Friday, October 2, 2009

A Confession.

A disclaimer: This post is not meant to be preachy or whiny. I'm simply thinking "out loud" (in the form of this blog) and will take no offense if you find the following thoughts to be little more than internet chatter. Regardless, thanks for taking the time to read (or not read) my ramblings.

Look at this photo. What comes to mind when you see these women? Disgust? Awe? Surprise? Familiarity?

I stumbled upon this article on today and it got me thinking a whole flood of thoughts, most of which I'm going to attempt to make sense of.

Let's start with the beginning. Ever since I can remember (probably around 10 or 11), I've felt as though my body was an alien, hideous thing. As the only black girl most of the time, I had my mostly Caucasian friends to compare myself to, and found that I could never quite look like everyone else (as desperately as I wanted to). I felt as though there was no way that anyone could ever accept it if they knew what my body really looked like, so I had best find other reasons (like cute clothes, nice things, being funny) for people to even want to talk to me. All of this was obviously not true, but that's how I felt. Of course, part of this was simply preteen angst, and feeling like my body was betraying me as it changed and grew.
Flash forward to the middle and end of high school, after 10 years of mentally berating myself at almost any chance. An example of my thoughts? Looks in the mirror, wearing a seemingly cute outfit. Brain: "Wow, you have really fat legs. Like enormous legs. You probably should change, that's disgusting." I would think these thoughts virtually any time I looked at myself in a mirror (keep in mind that I was actually about 25-30 pounds thinner than I am right now). Any compliments I was given was countered with a "Thanks, but you don't know that ____ (fill in self deprecating excuse here)." I never felt pretty or in shape, even though I look back now at pictures and see that I was both of those things.

I'm happy to say that lately I've been trying to counter negative thoughts with positive ones, and taking all the sweet compliments from everyone on the Internet (thanks yet again!) into account. When I started outfit posting almost a year and a half ago, I was surprised by the positive feedback. Perhaps I wasn't as hideous as I thought, and maybe, just maybe, my average figure didn't repel people from reading my blog or liking my outfit. Slowly but surely, I became a little more confident, and although I must admit there are many days that I look in the mirror and wonder why I was born with the body I've been given, I try my best to stay positive and realize that who I am is unique and beautiful, no matter how little resemblance I have to a lithe, Nordic model who is 6'0 feet tall. Part of this confidence is also due to seeing all the inspiring bloggers who are so pretty and stylish, but most of which wouldn't meet the current fashion industry standard of beauty, albeit height or sizewise. Seriously, there are so many gorgeous bloggers out there, it's astounding. (A very great example of a fearless, creative and beautiful blogger is Zana. If you haven't read her blog already, start now! She blows my mind regularly, and is so confident in herself, it's quite inspiring.)

So now, back to the picture.
Glamour is proposing a revolutionary idea: filling their magazine with a wide (no pun intended) range of models, showing more diversity and (most likely) appealing to a great range of the general public. When I saw this picture, the first thing I thought was "Wow, they are all drop dead gorgeous." The second thing I thought was "Hey, wait a second...some of them look like *gasp* me!". There is no denying that these plus size models are all stunning, even if they aren't cookie cutter issue models. This would a good time to mention that I love straight size models just as much as the next fashion blogger BUT one must admit that it would be interesting and different to see high fashion clothes on various bodies, not just those which are closer to resembling clothing racks...

I think that if magazines keep going in this direction, the world of fashion (and blogging) will become stronger and more creative. As the editor in chief of Glamour, Cindi Leive said..."Beauty can exist in many sizes". Who knows? Maybe the next big thing in the blogging world will be a curvy girl of Ugandan descent from a smallish town in BC?*

*A girl can dream, right?


BB said...

I think this may just be the most beautiful blog post I have ever had the pleasure of reading.

Well said, Beauty. Well said indeed.


Anonymous said...

i love when people take a blog and use it as a form of POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT.
loving this..thanks for sharing this

check out my blog @

Alison Hartford said...

Excellect post Lydia! Honestly, when I first saw the picture I thought it was beautiful, and I wondered what the issue might be. My first thought was that maybe people would think it was controversial to have naked women draped all over each other, like, ohh, lesbians. It took me a minute to realize they were "plus" size because they all look so gorgeous and healthy. I mean, there's a reason that artists have been painting women like that for centuries! And I can totally identify with the rest of your post, and I agree that it's inspiring to see bloggers of all sizes doing their thing. Anyway... loved it...

Mary said...

Thank you sooooooooooooo much for posting this.

I've always struggled with body image, and still do sometimes.

You are your blog are such an inspiration to me, you have no idea.

This picture really puts things into perspective.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this post!

I have also struggled with body image issues for just about as long as I can remember and those thoughts you mentioned... well, girl I have been there.

This is a beautiful idea and (hopefully) a beautiful revolution we're coming upon.


Eyeliah said...

I think I was about your age when I started to accept and love my body too. I think even the most confident looking gals with amazing bodies struggled all through high school, if not with weight then it would be hair, acne or even grades. We all have/had our insecurities. I love that photo you choose, those girl look like me and they are beautiful! :-)

comfies said...

i'm with you completely! i love this post and would love to see different body types hit the runways, the magazines, the movies, the media.... and by the way i posted about you today on my blog, hope it's still OK.

Mary said...

Maybe the next big thing in the blogging world will be a curvy girl of Ugandan descent from a smallish town in BC?

I hope so!
That line actually almost perfectly applied to me except for the being from BC part. Are you of Ugandan descent as well? :)

olive + sundry said...

I just discovered your blog and thank you for sharing this post. I will return again!:)

OwlFace said...

i love it lydia, please keep it up!
p.s. you're gorgeous!


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