Body Image 101

Hello to all my beautiful, sexy, smart, strong Allure-a-lites, 

As you all know from reading and following the Allure and what it stands for, you all know the importance I put on trying your hardest to love your bodies.  I say trying your hardest because its a battle that sometimes you loose at but it's just a matter of knowing deep down that you are beautiful and sexy.  You may have momentary lapses where you are hating on this or that but when those moments pass you want to be left with self loving feelings. 

There is something that I want you all to think about for a second... 

"It is estimated that the diet industry alone is worth anywhere between 40 to 100 billion (U.S.) a year selling temporary weight loss (90 to 95% of dieters regain the lost weight).1 On the other hand, research indicates that exposure to images of thin, young, air-brushed female bodies is linked to depression, loss of self-esteem and the development of unhealthy eating habits in women and girls." 

As people in the 21st century we are well aware of the biological and physical elements that go into someones body type.  We have the knowledge, we know that everyone is prone to a different body type and not everyone is stick thin - yet the media insists we all look that way.  Now if your wondering why, there is one simple answer: MONEY.  Not because men prefer this body not because being thin means your healthy, money. Like I mentioned above, the diet industry is a billion dollar development. 

As women we are the targets of this issue.  We spend our money trying new workout programs, joining a diet program making this industry what it is.  Now I want to make something very clear here.  I am not knocking healthiness or trying to obtain a healthier body.  What I am saying is being healthy and happy does not mean being thin.  Listen to your body. Life is about balance, and if you deprive yourself of something you love, like sweets or salty foods, we are human and are bound to cave.  Which can cause a bigger problem then just allowing yourself to have treats now and then - you may find yourself pigging out on those foods because you have missed them so much.  If you enjoy your treats and salty foods, hit the gym, drink lots of water or green tea to help clear out some of those treats. 

I spent too much time when I was younger disliking my body.  It took a few different things in my life to change my way of thinking but part of it was accepting my body as it is.  My one suggestion is not listening to anyone around you (I still battle this).  Block out any negative words and just tell yourself that your looking damn good today, or how great your ass looks in a certain pair of pants. There may be certain people in your life that make you feel negatively about yourself, either remove that negativity from your life or learn to ignore it. Their negativity most likely steams back to a lack of self confidence in themselves. 

As I said before I spent too much time criticizing my body when I was younger and I don't plan on looking back in 10-20 years from now and wishing I would have embraced what I had.  I made a promise to myself to always enjoy my body no matter what state it is in.  I consciously started to change my thoughts when I was in high school, a few things have brought me down from time to time, like the media or comments from people. But for every negative comment I heard about my body there must have been 5 good ones, so I just focus on those. I know the same goes for all of you, we tend to focus on the negative as women and that is the first step in changing your ideas about your body.  ONLY hear the positive, so so hard I know but try and it will make you feel sooo much better and happier.  At the end of the day everyone has things they wish they could change about themselves - and just think - other people are way too concerned with their own things they dislike to worry about yours.  

Some people are naturally thin and have poor eating habits but since they are thin no one questions them. Some people can diet diet diet with no results and still have some extra cushion.  It's a harsh reality but it's the truth, if you were not meant to be skinny you will not be thin without a huge amount of depravation and even some unhealthy risks. Accepting that fact and moving forward is all you can do.  

Something that has helped me personally is embracing all body types, loving (not hating) the way a thin woman looks in a bikini but also loving the way a curvier woman fills out a low cut dress.  Appreciating the hard work it took a woman with washboard abs to obtain them but also admiring the confidence of a curvier woman rocking a bandaid dress.  When it comes to men, there's some that love and drool over that washboard stomach and theres some that go weak just thinking about a curvier woman's jiggly places.  Something I have learned which took some maturity to understand, is that no matter how many men hit on you or are attracted to you that will not change how YOU feel about YOU, only you can do that. 

As women who are the victims of this body crisis we must band together not hate on each other. Learn to see the beauty in all the woman around you and you will see it come back to you.  Celebrate your friends bodies and boost their confidence it will make you feel good and them! If you find your friends talking about another woman's body in a negative light, be the first to do the right thing and say something that looks good on her whether it be her bag or her butt.  Your friends will follow your lead and admire your kindness.  

I hope this makes you all feel better about YOU! Dedicate a day this week to pamper yourself and treat your body the way it deserves to be treated, now if that means going for a run or enjoying a piece of chocolate - listen to your body! Or... type in some of these key words into The Allure's search engine and get some ideas there! 

- pamper

- spa 

- naked 

- confidence 

- tea 

Here are some healthy body images to admire...