Reader Alison e-mailed me this request:
As a slender woman, I always feel extremely uncomfortable when friends tell me that a) I am so skinny and b) they really need to lose weight. I hear this from beautiful women of every shape and size, who in my mind do not need to change a thing to be healthy and lovely the way they are. Also I do nothing to be slender, so it is not a compliment on anything I have personally worked for. I want to encourage friends that are trying to improve their health, but want them to remove from their heads an ideal of themselves that is just 10 pounds skinnier. A simple “you are beautiful the way you are, but if you want to feel healthier, then great,” does not seem to work to get women to stop calling themselves fat! Any suggestions are appreciated!
Originally posted 2013-06-13 06:49:47.
Back in March, I linked to Anna’s post in which she discussed what she learned from taking a photo of herself every day for a month. And even before that, a friend sent me this post about feeling too fat to be photographed. Both women’s perspectives have been rattling around in my brain ever since. Ultimately, both came out in favor of photography as a positive force for preserving memories, self-reflection, and even body positivity.
At my last office job, I was the staff photographer. Whenever a new employee came on board, it was my responsibility to connect with her/him for a headshot that would be used for internal communications. Wanna know how many of these new hires enjoyed being photographed? That’s right: ZERO. It didn’t matter how old, young, fat, skinny, or traditionally attractive they were, they all loathed the process. Looking back, I wish I’d thought to poll them because I’m sure they harbored a variety of reasons for fearing the lens.
Originally posted 2013-05-22 06:35:10.
I’ve always been smart, and I’ve always known it. But as a young girl, I was never considered pretty, or cool, or attractive. And I knew that, too. I envied my peers; Envied their trendy clothes and sleek hair, envied their confidence and style, envied their seemingly effortless beauty. But I had no idea what to do with my own body, my own style, and was so mystified by my physical self that I often wished I could just be a brain in a jar: Undeniably smart, able to enjoy my intellectual prowess unencumbered by the irritating physical world. I was comfortable and confident in myself as a thinker, but timid and awkward as a do-er.
Originally posted 2014-01-09 06:30:37.