Tag Archives: Body image

Real Beauty

12 Nov

Slide1 Slide2 Slide3So now that I’m on holiday, I’ve got a lot more time to surf the net, read the books stacked on my kindle and dawdle for no good reason. While checking out my Twitter timeline, as I often do, I came across this heart-warming, feel-good post on Women24.com and it got me thinking about how I view my body. This is no new issue to my blog, I’ve spoken about how real women have curves and the like. Reading through some of the comments of the article, hit home for me again, especially because I always try to find things to be grateful for – I have a body that is healthy and FUNCTIONING the way it should. It may not be catwalk material but I’ve learned to dress my figure so not as to look like a over-stuffed sausage (I hope)!

Here’s some of my favourite comments from “It’s my body, I can love what I want to“:

Anisha: My soft and fleshy tummy! I have made peace that I wasn’t born to have a six-pack. What I do know is that I have given birth to 2 beautiful children & my man loves to caress my tummy! Besides, you need a “real” tummy like mine to do belly dancing!

Linda: I am weighing more than a few years ago because I quit smoking and picked up some weight. I love the fuller me, my butt and my hips. I look very healthy than before. 

Faziel: My long, glossy, black hair and infectious smile. As long as I have them, I can take on the world!

Laurinda: I love my flat tummy but the best part of my body is my round chunky bum! Much loved by my husband and my girlfriends are all super jealous. Very proud to say that it’s the best part of my body.

Shireen: My blemish free face and skin. 

Nasika: I love my muffin top because it reminds me that I love to eat food made by my husband. I love my stretch marks as I’m reminded about my daughter. I love my laughter lines as I see how many happy times I have had.

Janine: That it works. I’m not a terribly sporty person, but I love that I can walk on the beach, and run after my kids. What I like most about my body is that it is healthy.

llyson: I am an amputee, finally, I like my leg.  Wish I had liked them both before I lost one!

Pam: My hair. I am lucky to have thick hair and try to look after it and go to the hairdressers quite regularly for a good cut and colour. I am 63. 

THIS one is my favourite – Alzena: Looks-wise not that much, but having gone through 2 healthy pregnancies and a recent pubic biopsy, I like that my body has not failed me. Even with the not-so perfect size and cellulite, it is healthy, able and willing. It is my mind that needs a pep-talk

While it was part of a Dove Campaign, I still think it gives plenty of food for thought. Now that I’ve spent time thinking about how I feel about my body, I must admit a thing or two: I like my hazel/green eyes, I love that they change colour but more than that, I love how much more green they get when I get emotional; and I actually do like my hourglass figure (front view only, the side view not so much); my husband commented on how nice my legs looked over the weekend when I wore a short dress and I don’t mind my tummy all thaaaaaaat much (not that it needs to stick around). At the end of the day – IT WORKS and its HEALTHY!!!

When I was much younger and had a banging body (if I do say so myself), it was all about how I looked and my self-confidence was in that, not to mention how shallow I was back then, or maybe it was just immaturity. I’ve come to like the “grown-up” me, the fuller-figured me, the intelligent me and being in my skin is not so bad after all – whether my hubby likes the lumps, bumps & curves or not!

So is it really a bad thing to say that my body looks the way it does because it gave life to my son??? No! Is it an excuse not to lose weight? That’s entirely up to you to decide, I happen to think it’s not! Round is a shape! And that’s not a question, FYI (for your information). Would I like to lose weight? Of course but I’m not about to obsess about it.

What part of your body do you like?

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Real women have curves in my opinion….

10 Feb

And not having curves DOES NOT make you any less of a women! In the society we live in, size definitely matters! How and why that came about, began a long time ago. There was a time where voluptuous women were envied for their curves and yet in the 21st century the picture has completely changed. I was pleasantly surprised when I walked past a magazine stand and on a recent issue of HEAT magazine they were showing pictures of female celebs who were rounder, sporting wobbly looking tummies and chunkier arms to boot. It was so refreshing and the titles included quotes like: “I eat everything”, “I will never be thin again” and “food doesn’t define me”. WOW! Maybe the tide is changing and we really go back to what is real and what we know to be true!

Research now reveals, according to msnbc.com. that watching a curvaceous woman can feel like a reward in the brain of men, much as drinking alcohol or taking drugs might.  Each society develops a general perception of what an ideal female body shape would be like. These ideals are generally reflected in the art and literature produced by or for society, as well as in films and magazines.
The ideal or preferred female body size and shape has varied over time and continues to vary among cultures;but a preference for a small waist has remained fairly constant throughout history. A high waist-hip ratio has often been seen as a sign of good health and reproductive potential (yay for me) . A low waist-hip ratio has also often been regarded as an indicator of attractiveness of a woman, but recent research suggests that attractiveness is more correlated to body mass index than waist-hip ratio, contrary to previous belief (oops).

Notwithstanding wide cultural differences, researchers have confirmed that the waist-hip ratio (WHR) for a female very strongly correlates to the perception of attractiveness across all cultures. Women with a 0.7 WHR (waist circumference that is 70% of the hip circumference) are rated more attractive by men in various cultures. Such diverse beauty icons as Marilyn MonroeSophia LorenKim Kardashian , and theVenus de Milo all have ratios around 0.7. In other cultures, preferences vary, ranging from 0.6 in China, to 0.8 or 0.9 in parts of South America and Africa, and divergent preferences based on ethnicity, rather than nationality, have also been noted. The WHR is also shown to have a very high correlation to female fertility, thereby unknowingly guiding men’s evolutionary choices.

So there goes my diet (no, let me not lie) and trying to look like something or someone God didn’t create me to be. I might have been given Goddess status a few hundred centuries ago but then I might have smelt like a pig sty and lost my teeth. Oh well, I’m okay with my happy fat for now but I am plagued somewhat by what society determines what is Kosher and what is not… All in all, I think the group in our societies that would end up benefiting the most from this kind of celeb “blow-up” would definitely be tweenies. With all the media bombarding them  (and the rest of us) to fit in, they’ve got to know that being different isn’t always bad as long as they’re healthy. If I had a little girl, I know I would try as much as humanly possible to create a positive self-image as well as a positive relationship with food because in all honesty – as a colored person, food is part of our culture and exercising IS NOT! I’ve only ever been in love with food. Friends that claimed to be balemic were very few and when I tried to throw up, I thought: “but I liked what I ate!”. Putting down anyone that has suffered from or is still suffering with an eating disorder is not my style but an awareness that you are okay in your skin should be an all important goal.

Since I’ve found myself tipping the scale, I realized that I had to let go of defining my body as part of my personality – like I’m only sexy at a certain size while intellectually, I know that sex appeal is all about attitude. This has freed me to explore my interests candidly without having to wonder whether or not I “fit in” based on my looks. Learning how to dress this fabulous happy fat has had it’s fair amount of challenges and I may not have always done it right but it’s a work in progress, as we all are.

Never be ashamed of your curves. They make up a part of who you are and how you relate to those around you. Celebrate them. Love them and I can almost guarantee you that your partner will love YOU all the more!!!

“You don’t have to have a dancer’s body, just a body that dances” – Lynda Raino

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