Body Image

Okay, so this being my first blog ever(!), I know, I know, get with the times right?  I thought I would touch on a subject which I would say 98% of women can relate to…. Don’t give me that look of “what the heck is she on about?”  Body Image.  From my own personal experience this subject has haunted me since I was around 10 – 11 years old.  My first memory is where I would be in my bedroom and doing at least 100 sit ups each and every day.  Why you ask?  Even I can’t really answer that question.  I do not remember what made me think I HAD to do sit ups in the first place, so to me this is abit of a mystery.  I don’t think I can blame the media at this stage (the year being 1985) as it wasn’t in your face as it is now… Oh, I just had a thought of why I did this…. Madonna!  I loved her in the good old days and maybe, just maybe I wanted to look / be her…. who knows… but this theory is working for me at the moment!

So roll on a few years and my next memory is when I was about 14 – 15 years old.  I was beginning to become obsessed with exercising nightly in my room doing sit ups (yes, I was still doing them!), leg lifts, waist twists; just what ever my 15 year old mind could think of.  Aerobics Oz Style (come on, you must remember that TV show back in the day!) was another feature in my life during this time period, where I would get up at the crack of dawn before school and exercise my little heart out!  It didn’t just stop at that; I would walk home from school (3 kms) just in the hopes to lose weight; I would also record weekly measurement of my waist, boobs, hips and upper thighs just to confirm to myself what I was doing was working and it was.

So fast forward to a few more years and I completely stopped any kind of exercise during my 20’s (I was happier going out getting drunk every Friday and Saturday night (KROC or Utopia anyone?  Theresa S if you’re reading this, you know what I mean!)).  So it wasn’t until I was into my early 30’s where I got back into exercise.  I completed a couple of women’s triathlon which were always great fun and I have more or less kept up the fitness regime.  At present I train with a Personal Trainer twice a week and I try to go out for a 30 – 40 minute run about three times a week.

So back to why I started this topic which got me thinking….. why am I a little obsessed with exercise, watching what I eat, trying not to feel guilty when I do have a treat; where has this come from?  Boyfriends, media, comments made at high school… I suppose one comment can start to make you think but many comments rolled into one can have an impact.  I have in the past also been preoccupied with weighing myself on scales everyday and each day there would be a change (of course, hello… weight fluctuates each day….) and my mood would reflect the outcome of the number on the scale.  I have come to a point now where I weigh myself once a week due to being told by my family and Personal Trainer to STOP this fixation!

So this leads me onto where the other day I was at Myer, a department store here in Perth, looking in the designer dress section (casually looking at the overpriced, hideous dresses mind you!) and I came across a dress which was a size zero.  Let me tell you, this dress was tiny, diminutive, almost microscopic, it was literally the size for a small child!  So when I look at the women in Hollywood, size zero is their ideal size as we all know, but I just don’t understand why you would want to look like a boy with no boobs, hips or butt which would lead you to think that if ALL these actresses hear each day is, you’re too fat, lose weight; I would assume becoming obsessed with their weight and measurements will have a profound affect on them, especially if they are missing out on movie roles due to their size.  I can only imagine what pressure they’re putting on themselves (not just mentally but physically) to reach this “ideal” size.  As for the normal women (normal as in, not living in Hollywood peoples), getting down to a size zero I would think is nearly impossible unless you just don’t eat.  Maybe these women have taken dietician advice from Marjorie Dawes (Little Britain) who recommends “Dust. Anybody? No? High in fat, low in fat? Dust. Anybody? No? Dust. Anybody? No? Dust. Anybody? No? Dust. Anybody? No? Dust. Anybody? No? Dust. It’s actually very low in fat. You can have as much dust as you like.”

So to compare this to me and other women, I suppose what we go through is actually minimal as opposed to these women in Hollywood.  It’s about time we cut ourselves some slack and appreciate that we are healthy, normal women who don’t have the horrific pressures Hollywood demands on them.  As my mother always says “at least you have your health”!

For just a moment, take a look at the song (which I love by the way) “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix A Lot: “I’m tired of magazines sayin’ flat butts are the thing, take the average black man and ask him that, she gotta pack much back, baby got back” – this song is on my iPod and I always turn it up when I’m out running!  Just gotta find myself an average black man now!  This song is confirming that it is okay to have a little cushioning on our bones and stop trying to be the ideal size, which in reality, we would probably never achieve.

Lastly, I just have to say Jennifer Lawrence has an awesome figure with boobs and butt which is so refreshing to see; but what really annoys me is how the media criticize her as being too womanly…. what the heck does that mean….?? By having boobs and a butt, you’re now too womanly…. I loved her response back to these idiots “I eat like a caveman, I’ll be the only actress who doesn’t have anorexia rumors. In Hollywood, I’m obese. I’m considered a fat actress.”  So when I read awesome comments like this, I think to myself, Jennifer Lawrence is happy with her figure then I can be too!

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