Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Celebrating International No Dieting Day

Today, I am celebrating INDD (International No Dieting Day). WoHOO! I've been taking this seminar at school called, "So Cosmo Says You're Fat, I Ain't Down With That". It's all about health and nutrition and the non-dieting approach to life. Yesterday we discussed body image. Ah yes, that dreaded topic of body image.

It's very interesting to notice how our ideals of the perfect body has changed with each passing decade/century, especially for women. Men always seem to have it lucky, dont they? In the past, big curvy pale broads of the elite class were the symbol for beauty. They didn't have to work out in the sun doing manual labor (thus their paleness) and they had the money to eat roasted pork, delicious pastries, bread, oodles of chocolate to satisfy their bellies.

Then coming into the modern age our views have dramatically shifted. There were the Gibson Girls of the late 1800's followed by the sassy flappers of the 20's. In the 1950/1960's the curvy blonde who sang happy birthday to JFK - Marilyn Monroe was the epitomy of beauty. Then the Mods came along with Twiggy, making everyone want to look well, like a stick thin twig. Now, today, what is our idealized notion of the perfect body? I would have to say thin, thin, slender, but thin and thin. It is no surprise that many celebrities are underweight for their body-type but we now view it as normal. We idolize them, they are our new icons, our new heroes. Young kids look up to them. They want to be like Paris Hilton or Nicole Richie...which is a scary thought.
Mommy, when I grow up, I want to make a sex tape and drive through opposing traffice while under the influence and become a pile of bones and skin just like my favorite celebrities! please..no.

I hate magazines that read "Lose 10 pounds in TWO weeks!", "100 ways to make your body look sexy!" They are everywhere. Just look at the magazine stand next to you and you'll see what I'm talking about. But I admit, I read those because just like almost everyone else, I have issues with my own body image. I want to be able to lose 10 pounds in TWO WEEKS and have a nice body. It's hard living in LA and seeing all those perfectly tan/perfectly blonde sorority girls skimp around in their underwear during our quarterly Undie Run and feel just a tad jealous that I was confident enough to prance around in my hello kitty undies and bra. Even if I did have the most smashing body in the world, I still wouldn't participate though. undie run seems like one big excuse for the school to have one massive orgy if you ask me. girls in underwear + horny guys in underwear = trouble. But onto body image... I find it funny how my friends complain that their fat..when in fact, hello! they are not!... "if you're fat, what am I? Obese?" Everyone has these issues, if only my stomach wasn't so pudgy, if only my thighs werent "thunder" thighs, if only my calves weren't so huge.

I learned that 1/3 of our self esteem comes from our body image. That's a lot folks. Granted, I don't always have good body image. Some days I feel huge and other days I think I look great. I really admire people who dont give a f*** about their body size and dress in whatever way they want to. That shows me they have great body image. I love looking at streetstyle sites and seeing the "curvier" looking gals rock all types of clothing styles. Even the naturally thin girls are beautiful in whatever they choose to wear. While fashion certainly plays a large part in telling us what is the ideal body image, (just look at all the size 0, 6 ft. tall models today), fashion or actually style is a great outlet for boosting our body image.

I know that when I dress up, dress crazy, dress the way I want to, I feel really good about myself. Looking for clothes that flatter what god gave me is way better and easier than running for miles on the treadmill just to loose those extra 500 calories. I'm not saying we shouldn't exercise or eat healthy, I just believe that there is so much more that we can do to give ourselves a positive body image. Face it - there are some things in life that we just can't change, I know I cannot lose those 25 pounds unless I starve myself and run all day. But I think just by dressing up and using style/fashion as a way to boost your self confidence is a fun and wonderful way. So, in honor of INDD, I am going to think positively from this point forward the best I can. And tomorrow, I'm gonna be first in line for Baskin Robbins 31 cents a scoop promotion...after I go to the gym of course.

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