Can we talk about something that just doesn't sit right with me? I got my body scanned for my body mass index, which is this super neat way to check out your body fat versus your muscle mass and all sorts of cool little things.
When I did this back in June, I knew I was "overweight" as I am consumed by these "I'm fat" and "I am too big" thoughts often. So when I saw my numbers then it confirmed my knowing that I am fat and "too" big. (Which this in itself is problematic because what about the people that are bigger than me? Do I think they are too big? ABSOLUTELY NOT. My mind NEVER goes there. Anytime I think about anyone's body, I am often thinking that they look beautiful and appreciate the whatever amount of space they take up in the world.) So I did it again to check in to see how much my workouts are helping me and how much binge eating snacks is not. The numbers were not too much different than back in June. Now did I expect them to be? Not really. I pretty much look the same... EXCEPT FOR THE FACT THAT I ACTUALLY HAVE BICEPS! Yeah, before I literally had nothing where my biceps were supposed to be. Now I have muscle there.... (!!!!)
So I was looking at the report and in the body fat section, I am in the "Above Average" zone. Okay so yeah, I have fat on my body and my pants are bigger. But I mean come the fuck on? Really? That stings. Words matter. Using the language that someone's body fat is above average might as well stab them in the stomach and let them to bleed out to die on their own. It feel isolating, rude, and makes me want to find my tub of ice cream. We have robots giving us math answers and we take their evil little words as straight facts. Who is to say is what "average" really is? What range and data are we using?
No wonder every person I know has body image struggles of some sort. Perhaps that's a little too dramatic. But I am thinking about the ways in which we are taught to love our bodies and the ways that we are taught to hate our bodies and these coincide with how we love ourselves and hate ourselves. Beauty standards are tricky. WE ALL HATE THEM. We all talk about how dumb the new trends are. We all talk about how the media has tricked us in thinking that we all suck for not looking a certain way because no one looks these ways.
News flash: THE GIRLS IN THE MAGAZINES DONT EVEN LOOK LIKE THE GIRLS IN THE MAGAZINES
And to update that thought to a 2022 statement THE GIRLS ON THE INTERNET DONT EVEN LOOK LIKE THE GIRLS ON THE INTERNET
Filters are the new photoshop.
And it is INSTANT and anyone can do it, all you need is a phone with a camera and an app.
BOOM. Now you have the "perfect" face.
We all know that no one really looks like this. Yet we are still picking ourselves apart when we sit down and look in the mirror.
I often find myself challenging myself in my beliefs about beauty standards.
On one hand, I like to think that everyone is beautiful the way they are and don't need all these things. But on the other hand, I think that these things (makeup, botox, trends, etc) can be tools when used in moderation and can actually help our overall well being.
I have been thinking about this a lot lately with my weight... I go back and forth a lot with acceptance of where my body is. I often am loving my curves and feeling really great. But other times when my pants are getting tight and I feel frumpy, I hate it all. So to want to lose weight and to love my body where it is a challenge. How does it makes sense to want to change something if you love it the way it is? What I am working on is this thought of -- once I accept myself as I am, then I can change. I have no problem admitting that I want to be strong, toned, smaller because I want to be a better version of myself.
And to be totally vulnerable, I also really want my stomach to be flat like when I was 19.
To find peace and balance in all of this is an on going struggle.
I find it odd that when I remove all of these thoughts, I understand that they aren't just my thoughts. They have been thoughts that I have picked up a long my lifetime from media, from women and men that I looked up to and from my peers.
It makes me wonder if "they" (the big $$ corporations and people with power) are keep us tearing ourselves and each other down to keep us hating and fighting among ourselves to keep us away from unity. To keep us away from building each other up.
Maybe we are wrong for wanting to love ourselves and not having the tools to do it because they have been striped away from us.
What if we all woke up one day and decided that we were the most excellent version of ourselves and we didn't need to be so obsessed with making these changes. A total collapse of a culture would happen. Heck, I might even go out of business.
So what is the balance of self care and taking care of our basic needs and going over board? What if all along the standard of beauty has been to just be ourselves?
So look at me, being an over achiever, above average and over thinking all of this ;) With love and Gratitude,
Jillian The Beauty Project