I recently read this blog post, “Dear VS Swimsuit Catalogue: Eff You”: http://imperfectyogalife.com/2014/02/25/dear-vs-swimsuit-catalogue-eff-you/. I also read many of the comments below the actual post. I genuinely appreciated the post; it makes some truly wonderful and empowering points. I genuinely appreciated many of the comments as well. All of it got me thinking, which for me is the mark of something well written and worth reading. (Go ahead, take some time to read it…if you are so inclined.)
I regularly see one of those VS swimsuit models in the yoga classes I teach. Is she beautiful? Yes. Does she look like the pictures when she rolls into yoga class? No. Do my students who work in advertising tell me about airbrushing the hell out of every single photo we see in print? Yes. I will never look like the models in magazines. You will never look like the models in magazines. Actual models will never look like the models in magazines. Guess what? That’s okay. It is time to look to real women to be our role models, not the airbrushed versions of real women that we see in magazines. I know, we all know the pictures we see are airbrushed, but I still need to remind myself of that regularly. Those women are fraught with their own flaws, real and perceived, just like all of us.
To All the Women Out There (Men Too):
We need to stop cutting one another down. We need to stop taking everything so personally. We need to find ways to unite while embracing our differences. We also need to stop talking about our bodies in terms of shapes, sizes, and weights. We need to find new words, new ways of describing our bodies; fat, thin, curvy, flat, thick, round, narrow, wide, slim, long, tall, short, squat, plump, etc. – these words just do not cut it anymore. How do we find ways to refer to our bodies in terms of what makes us feel strong, balanced, poised, relaxed, sexy, comfortable in our own skins? How do we connect to our bodies in relation to how we feel as opposed to how we look? Am I saying stop going to the gym, ditch the heels and dress that make you feel beautiful and sexy, throw out the lipstick, and stop spending hours on your hair and nails? No! I am suggesting that you give yourself permission to look exactly like you. It is important to nourish ourselves with healthy foods and regular exercise. It is also important to indulge every once in a while and permit ourselves days to relax.
Let’s honor ourselves and our bodies just as we are. If there are changes you want to make let them be fueled by the desire to feel healthier, stronger, more connected to yourself and those you love, and in an attempt to live your life to the fullest. Let’s allow our confidence and beauty to radiate from the inside out. Is this easy? No. Is it something I struggle with daily? Absolutely. Speak your truth every chance you get, but do not let that truth minimize or cut down other women (or men), whether you agree with them or not. Let us all walk our paths with heads held high, hearts and minds open, and kindness for ourselves and others guiding each step taken and word spoken.