The body image post

This one has been a long time coming but it’s reached a critical mass of other people blogging about this topic.
So we have little Tash, who weighs 58 kgs (that’s less than 130 lbs for you Americans out there), whose tiny body and strength to weight ratio are the envy of most girls in our gym, including myself, complaining that she can’t quite get over the number on the scale being so high.
She knows she’s being ridiculous. I mean, she was in bloody Cosmo with ‘body of the month’ or some such not too long ago. And yet.
You have an ex-model who couldn’t stand the meat-market casting-calls and feeling like the ugly duckling in the room full of taller,skinnier, prettier competition. When you think about it, being a model might sound like fun but how hectic to be looked up and down and judged solely on how you look, and most of the time you’re not the right look, and no matter what you do you feel like you can never measure up? And at a certain point, you start to internalise the feedback, however unfair and unrealistic?
So you can be healthy, and happy, and good looking enough, and yet want to be model gorgeous at all times, and successful in your career, and a good wife/girlfriend … where does it end?
You have my beautiful friend Katie, who is literally uncomfortable in her own skin.
I was once told, before I was old enough to understand: Beauty is as beauty does.
What I posted in the comments section of Katie’s blog included the following:
It’s a crazy thing in this day & age that we let other people’s opinions colour our own opinions of ourselves and our confidence. But we do.
I also hide my face behind makeup. So do most of us. Even minor flaws aren’t tolerated in a society where you’re expected to be perfect.
And then there is our Africa Regional winner, Carla Nunes da Costa, writing a blog post on body image that gets something like 22K hits after The CrossFit Games shares it.
Here’s an excerpt:
So there I was at the CrossFit Games, I was about to embark on a massive journey, and one of my stumbling blocks is a pair of shorts I was given. After all “who wants to see those chunky legs and that cellulite! There will be cameras!”  Really Carla? Really?! 
Yep. I know that feeling well.
There is very little to say that hasn’t been said before. Yes, men have body issues too. Yes, a lot of this is a bit ridiculous.
Actually, it’s navel gazing to an extreme level.
I every once in a while make an insensitive comment about my own current level of ‘fatness’ when I am not really fat at all, to someone who actually is legitimately a bit overweight. They almost always call me on it. Because REALLY I should watch what comes out of my mouth and the effect it has. Yeah I’m carrying around a bit more than I should be. But it’s winter, it’s the off season, and why the heck am I so damn vain?
Why is it that I have to go to the gym with foundation on lest someone see my spots? Why it is that when I am running late for a plane and I go to the airport without any makeup on but a huge grin on my face because I’m happy, everyone smiles at me anyway just like normal?
I think the question isn’t why we’re none of us completely satisfied with how we look. That’s kind of the human condition. At the end of the day I’m pretty satisfied with my appearance, and whatever the reason for that, I don’t know, I don’t care, I don’t question: but given that my little insecurities become interesting for self-analysis or self-parody, but they are not paralysing.
Sometimes I’m the prettiest girl in the room in my own opinion. Sometimes I’m not. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder anyway. Usually it doesn’t really matter.
The question isn’t even why do we care so much what other people think. We know the answer to that question. Behavioural psychologists answered it years ago: we are pack animals, there is a pecking order, and appearance is one of the aspects on which we compare ourselves.
The question is actually this: why do we feel the need to talk about it so much? It may be this: that if we’re secure enough to talk about our insecurities, it can make us look vulnerable, but in a controlled way.
Sure, ask me how I feel about my body. Just don’t ask me about the stuff I don’t want to talk about.

P.S. I do not mean for this in ANY WAY to make light of the psychological issues or struggles that a lot of women go through. Because those can be absolutely debilitating. I think the reason that many bloggers blog about this subject is that those self-same people are confident, strong enough, etc that they don’t mind putting a little insecurity out there. Tash and Carla and the rest know they’re strong beautiful women. And if they don’t know it, everyone else does.

But hey since we spend so much time worrying about what others think we may sometimes miss how awesome we are in many people’s eyes. I see this insecurity blind spot all the time. 
The body image post

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