Quest for Perfection

I would not want to be a woman in any other country other than America. I love that I don’t have to wash clothing on a rock in a stream. I’m happy that I don’t have to grind corn into flour and can go to the grocery store 2 miles away to get anything that I need to feed my family. I’m grateful that while I’m a “homemaker”, the household duties don’t fall on me alone. There are many wonderful aspects about being a woman. That being said, it’s not all flowers and cotton candy.

The 3 years between my marriages taught me a lot. Not only about myself, but also about what men want and think, as well as how society views women.

One lesson that became apparent is that insecurity is NOT attractive to men. They are looking for a woman who doesn’t order a small side salad at every meal. One that doesn’t ask if she looks fat in her dress. One that doesn’t constantly complain about how she looks or say that she’s fat. Men want a woman that oozes confidence. I dated a man who talked about his ex and how she was obsessed with her weight and appearance. She was also very critical of the way other people looked, especially her female “friends”. And he hated it. For him, dating a woman who was OK with herself was a priority.

Confidence is great and all, but the flip side is that men AND women put a lot of emphasis on physical appearance. As a women, there is a lot of pressure to look a certain way. Just take a walk or drive around your neighborhood any given morning. I guarantee that you’ll encounter numerous women pounding the pavement in an endless quest for perfection. So how does a woman balance being OK with herself and loving her body with the demands (whether placed on her by her man, society, or herself) of looking a certain way?

Try Googling “celebrity cellulite”… there are so many links to magazine “articles” on just this subject. It’s a little confusing, because even celebrities can’t live up to the standards that are set by the airbrushed versions of themselves.

I have a friend whose body is rockin’. She is beautiful, thin, toned, tan, has a SIX PACK, and has given birth to 3 children.  She knows she’s thin and doesn’t go into the “I’m fat… I need to lose 10 lbs” rant that so many of us do, but there are parts of her body that she doesn’t love. In fact, she hates them. She runs and works our regularly and eats healthy, yet according to her,  she’s got a little cellulite on her thighs. It doesn’t matter how many times people tell her how great she looks… she see’s a perfect (and airbrushed) leg in every woman’s magazine, and that is the goal.

I remember seeing an interview with Heidi Klum where she talked about how there isn’t one photo in a magazine that hasn’t been retouched. Tyra Banks has said the same thing. Even supermodels have cellulite, so how is the average, everyday woman ever supposed to look like the women we see in magazine, even though those supermodels aren’t as flawless as they are portrayed. Check out this photo of a Victoria’s Secret photo shoot… untouched. I think they look awesome, but they look a little different in the magazine, don’t you think?

My point is this: It doesn’t matter WHO it is, it seems like the majority of women have a problem with at least ONE aspect of their body. That is why I really like the article in the most recent Life & Style magazine featuring Holly Madison & Kim Kardashian. Holly M., the former Playboy bunny, talks about her body and weight gain. She also bravely posed this untouched photo…

What a heifer, right?!

She may have cellulite, but I think she looks AMAZING, even if she’s completely let herself go ;).

Do you remember when Jamie Lee Curtis did a similar thing about 9 years ago? Here are her untouched and “touched” photos:

I don’t think that the blame can be placed on one person or thing. How girls and women feel about themselves and their body is a culmination of everything we see and are exposed, starting at birth. I am no different from every other woman out there… I have things about my body that I like and other parts that I’d gladly trade. But I have made a conscious effort to be more accepting of myself, not just for me, but for my girls. These days my decisions about what I put into my body and what I do are more about being healthy and feeling comfortable in (and out) of my clothes than trying for an unattainable level of perfection.

My goal is to help my girls (and boys)  know that, while they ARE cute, their value as people doesn’t hinge on it. They are smart, funny, kind, and yes beautiful, human beings.

Explore posts in the same categories: Babble, Motherhood

One Comment on “Quest for Perfection”

  1. Matt King Says:

    The picture with the Victoria Secret models untouched up was very revealing. The girl on the far left needs to eat!

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