Monday, December 31, 2007

Created Beautiful - Chapter 2

The media's unrealistic portrayal of women is destroying us from the inside out.

In May 2004 a panel of "experts" (makep artists, photographers, beauty and fashion editors) decided - for the world - that Audrey Hepburn was the most naturally beautiful woman of ALL TIME. She was 5'7', weighed 110 lbs and her measurements were 32A-20-35 - from the time she was 23 until the end of her life. (at least I have the 32A part right;)

In ads for White Rock mineral water, the White Rock Girl changed from 5'4" & 140lbs in 1959 to 5'7" & 110lbs in 2000.

We are bombarded by media - tv, movies, magazines, videos, billboards, advertisements in the mail, etc. I feel like I can't get away from it. And IT is showing me what the ideal American woman should look like. Women are self-destructing because of it - we are either going to extreme measures to achieve "it" or feeling guilty/shameful because we're not "it".

Mothers play a critical role in developing a young woman's body image.

This makes me even more determined to work on this. I don't think that I have a horrible body image, however, there are times when I do (usually when I'm not working out). I want to have a healthy self-esteem - for my girls. It is what I want for them, so I need to work on it for myself.

I compare myself to myself.

For eight weeks I wrote this phrase on a piece of paper everyday. It is probably the single best thing that I took from the book Burn The Fat, Feed the Muscle. I compare myself to myself. Not to anyone else.

Do you know what that does? It means that when I see a shorter girl with an athletic, cute body and think, "that is how I would like to look" I immediately change my thought to, "I compare myself to myself" and remember that comparing myself to someone else only leads to disappointment and a jolt to my self-confidence. Because I will never look like that particular girl - or any other girl I come across, actually. Not a single one of them. I will always look like me.

One of the questions from the book: Complete this sentence - I am content with my body until I compare it to:

This was revealing to me. I'm not going to post my answers, but it made me sit back and think about it. Why does comparing myself to these people change my perception of myself? It is their confidence and seeming lack of self-image issues - not necessarily their bodies. Truthfully, none of these women have bodies that would be considered ideal - there are flaws in each of them, but because they are so confident it makes me self-conscious about myself - feeling like she is thinking I look horrible and am fat. That is fascinating to me. And now that I've identified several of these people in my life I can work on not allowing myself to feel that way - it truly is my issue, not theirs.

The last exercise in this chapter was to sketch a picture of myself and label 7 body parts in a positive way. I had trouble getting 7, so I settled for 6. According to Cornbread it is a pretty accurate sketch.

It was a good exercise - I may not hate my body or think negatively about it all the time, but to come up with POSITIVE adjectives was tough. I am okay with my body - would I like it to look different? Yes. Would I like it to change? Yes. Will it? Not sure. But I don't hate it or loathe myself or think badly about myself. It was still difficult, though, to describe it positively. Good exercise.


Sarah R. (C) 11:02 AM  

Jana, I am really loving your posts. I don't have the book but may be getting soon.
Thank you for posting all this it is really helping me right now.
As for your Audrey Hepburn comment. I too have the 32A part and I guess I should count the 5'7" part too.
Keep on posting. Love ya.

carrie p 10:55 PM  

I just read through your last 3 posts. Wow. You really got me thinking. It's amazing to me how much I can apply this to myself right now. I have been comparing myself to someone big time the last 2 or 3 weeks. Quite honestly, I feel like I'm going nuts from it! And it's not really as much the outsides that I'm compating, but more the insides. Don't know if that makes sense or not. Anyway, your posts are helping me with seeing this for what it is. I'm comparing myself to someone else. When I start doing this agian (which I undoubtedly will), I'm going to remind myself to compare myself to myself. Thank you, Jana! I needed to read this tonight.

carrie p 10:56 PM  

That should be comparing not compating. And I too have the 32A thing going for me!

heidi jo 11:16 PM  

again i'm loving your vulnerability and the way you are TEACHING us and taking us on the journey with you. well done.

i am mentally drawing my picture of myself and all i can think about is the parts that would be exaggerated and ugly... i must turn that stinkin' thinkin' around. i think i'll come up with 7 things right now. THAT is what i'll focus on. :)
heidi jo

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