Friday, February 18, 2011

Friend Friday - Body Image

Hey y'all! I know I've been totally MIA this week, and I apologize. I got back from PR on Sunday and went directly to a meeting, and have been running non stop pretty much since. Seven day work weeks and I are not friends. I'm also not friends with six day work weeks.... Anyway, I did manage to carve out a bit of time for this week's Friend Friday post because it's a topic I can really identify with.

Body Image

1. Since you started blogging has your image of yourself changed?
Yes. Make that a resounding yes. I started this blog because of my body image issues, kind of as a way to gain a better perspective of myself. I feel like there's a huge difference between my brain-mirror connection and my brain-photo connection and my brain-photo connection is much healthier. I find that as I've been blogging, I've been able to get that brain-photo connection in a lot of my mirror interactions. I'm seeing the beauty of my body in new ways because I'm more attuned to it. My body is no longer this passive thing, it's something I look at and think about more often. Does that even make sense?

2. Are you self-conscious about any aspect of yourself? If so, do you go out of your way to avoid it or do you post it/talk about it anyway?
Of course I'm self-conscious about certain aspects of myself. I don't go out of my way to avoid them, but neither do I go out of my way to post about it. I have posted about some aspects of my body that took me time to love (my hair, my booty, and my legs) and I've also posted about the disconnect I feel between my brain and my body, but I don't really seek out those types of posts. Maybe I should, though....

3. Based on how you are feeling now, what do you think the future holds in the evolution of your body image?
I think I'm still working on embracing my body as a whole. I mean, I've come a long way and I'm still flying high from a week in Puerto Rico where my grandmother and my aunts told me I have great legs, great hips, a nice booty (cultural standards of beauty are so different there, btw). Even so, I am terribly self conscious when it comes to my (relatively) light skin and my belly. There, I said it. But I'm working on that.
Also, I have weird toes. Actually, everyone has weird toes. Feet are ugly and that's why there are shoes, the end.

4. Do you photograph yourself for your blog? If so, how do you feel about the experience when you're having your picture taken? If you choose not to post pictures of yourself, what prompted that decision?
How I feel depends on the day I'm having. Sometimes I have a lot of fun with it. Other days, I'm all like, "Stop hunching your shoulders like that Frances Joy; you look like a vulture". My aim is to feel like a rock star as often as possible and as long as I'm comfortable in my outfit and there aren't many people watching my photo sesh, I feel pretty awesome.

5. What would you want every person who struggles with body image to take to heart?
I have a hard time with this question because I hate getting pat answers to hard issues. So here's my round about answer:
I feel like I had the most body image issues when I was in middle school and couldn't figure out what was going on with the boobs and the hips and why aren't any of the other girls wearing C cups? And then, my nice, rich, suburban middle school was full of boys who apparently couldn't shut up about the girls in their gym class and were also way too interested in my body for my liking. My body didn't feel like it belonged to me. And for a long time, that feeling persisted. My body was separate from me somehow, and worse than that, it was almost as if it was okay for everyone to comment on it and criticize it. The ladies at church, classmates, guys on the street, students, you name it, they were talking about my body.
And then, I started working out. It was less about losing weight and more about seeing what my body could do. I was amazed by it. I could jump and do crunches and lift weights like whoa. And I started noticing all the little every day things that my body could do, too. My legs and feet helped me to circulate in my classroom. My arms helped me carry heavy piles of copies. My mouth and voice helped me to communicate. My shoulders helped me to clear a path in crowded areas. This was my body and I couldn't survive without it. It belonged to me, first and foremost. It does so much work for me: breathing, thinking, blood circulating work and it's the only one I've got, designed this way on purpose.
So yeah: Your body is yours, it works - in some areas better than others, but it's the reason you're alive, and that alone is an amazing thing.

Check out more thoughts over at ModlyChic.


  1. What you have written about puberty reminded me, not so much of what others were saying about it, but my own felt sense that I no longer knew my body. I think in some ways menopause is the reverse of that.

    You mention your light skin color. How is that a problem? Do you wish to be darker?

  2. I've always wanted to be darker, which is not the norm, I know. My sister and my dad are both considerably darker than I am and I was always jealous.

  3. Being darker is an interesting desire to me because I am super light and if I wasn't I would look like a wierdo in my family since everyone is super light. Overall though, I like when I have a tan, I think I look healthier...


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