I just came across this article written by Rachel East on the Frisky. I thought that is was very interesting to hear her talk about how she viewed her body and the changes it went through as she matured. As I got further into the article I was at first a bit leery of the fact that one of the reasons she started to appreciate her fuller form was because her boyfriend loved her curves:
“He told me that I had a body like an ancient Greek statue. It is by far the best compliment I’ve ever received, solely because I studied art history in college”
I thought “Well that’s nice but why does it take a man telling you that you are beautiful for you to get it” A part of me instinctively went on the feminist defensive, but then I took a breath. So what? Who really cares how you get there so long as you do! Is is so very different from your mother and sisters telling you that you are beautiful until you believe it? Is it different if your girlfriends tell you? I suppose you can say that it is about the objectification if women by men and our insatiable need for their acceptance and validation that creates a great deal of these issues, but in t’ruth the same could be said for how relate to other women. It has been proven that most women dress more for other women then for men, and that women are harder on each other then men are on women so if we were really going to be honest it all boils down to the same thing. Sometimes we need other people (male or female) to get us out of our heads, and help us see things (including ourselves) in a different way.
Here is Rachel East’s article:
Five years ago I had an “ideal” body.
I don’t mean to say that my body was free of imperfections, but rather that I had a body that most women are taught to believe is close to perfect: I was 5” 5’, weighed barely 115 pounds, and wore a size 2. I had a tiny waist, medium-sized breasts, a taut stomach, round bottom, and cellulite that was practically nonexistent. I was extremely slender, yet still somehow carried a feminine hourglass figure. I could never have been a contestant on “America’s Next Top Model,” but for a perfectly normal girl I had a perfectly enviable body.
Flash forward five years. Though I don’t own a scale, I’m probably 20 pounds heavier thanks to a slower metabolism, college drinking and a dire love of cheese. I now wear a size 6, my waist isn’t quite so minuscule, my stomach jiggles, I have cellulite swimming on my thighs, and I have ample junk in my apple-bottom trunk. My breasts have gotten ever-so-slightly bigger, but for every tiny bit that they’ve grown, my ass and thighs grew 10 times that … leaving me much more of a pear than an hourglass.
He told me that I had a body like an ancient Greek statue. It is by far the best compliment I’ve ever received, solely because I studied art history in college.
Size is all quite relative, of course. Adriana Lima would cry if she had my current body, but a contestant on “The Biggest Loser” would probably be thrilled to pieces. You, who I’m confident are somewhere between a Victoria’s Secret Angel and a 500 lb. man, would probably just call me normal.
Some might think there wouldn’t be a question about which body I prefer, right? If given the choice, clearly I’d go back to that younger, slimmer version of myself. But to be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t. I didn’t like that body when I was in it as much as I like the one I have now. It’s a bit scary to admit that the reason doesn’t have much to do with me.
Five years ago, I was in a long-term relationship with someone who was completely wrong for me. I remember that he told me I was beautiful pretty often, which I never truly believed. I saw flaws when I looked in the mirror, and I hated them. My thighs weren’t muscular enough; the lines on my forehead were too deep for someone so young. More than anything, I always got the feeling that he was telling me what he thought he was required to by boyfriend law.
Two years later, I was at least 10 pounds heavier and had a new boyfriend, who I’m still with now. This time around I saw even more flaws—flabbier thighs, a stomach that wasn’t really flat, deeper lines in my forehead. Maybe it’s because I’m with the right person, and maybe it’s because he loves me more than the old guy, but my current boyfriend has never made me feel that he was feeding me lines or telling me what he thought I wanted to hear.