A Few Personal Thoughts About Beauty Standards

June 13, 2015  •  1 Comment

I'm angry.  I'm angry at myself for letting the standards of others affect how I feel about myself and my body.  I know, this is nothing new to most women, and isn't that sad?  I photograph women for a living.  Every week, I meet women who are struggling with body issues.  And you know what?  Some of the most insecure women were also some of the most beautiful women I have ever photographed. 

Our society has a standard of beauty.  Okay, that's normal and had been the case with every society throughout history.  But, has there always been this horrible self-loathing in every woman who didn't fit that exact standard of beauty?  I don't know.  Whether yes or no, we need to stop.  I do genuinely believe that everyone is beautiful in their own way.  However, I have had a hard time listening to my own voice lately.  All it takes is one person to put you down, make a snide remark, or give you the dirty up-and-down look of hate.  Now, at this point, most of you may be thinking that I'm referring to skinny women hating on curvy women, or vice versa.  Well, no.  It's everyone hating on everyone else.  I can tell you that skinny girls do not have it easier.  Yes, okay, clothes can be easier to find when you don't have curves.  But, the amount of hate that I remember is remarkable.  People were always saying things like, 'I wish I were skinny, but not as skinny as Sydney because that's gross', 'Boy, you're so thin! I can't wait to see you when you get FAT!', 'I hope you have ten kids and get huge one day!'.  When I worked at a clothing store selling denim, I got yelled at on a weekly basis by women who hated themselves and were taking it out on me.  Now, I am a much curvier version of myself due in part to some health issues from a couple of years ago.  I'm 5'8" and about a size 10. Well, there shouldn't be anything left to make fun of now, right?  Sadly, that's wrong.  I've still had people make comments, and now it's about how funny it is that I'm not so skinny anymore. What!?  Are you kidding me?  I also feel more societal pressure lately to be thinner which I know is ridiculous, but it still gets into your head.  It's very hard to ignore the negative messages around you.  Especially when they tell you that you are not good enough.  No matter what size or shape we are, there will always be someone to tell us that it's wrong.  And that just plain sucks.  So, let's all just stop it right now.  We need to love who we are, and be who WE want to be and not what others tell us we should be.  If you love your curves, then own it!  If you are a tall, thin, typical model type, then you own it too!  Do you have a scar left over from an accident or serious illness?  Then be proud of it and all that you have overcome.  If you have an athletic build, if you are a mother with stretch marks, if you just plain don't  fit into someone else's 'standard of beauty' then just love yourself, dammit!  And more importantly, let's all accept one another and just learn to be happy for once.


Comments

Lena(non-registered)
You are always beautiful to me in so many ways! Thank you for helping others to feel beautiful despite their hesitation and self-doubt!
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