You say that one word and can think of a variety of things.
How do I know this?
While being in art school, my work, is in fact, in a vague category of Body Image.
However, it’s different from the media or how other artists present it.
See, without going too personal, I have had a few bad experiences (like we all have) with myself, with feeling second best to everyone and anyone, and just feeling like I am never sexy, beautiful, or pretty enough.
Society tells us very contrasting things. Be toned, and thin. Be sexy, but strong. Be fit, but curvy. Be big chested, but stick figured.
None of those things are realistic.
In fact, none of them are physically possible to do on our own.
You can’t be muscular, yet have stick thin legs. You can’t be curvy, and have fatless hips.
Now, you can argue that you can have muscle, and present yourself curvy. Yes, but if you are talking about cut muscle, and have a perfect ass or waistline…
None of these things can be achieved with just ‘diet and exercise.’ In fact most have to be done with surgery or photoshop.
My MFA work is revolved around this vague and vast category of acceptance. However, I have had a super frustrating and hard time explaining to people that I show my work to, that my work isn’t about ‘loving yourself,’ regardless of your size.
Actually, it’s about the frustrations of trying to be that ‘perfect image,’ and even at your best point in your life, still hating yourself.
I guess it’s mostly about body dysmorphia and the struggles we all have trying to duplicate bullshit that we see on TV or in Movies, or in magazines.
We know all of this shit is fake, yet, for some ungodly reason, we still need to strive to be it.
My personal life; completely backhands my work.
I body build. I diet. I work my ass off in the gym. I freak out if I gain a pound.
I want to break free of this perfection and falsified image – yet – while trying and striving to be my best.
Yet, even at my best, I feel like a frumpy waste of a body.
The body movement going on right now, along with theoretically learning about body image and society, has completely altered my mind, yet has left some gray areas lingering up there.
So to try and solve my confusion. I’m going to list out a variety on contradictory topics to me, personally.
1. Unhealthy vs Acceptance
There is a difference to me on ‘loving your body’, and being unhealthy. I don’t care what people look like. I don’t care if they have some love on them to grab. That’s not the issue.
The issue is people expressing to love their bodies, while not loving their bodies at all.
If you truly love your body… you can’t indulge in fattening or high in sugar foods daily. Because in fact you are making it work twice as hard.
I have seen so many inspiring plus sized** runners, who eat healthy, work out regularly, and still weight over 250 pounds while being 5’7. That my friends, is dedication, and that my friends, is loving your body.
If you treat your body right, and you have a hard time ‘looking the part’ (as society puts it), fucking, good for you.
Show them that beautiful and healthy doesn’t come in one size.
But if you are going to selfie, and hashtag #loveyourbody with a shit ton of custard in your hand, and you have a fear of moving, please, understand what the phrase means.
2. Speaking for Body image, while living a healthy life
I think this is something I get knocked for a lot. In my masters’ program, it’s like I have to be morbidly overweight to talk about body image. But since I am a bodybuilder, who has a hard time with her own image, yet am ‘thinner’ than most people discussing the same topic, I am almost disregarded.
My work isn’t about being overweight and accepting it.
And that is one of the hardest battles I have to face with my peers and professors.
Every story is different.
Why does mine have to speak the same as everyone else’s?
I’m not happy being over weight. I feel lethargic and angry, and just shitty.
When I am eating right, exercising daily, and still a bit over weight, I am still 100 percent happier.
3. The Body Movement
Good and bad things come from this movement.
we are still seeing skinny, photoshopped girls, or hell, even bigger girls, who seem to have zero cellulite. Not real.
I have seen 90 pound girls with cellulite. It’s a thing.
If you want us to love our bodies in the truest form… stop photoshopping models.
of. any. size.
Girls everywhere are trying to show that all sizes are beautiful.
But we are seeing resistance to that via society.
Guys and girls will always have their preferences… and unfortunately there will always be some sort of body shaming to all sizes…
Like, that pisses me off the most. Skinny girls bashing on bigger girls. And bigger girls, getting jealous they can’t be thin, so they bash on skinny girls calling them ‘shapeless’ or ‘boy like.’ Just get the fuck over it and mind your own fucking business.
Finally, there is one other point with body image… is clothing.
Now I have talked to my husband about this… as well as many others.
There is a controversy with clothing too.
One thing is, women, if you go to weddings (I photograph them often so I see it daily), wear things that really make it fucking hard to move around in.
It almost makes them easy to be victims or targets.
Like the one mission women get set up to achieve is to be the object, and not have the ability to be functional…
This isn’t their fault. It’s what society has told us to do. But next time you go to something fancy, watch the women that struggle in high heels that society deem as sexy.. it’s not. It’s sad.
Another thing that is currently trending are crop tops and women not wearing clothes at all.
I have two feelings on this.
The first, is wear some fucking clothing. Why? Because there are fucking nasty men out there, and if you are 16… well.. you’re going to feel uncomfortable if some 73, 52, or 30 year old man is looking at you in a threatening way.
The second is, how fucking sad is it that the first thought I have is true?
Why do girls have to cover up when the guys on this world can run around shirtless without being raped or threatened?
That fucking blows.
It’s such a man’s world out there.
And unfortunately I don’t see that changing any time soon.