June 18, 2011
Blogging and Body Image
When Galadarling requested blogger contributions on the subject of blogging and body image, I decided to up a brief submission.
I focused on that nagging urge to compare one's own body with others. A friend of mine once said that no matter how you feel about your body in any given moment, there will always be someone who wants to be the size you are right now. For me, that idea begins to put things into perspective. When I think of it in combination with the knowledge that I am never as critical or hard on others as I am on myself, I feel liberated from the need to be negative about my own body.
Here is what I wrote:
Much like socio-economic class, bodies have often been the elephant in the blogosphere dressing room. So few of us discuss the subject openly (though Sal of Already Pretty does a fantastic job raising awareness and promoting acceptance). Despite the large amounts of silence, bodies and body image can be a source of significant internal struggle for many women. When it comes to blogging and body image, we must resist comparisons. Many of us exist within a media environment where the impulse to compare “who wore it best” and to scrutinize the bodies of women have become reactive, knee-jerk entitlements, fostered through celebrity tabloid culture. It would be naive to disregard the ways that such thinking can trickle down into our ordering of everyday, non-celebrity bodies. But we must suppress those impulses for the good of ourselves and others.
One of the things that has helped me in my own resistance is to hold firm to my feminist beliefs. Just as I believe there is room in the fashion/style blogosphere for all types of styles, I believe there is also room for all types of bodies/shapes. With a positive attitude, I strive to be less hard on myself when it comes to my appearance. Although it might be difficult to remember while lurking in such an aesthetic realm, we are not the sum of how we look. Our blogs encompass brief glimpses of lives much more complex and much more dynamic than mere surfaces can deliver. I’ve learned to accept the aspects of my image that bred insecurities in my youth. In a way, this has become a side effect of active blogging. I work every day to unlearn judgmental impulses and the habitual need to self-scrutinize. I remind myself that when I read blogs, just as when I see women in my day to day life, I do not see their flaws. I try to extend myself the same kindness. Most of us are too caught up in our own responsibilities, challenges, and enjoyments to spend time picking others apart. But the decision to stop those impulses is exactly that: a decision. And paths to self acceptance are neither linear or smooth. There are good and bad days. But at the end of most of them, I realize that comparisons (based on what others have or how others look) are unproductive and unfruitful.
You can read the entire entry with the thoughts of many very smart, stylish ladies here. Thank you for including me and organizing submissions on this very important subject, Gala!