Let’s get one thing straight before I start on the body image topic……….
I’m not perfectly toned, nor am I fabulously fit. I have dimples and pimples, jiggly and wobbly bits. I have ‘bingo arms’ when I wave my hands wildly to attract the attention of our girls in crowds and my cycle legs are so thick at the top that I they rub together when I swim. I even do my swimming laps in a tri suit rather than my ‘speedo’ one piece, just so I can avoid red welts on my inner thighs as I kick.
My thighs seem to cleverly store any excess body fat and I’ve always complained about it.
There’s actually a story I share with friends every now and then involving my adoring husband. You see, we have an ‘honesty policy’ in place and so it never bothered me when he said to me one day……
“F*!k your thighs are meaty!”
That’s right, you didn’t read it wrong, my fantastic husband of 15 years said those exact 5 words to me.
I didn’t have a comeback, he’s right, I have meaty thighs so how can I argue with that? I certainly don’t have the much coveted thigh gap, in fact until recently, I never even knew what a thigh gap was.
As I was writing this article, I couldn’t believe the timing when I found a link to a page that Olympic Gold Medalist Anna Meares commented on. Anna’s renowned for her leg strength and let’s just be bold and put it out there…..Anna’s the Queen of ‘meaty thighs’.
It looks like it’s becoming ‘trendy’ too, with a new range of jeans being launched this very week. The article is titled ‘Anti-Thigh Gap Jeans For Athletes With Muscular Legs.’ Can you believe that they even use the term ‘meaty thighs’ in this article? I’m blown away!!
Let’s make meaty thighs the new black!!
I also have stretch marks and moles, way too much hair in some places and if you’ve ever seen my feet, especially after racing in a triathlon, you would be excused for wanting to run away! And finally, despite our children rating my abs as the ‘best in the house’, I definitely don’t have abs of steel!
Why am I even telling you this?
Well it’s strange……..
Ever since my prophylactic bilateral mastectomy, I am suddenly less concerned about how my body might appear with all of its imperfections. In some strange way, I am now very accepting of my dimples, the thighs, the excessive number of moles, the bits that in the past might have bothered me, and while I don’t necessarily love them, they are what they are and they’re a part of what makes me, me.
I realise in reflection as my foobs settle into my body, that it doesn’t really matter what it all looks like on the surface. It’s just a facade, much like the exterior of a house and it’s meant to deteriorate with time.
I know, I know, didn’t I know this already? I’m 38 for goodness sake, I should know better! I do know better! Yes, I’ve hear it all before….
- “Beauty is only skin deep”
- “It’s what’s on the inside that counts”
- “Don’t judge a book by its cover”
I support and agree with these statements and I even use them with our own girls.
You see, regardless of what I’ve been told and regardless of what I think I believe, I still admit to falling victim to thinking I need to live up to the unattainable images of beauty thrust upon us on a daily basis.
It’s hard to avoid and I’m feeling like it’s time I put my 2 cents in.
In the past I’ve been critical of myself, critical of these little things about my body which I haven’t liked. I think as women we are often caught up in worrying about measuring up to some sort of ‘unrealistic’ expectation that we have in our own minds of what we ‘should’ look like. We don’t ever seem to celebrate the great things about ourselves, it’s very taboo to say something like ‘gee I really like my awesome looking arms’, or ‘wow, don’t my legs look great in these jeans?’. We aren’t even OK really with other people paying us these compliments either. How many times have you fobbed off a compliment from a friend or stranger? On the other hand, how many times have you accepted and truly believed something nice someone had to say about your appearance?
That unattainable and unrealistic beauty is so bloody prominent in the media, it’s photoshopped, perfected, primped and primed and even when we are meant to celebrate a ‘fat’ celebrity like Jennifer Lawrence, we’re living in fairyland people, J-Law is NOT fat.
I Googled her measurements just to see what people consider ‘fat’ out there. Can you believe that she’s just 63kg? 63kg is FAR FROM FAT!!! This is probably an older weight too, because I’d be very surprised if she’s over 60kg’s these days, she’s looking much thinner than this previous image of her.
Has she too succumbed to the pressure of Hollywood and media?
Regardless of what she’s done, the reality is that media loves perfection. That image of unattainable beauty.
Celebrate Cellulite I say! Why are we so ashamed of it? If you don’t believe that we are, then why are there magazines out there publishing articles and images like this?
Why on earth does it matter if Lara Bingle has cellulite? And is it such a bad thing if she does? I loved her Instagram response to the image! She said “This image is perpetuating self doubt in all women in the name of making a quick buck.” Now I’m not a fan or follower of Lara Bingle, so I’m not getting on my high horse to defend her. What I am though is a women with cellulite, who’s pissed off that the media makes it out to be some sort of biological disease.
It’s just cellulite and society makes women feel inferior, imperfect and completely inadequate if we have it.
What about this image of Scarlett Johansson? Is it such a problem that she has some dimples in the back of her legs? In fact, if I had a picture of my body in a bikini, it would probably look a lot like this one from the rear…..
Just for the record, I also Google’d Scarlett’s measurements and we are freakishly similar in height, weight and overall body dimensions. Sad thing is that of all the photo’s in our family collection, there’s absolutely NO WAY I would have ever allowed one to be taken of me on this angle. This in itself is ridiculous!
I just might have to get myself into my bikini and pose all ‘Scarlett’ style out near the pool so I can line us up together to make my point! Maybe I can convince all of my friends to do the same!!
In reality and just looking at the surface, never before has my body looked ‘worse’! With no nipples, big scars across my chest and foobs where my ‘normal’ looking breasts once were, strangely, I love my body now more than I ever have. This has been an unexpected outcome in the journey of me undergoing the bilateral mastectomy and I love it.
It’s a little disappointing that it’s taken me this long to learn how to really feel comfortable in my own skin, but now that I’ve reached this point, I couldn’t be happier. It’s time to take me, my cellulite, my stretch marks and my moles and we’re all going to live it up big time as we learn to truly enjoy the healthy and long life we have ahead of us.
Never before have I truly appreciated the deeper meaning of ‘it’s what’s on the inside that counts.’
Now if only I had an image to post here of my gorgeous imperfect body to truly make my point. I’ll have to get the camera out next time I’m relaxing by the pool in my bikini.