Body Positivity – I’ve been on an intense recent journey towards loving and accepting my body. So, when I met a young woman, a recent college graduate who loves and accepts her body, I was drawn to photograph her. Not only is Arianna gorgeous and talented, she embraces herself. What I would have given to have felt like that as a young woman especially when I was considered at the height of my attractiveness.
Have you seen the independent film, Embrace, which is about Body Positivity? If you haven’t seen it, you can catch it on Netflix. It shows a woman,Taryn Brumfitt who goes around the world in search of “beauty” and what that means. How we define beauty is purely subjective and varies not only from person to person, but also to different cultures. The Western influence has been huge on developing countries. At one time, large women were seen as a sign of affluence and beauty, but they are now seen as unattractive. Did you know the average American woman is a size 16? We hardly see any models of that typical size, yet women compare themselves all the time to models in magazines. And the research I’ve done, is that those models don’t even look like themselves after some serious editing in Photoshop.
Photoshop is not bad in and of itself. The concept of Photoshop has been used for thousands of years. When a painter was commissioned to paint an aristocrat, the subject may have had the painter omit this mole or make them look younger, plumper, thinner, etc. There were many tricks to the trade.
Today, we are constantly bombarded with information that we are less than because our bodies are not perfect. Our skin doesn’t radiantly glow or our hair doesn’t shine bright enough, or we are not the right size. We treat aging like a disease and not a natural process of life. I wish we could celebrate ourselves….. be proud of our bodies for all the many wonderful functions it performs dutifully and tirelessly.
I talk with so many women that won’t look at themselves in the mirror while they change, cover their bodies up in front of their husband, delay going to see the doctor so they won’t get weighed and the list goes on. I don’t know many women that wouldn’t want to lose 5-10 pounds. Women are always in perpetual motion of improving their bodies while the whole time we suffer from some form of body dysphoria.
At the end of Embrace, when Taryn was united with her family, I couldn’t help notice another thing that sets women up for failure. In the background was an ad for a delicious, hot donut. Our fatty, sugary, low in nutrient food choices and our sedentary lifestyles set everyone up for failure to live their best life.
I would love to hear your thoughts on how you view your body. What are your observations on today’s culture and how you fit within that? How do you incorporate Body Positivity into your life?