Monday, May 2, 2016

What a Girl Wants

I mentioned the Barbie-body pressure in my prior blog.  In the interest of full disclosure, I've helped mother nature make a change I consider to have been an improvement. I suppose what I consider key in the process of deciding was being able to live with or without the change, and being happy either way. The rest of my physique has been earned the hard way, through fitness and nutrition. I started my workouts with simple curiosity - could I change things I'd accepted as just my physical fate? Each month that I saw positive results made me realize that I had placed limitations on myself that I could actually move past.  
So where is all this taking our conversation?  It has to do with the current public dialogue about body shaming, and outcries for being happy with our body. I’m all for acceptance.  We come in all shapes and sizes, and media and advertising would do well to stop pushing one type to us as the ideal: and they (media) are changing. Did you ever think you’d see the day you would find unpadded bras in Victoria Secret?! Yep, now they not only have several styles, they’re embracing the concept of multiple body-types in their advertising.
I understand the recent point being made about not calling models plus-sized if they are not skinny – they are models: drop the “plus-sized”.  It’s not much different than calling a guy who is a nurse a male nurse.  Isn’t he simply a nurse? 

When it comes to accepting our bodies, or dedication to improving them: where does self-improvement end, and where does obsession begin?  Think of the spectrum of all things this could pertain to: make-up, exercise, nutrition, supplements, dying our hair 
At the other end of the spectrum, where does healthy acceptance end, and neglect begin?  This spectrum that at one end says watching calories is okay, but beware of its obsessive extreme, eating disorders, is murky.  We can consider that being of a medium weight is merely not subscribing to the Barbie-body pressure. We can also talk about overweight and obesity as problems of health, and not of appearance. On face value, that isn’t being critical or body-shaming, but it does depend on the context of the discussion.

For many in southern California, especially, it’s hard to settle for an aspiration of good health and graceful aging when it has become so acceptable to get injectables and BOGO plastic surgery.  I’ve known a few people who, once they start, can’t stop.  “Natural” becomes very unacceptable.  I’ve heard this story more than once:  “I went into the plastic surgeon to get a consult for a [insert any procedure here] and he asked “But what about [insert additional procedure here]?”  In other words – it didn’t matter that she wanted to take care of something that probably bugged her for a while, he pointed out where she wasn’t physically perfect (whose standard?!) and it became her new must-have.

So be careful.  The best advice I can give is don’t expect whatever you do to make your life better.  You might feel in better proportion – but if you had pre-surgery anxiety about the future or regret from the past, they will be waiting for you when you come out of surgery.
#body-shaming #implants #plastic surgery #acceptance

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