Somewhere, right this very second, a little girl is wishing that she was a model. Back in 1997, that little girl was probably me. I just knew that I would grow up to be Kate Moss. I KNEW IT. I would be 5'10'' I'd weigh about 107 pounds (112 if I was bloated) Wear a AAA cup bra My hips would be a perfect 29" I'd be the perfect sample size 0 Never mind that genetics were against me. I was going to be Kate Moss, dammit. She was perfect.
Genetics was NOT dealing with me and my model dream.
Literally the next year (fifth grade!!!), I hit 5'0'' and stopped growing. I got boobs that year, too. I walked across the elementary school graduation stage in a Playtex Just-my-size almost B cup bra (come on, ladies, you know what I'm talkin' about). I'm pretty sure that's when the self talk started. I was not pretty because I was not a model and I wasn't going to be a model. Mama Nancy told me I was pretty all the time. She always said that I was beautiful. Know how I responded? "You're required to say that, you're my mama." As I got older (and started crushing on boys), my list of idols grew. And grew. And grew. And grew. I spent a lot of time in high school saying things like, "I wish I looked like ____(insert celebrity name here)___" and "why can't I just have her ____(insert perfect attribute here)___?"
2010. Pretty far from the "sample size 0". And I'm also fairly sure my hips were around 45".
Now that I'm a grown up and I've entered into this fitness thing, I realize that I spend a lot of time discounting my own hardwork. "My butt's looking nice...but it's not like Jennifer Lopez's" "My waist is thinning out...but it's not as slim as Eva Longoria's." "I wish my face would slim down to look like Beyonce's." "Why can't I be married to Ryan Reynolds?!" (okay, this is not at all related to body image, it's just a question that needs to be answered) Thanks to the miracle that is the interwebz, this video was posted today:
The first thing I thought? "well, shit. With PhotoShop, I can be a model now, too!" The second thing? "what if little girls really think people look like this?" Both thoughts are true. Obviously, I too, can be a model through the power of photoshop and didn't I think all those celebrities really looked like that when I was little? Weren't those the images I was basing all my personal fitness success on? It has to stop. Photoshop is not real life.
This is me. I am not perfect. My beauty and my life have flaws. I make mistakes. I have cellulite. I love to eat a lot of chocolate when Aunt Flo comes to visit. I hate the way my back looks, but I love my shoulders. I have a freckle between my first two toes on my left foot. I have a birthmark that even my Mama didn't know existed until 2 years ago. I sweat when I do...pretty much anything. I can never put on eyeliner right. My concealer (when I wear it) always creases beneath my eyes. I have scars because I like to play rough. I have tattoos. And they're cool. I have a belly somedays and other days I don't. When I don't feel good, I like my dog to take care of me. I get lettuce stuck in my teeth all the time. I get zits. And I WILL pop them. I make a ton of mistakes and only hope (and pray!) that I can recover from them and learn the lesson. I have boobs that photobomb every picture I take and make buying shirts really difficult. I have teeny feet. My hips are still 40" around. But that's who I am. Those things are why my mama thinks I'm pretty. I am flawed but funny. I like to laugh and have a good time. I think it's more important to live in the moment and eat the damn cupcake than skip the cupcake and miss the moment. I am a hard worker because I want to set a good example. I want to work hard now so that I can play hard later. I like to do nice things for people because it's a nice thing to do. I am a good friend. I am not photoshop. I am not a model. Or a celebrity. But I am beautiful. And so are you.