A friend on facebook posted a link to an article about fashion models and their working conditions… and it got me thinking.. about what we say about ourselves.
I’ve recently heard a beautiful friend of mine complaining that she has wrinkles etc.. she’s quite attractive, but she’s also over 40 and has some lines on her face. She’s kind, funny, and sometimes a little absent minded — and she’s a wonderful person who makes an honest effort every day to make the world a better place. In short, she’s a beautiful human being inside and out — She’d never criticize anybody else the way she criticizes herself.
That’s what really made me think about womens’ expectations. She communicates her internalized ideals of beauty every time she criticizes herself for not meeting them. The thing is, those ideals are simply not realistic. When we age, things sag — I’ll be 44 next weekend, I know a bit about sagging.
If we, as women, are serious about changing society’s expectations that we all be walking clothes racks with perfect faces, 160 IQs, a challenging job that is also rewarding and well paid, and the perfect set of kids and a devoted spouse, we need to start with ourselves. We need to stop criticizing how we look, we need to stop talking down how our lives are going and we need to start appreciating who and where we are in our lives.
Nobody has enough money, nobody is the “perfect” body shape, nobody has “perfect” kids and a “perfect” spouse — why do we expect that we need those things to be satisfied with who we are?
What we say about ourselves matters, to the people who love us, to the daughters who learn from us and to ourselves because it reinforces the negative things we think…
I’ve been thinking about this since my “Of Scars” photo shoot..
That’s me… the Of Scars folks don’t use photoshop to “fix” our images… that’s how I looked that day — without a shirt on. It’s me, all of mea and I’m beautiful…. or, at least not ugly — and I know I’m smart and brave. I know I’m a loyal person who tries hard to do the right thing and to be a good person.
That’s my mom… If, in 26 years, I can be as wonderful as she is… I’ll be blessed.
Try, just for today — to avoid saying negative things about yourself.