This post is from the first issue of my new BodyRespect e-zine. Go here to sign up for the e-zine with all it’s tips and resources for cultivating a rockin’ body image to be sent directly to your inbox.
I think many of us, especially women, have a hard time appreciating our bodies, I mean really, truly having gratitude for the all the things our bodies allow us to do, experience and feel. This lack of appreciation is shaped by the disappointment most women feel that their bodies do not measure up to the current beauty ideal. While I think most of understand that our expectations of how our bodies *should* look are shaped by media and popular culture, i.e.: all the images we see of the ‘thin ideal’ body type in magazines, on the internet and in TV and films, I suspect many of us do not realize that beauty preferences change. A beauty ideal is not an inalienable truth, set in stone. Rather, it is subjective and dictated by many forces (cultural and political).
It can seem like ‘thin, young, blond, toned’ is *the* ideal standard, that these standards have and always will define beauty. That is simply not the case, preference for thinner bodies has waxed and waned throughout history and many theories have been put forward as to why – including availability of food and pushback to advancing women’s equality. Whatever the reason for the constant shifts, it is important that beauty ideals change. This constant shifting is a gift, it helps us know we are not obligated to engage in the whims of culture. Sometimes our bodies may be closer to the ideal, and sometimes they won’t.
Taking the time to learn how body ideals are changing and shifting, and looking at images of women who were considered beautiful in their own time expands my own thinking as to what beauty really is, and provides me a mirror to seeing my own beautiful self reflected back at me. I wish the same for you!
Thank you for reading my post!
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