

In your thirties, I think most people have to work hard to be thin. Where once it was OK to work out regularly, now you have to also have to monitor your calories to stay within a range. With a few exceptions: the women trotted out as the “naturally thin”.  I just discovered that one of the “naturally thin” women I know eats a chocolate bar, then skips eating for two days.  She has help with her children.  If I attempted to watch the twins without eating food, very, very bad things would occur.

I have deplored the fact already that our bodies are supposed to be ornamental, not functional.  I am not advocating obesity or unhealthy eating habits, but I would like to wean society at large away from the actress moms who are supposed to be our body role models.  They don’t eat much, have help so they don’t have to do the heavy lifting of childcare and work out excessively.  Their job is to be thin.

Anna Wintour3

Photo credit: By Captain Catan from Frankfurt am Main, Germany (ParisDay5 roll1 268) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

As a SAHM, my job is NOT to be thin. It’s to be at the very top physical condition I can be in so I can do the physical tasks, discipline, food preparation, cleaning, reading, and being engaged in play.  Surprisingly, none of these things keep you thin.  So, I have given up the dream of being a skinny minny.

Back to Danimezza: what’s so inspirational and eye-opening about her blog, is that she is incredibly stylish and fashion-forward. She knows what fits and flatters her body, and she looks unbelievably put-together and fashionable. It’s a revelation: you can love fashion at any size, and look good in it.

So take that, Lagerfeld.

Do you agree that we don’t have to be thin for clothes to look good? Can all sizes look good with the right cuts and styles? Why are young women pressured to look like Jessica Biel and mothers pressured to look like the Gwyneth Paltrows of the world?  Is this all a bunch of nonsense because I am terrified about wearing a bathing suit in 3 days, in front of my friend who represents SELF magazine?

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Filed under Infertility

Infertility and Body Image

I actually felt very confident in my body right after I had my twins, and pretty attractive. This made absolutely no sense, as I was empirically not attractive AT. ALL. My hair had major roots, I had 30 pounds on my old self (at least), and my body had changed in lots of ways, none of them lovely. I have continued to feel good about my appearance until the miscarriage. No longer, though. I hate my body right now. I hate my appearance.

I think now that there maybe was a strong biological urge to feel good about myself after I had children. Maybe I thought, hey, I’m fertile after all, and that made me attractive to men (my husband in particular, of course), because they know that I have borne children in the past, and I can do it again (even if that is a flawed argument for me, at best). How lame.

Now, though, my body is back to normal. Back to its crappy, infertile, baby-rejecting self. I have never felt less attractive in my life. And deep down it makes me think I’m less attractive to my husband. I wish I didn’t feel this way.

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Filed under Infertility, Miscarriage, Uncategorized