Because Who Is Perfect?

The Dove real beauty campaign. Total beauty. Run way models. Magazines and catalogs. Fashion ads. Photoshop. And the media’s more recent spearing of the ideals that the fashion industry is shoving down our throats.

Everywhere women look they see images of what they’re “supposed” to look like. And how to get rid of wrinkles, defeat cellulite, lose weight, wear the right make up, wear the right clothes. You’re not thin enough. You’re not young enough. It’s no wonder that eating disorders are on the rise and Americans spend 50 BILLION dollars on diet crap and self-help everythings.

It’s shocking to realize that because of Barbie, all of the oh-so-attractive kids on all the Disney shows, and the fashion industry going after young girls (thongs for 7 year olds, anybody?? courtesy of Ambercrombie) that girls as young as first grade are worried about gaining weight. By 6th grade, these same girls are on a diet. I don’t know about you, but NOT in my house would I ever allow that to happen. I have dedicated my life to raising my kids and doing whatever it took to give them the tools they need as they grow up, and that means telling my girls over and over and over that they are beautiful, no make up or designer clothes required, just they way they are.

I read a lot of articles shaming the fashion industry, the make up companies, and the clothes manufacturers for what they present to women. Nobody actually looks like that….

The models don’t even look like that. And yes, we’ve seen some corporations fight back. The Dove Real Beauty campaign has done a lot to fight back against unreachable ideals for women. The Fourth Trimester Project is another great campaign. And most recently I fell in love with the Pro Infirmis project.  Because women don’t look like this….

Nobody does. It’s not possible. But because of these unrealistic images that girls are assaulted with on a  daily basis, the incidence of eating disorders has doubled in the US in the last 30 years. Girls as young as 7 are developing distorted body image ideals and eating disorders. It’s estimated that 4-5% of Americans will develop an eating disorder and 4 in every 1,000 die from it. These girls are literally starving themselves to death trying to be thin enough, pretty enough. 
But there are people fighting back. News outlets, corporations, and individual women.

Love yourself. Accept your own natural beauty. There’s no way you’d ever allow someone else to talk to you the way you talk to yourself! I know this from personal experience. Why is it that I can see a picture of my friend, my daughter, my mother, my sisters and all I see are their beautiful eyes? Or how smart, funny, strong, or kind they are. But when I see a picture of myself, all I see is a frozen mirror that I can pick apart. Those laugh lines around my eyes? Oh-em-gee I look old. Those scars? I don’t see the story, just the ugly line.

And I should. I should see that those lines around my eyes mean I have laughed. I should see that that scar above my lip is part of my story. And that 6 inch scar on my left hip that I’m always covering up? That’s my miracle. Because of that surgery I can still walk. I’m going to choose to be grateful for it instead of thinking it’s an ugly thing that needs to be covered up.

I took part in the #barefacedbeauty bit because I think it’s important for my friends, my daughters, my sisters to see someone baring themselves and being vulnerable to see beyond the make up we hide behind so that they can see their own beauty. I uploaded a picture of myself on social media with no make up on, not even lip gloss, and I hope to inspire the women in my life to do the same.

No make up, freshly washed face.
After doing my hair and make up for the day.

Ladies, LOVE yourself. I see my best friends and all I see are amazing, strong women. Those scars on her belly? She survived cancer and I think they’re beautiful. Those stretch marks? She had healthy twin boys. Those are her stripes and she earned them! I see pictures of my daughters and they are amazing. Photos of my sisters and my friends mean that they have laughed, cried, loved, been loved, and done a hell of a lot more than just survive.

And who gets to tell you you’re not perfect anyway??

Have you any idea why a raven is like a writing desk?

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