Body image – a rant

I apologise in advance. This is going to be a bit of a rant. It was always going to end up on here sooner or later. A few things people have said in the last few days have got it on here rather sooner. I’m still wondering if this should have stayed in draft 😉

Why are so many women so negative about their bodies/weight/shape etc? Recently, several extremely attractive women have made negative comments in conversation about the way they look, or compared themselves unfavourably with how they feel they ought to look. And their comparisons and comments all because they feel they fall short of an ideal.  

Having mulled this over, I’ve realised that weight and body shape is really the only area of life where almost everyone compares themselves to the ideal and in fact uses that as their benchmark. It’s also the area where people feel judged most strongly by other people.

As far as I can see, most women (well the ones I know anyway) don’t constantly try to get their house or bank balance say to be as close as possible to some shared abstract “perfection”. They may want to improve either in some way, but it’s moving towards a personal goal, not towards how they think everyone else wants them to live. No one would argue that the perfect house for one person is the perfect house for someone else.

OK, maybe I’ve taken that analogie a little too far. I’m never terribly erudite when I’m ranting.  But how would it be if we all compared ourselves to a less exacting standard? Maybe we don’t have those long legs/flat stomach/perfect ankles/pert breasts/flawless complexion…. but maybe things could be a lot worse!

Anyhow, I’m off to the gym now, hoping to get a little fitter and maybe even a little more toned, but without any inclination to analyse how far away I am from looking like Elle Macpherson 😉

I think I will be back in a bit though to either improve or delete this – it sounded a lot better in my head earlier today than it does written down…


3 thoughts on “Body image – a rant

  1. Interesting post. I have struggled with body image for years, but never thought of it in this way.

    Also, being a kind of “middle weight” size 16, I always figured I had a nothing body – I wasn’t attractive to your “average man” who fancied slim girls (what??? – even I can see the illogic there, yet can’t deny it is how I feel) but neither was I attractive to guys who liked “big girls”. I’ve felt hideous in my skin for – well, as long as I can remember.

    But the guy I have been seeing recently is genuinely and openly in awe of my shape. It had honestly never occurred to me before that a man might like me because of my body not in spite of it and it is so illuminating, quite literally like someone has turned a light on to reveal a huge sign in the dark spelling out “DURR!!!”. I wish more women could experience such a revelation.

    Of course, it doesn’t stop me wondering whether he is the only one of his kind… but we all have our paranoias!

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  3. As I write I am looking at a photograph of you. It is a very pleasant thing to look at indeed.

    As a man I find it difficult to understand why so many intelligent women want to aspire to some sort of “normalised ideal”, yet realise that the “ideal” changes with society, with the decade, with fashion and, most importantly in my view, that no two men will have the same view of what ideal looks like anyway.

    I have been lucky enough to know some stunningly beautiful very large ladies and some stunningly beautiful very thin ones, some have been tall, some have been short. What made the difference was how they felt about themselves, because that is how they projected themselves and that is what we men pick up on.

    Ladies, you are being brainwashed by the commercial interests of fashion houses, cosmetic companies and sports clubs. You know it, but most of you are in too deep. Ignore the Borg, resistance is not futile. There is no secret. If you believe that you are beautiful then you are

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