BeYOUtiful

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Does anybody else see something wrong here???

I know that your Pinterest home board is completely random depending on who you follow, but what I saw just a few minutes ago really struck me…  My thought process as I see these pictures:  “OMG, that burger looks AMAZING!” *looks to the model in the shorts* “Well, I don’t think I’m ever going to eat a cheeseburger again in my life…”

I’ve recently become more aware of mass media’s portrayal of women and how their (or should I say OUR) bodies “should” look.  It disgusts me!  I had the privilege of going to listen to a panel of women speak on the topic of body image and eating disorder recovery, and one of the topics covered was “Becoming a Critical Consumer in Media.”  I was blown away by the impact ads and magazines and commercials can have on our self-esteem, even if we don’t think they do.  The super models being photographed to represent women as a whole are smaller than NINETY EIGHT percent of the women in the United States.  Ninety eight.  Wow.

But that’s not all.  We watched a video of how photographers can enhance a picture – completely alter the appearance of someone (man or woman) – in order to mimic what our culture considers “beautiful.”  From rounding out the eyes to literally stretching out the body in order to appear taller and/or slimmer, when they get done editing, the person is simply fake.  Like I said before, I find it completely disgusting.

Why can’t normal women be considered beautiful by the media?  What is wrong with the bodies God has so lovingly blessed us with??  Gosh, I will be the first person to admit that I play the comparison game.  I flip through magazines or look at the emails I get from clothing stores and think, “If only I could be THAT size…”  And I hate that about myself.  But it’s so hard not to do when we as consumers are constantly bombarded by this false standard for how women look.  Now, I will say that I admire companies like American Eagle’s Aerie who do NOT retouch their models for their ads, and I desperately wish that others would jump on board.

If only society would send the message that the REAL you is beautiful.  Not the girl who goes on all of the bikini-body diets or takes all the latest and greatest diet pills or has the “will power” to stay away from that extra cookie.  The woman who is curvy, comfortable, and confident in who she is…  THAT is what I want to see portrayed in the ads of my favorite brands.

Anyways, that was just my thought/rant for the day.  I feel that the farther I go into my own recovery process, the more sensitive I become to issues like this.  So I am writing this, not to just tell you that you’re beautiful (which you ARE), but to remind myself of that as well.  I have obviously struggles with my own body image distortions for a majority of my life, and it’s things like this that just give me another person/image to compare myself to that really get under my skin.

To whomever may be reading this that struggles with similar issues, I pray that you will realize the worth you have in God’s eyes.  And I pray that for myself.  We are all in this together. ❤

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