The Body Image War

How many of us How many of us are happy with our bodies? Are we always comparing ourselves with that woman over there, that girl on the beach, that hollywood starlet?

Maddeningly, the trends of how we should look, what size we should be, how our hair and makeup should look are changing all the time.

I can’t keep up with it and I don’t think anyone can.  I often wonder how the socialites and the social media pages keep up with the latest trends on what we should look like and then the havoc that causes in the fashion and beauty industries as well.  And of course, there are all the groups that are affected by the roll on of that, weight loss groups so we can all be a perfect 8, fitness so we can all be perfectly toned no ‘flab’ and no ‘skinny fat’.  The magic bullet products for weightloss and creating a bigger bust.  And not surprisingly cosmetic surgery is at an all time high.

Well, at my very young age of 50 plus years, let me tell you I’ve seen a lot of changes and a lot of trends and it still amazes me how much power those trends have over us as women.  And unfortunately, a lot of these trends are neither healthy nor achievable.  As a life coach and counsellor for many years, I have worked with lots of women.  Most of us have the same dreams for ourselves, and so much of that is about self esteem and value.  But sadly for a lot of women that value seems to be more about how they look like rather than who they are and their intrinsic value.

Many of us are not in a position to afford costly cosmetic surgery.  Some of us will never be that size 10 or 8 or dare I say 6.  It’s just physically impossible.  And yet, every magazine you see, you are being told this is how you are supposed to look.  I know this is old news to all of you reading this article, and I am not the first to voice these opinions and wont be the last.  But these issues are very important to me. 

In my role as a life coach, I have the opportunity to speak into the lives of women and I want to climb on a chair and yell – We are all unique, wonderfully made individuals.  There is something simply fabulous about all of you!

Don’t get me wrong – I want to look fabulous, I love my bling and I want to wear clothes and makeup that make me look and feel great.  But more importantly I like to be happy in my own skin imperfections and all and to love who I am.  I’m not saying surgery is wrong, this is a judgement free zone ladies. You might need breast reduction surgery due to back pain, you might need botox for headaches, you might need that tummy tuck due to health implications.  Only you know what is right and what’s wrong for you.

I’m not saying all surgery is wrong, I’m just saying I wish it wasn’t as prevalent.  Women shouldn’t feel so pressured to look a certain way.  Not so long ago there was the worrying trend of women having their genitals made smaller so they would look ‘more attractive’ and mimic the women in mens magazines.  Food disorders are at an all time high with both men and women starving themselves and endangering their health to get into size 6 jeans.

The prettiest thing you can wear is your smile.

Audrey Hepburn

The most beautiful thing you can wear is confidence.

Blake Lively

A lot of women want to be healthy, fit and beautiful, there’s nothing wrong with that but lets love ourselves and be good to ourselves.  It’s time we started to love being who we are.