When you think of the ideal female body shape, what comes to mind?
Chances are the image that popped into your head was influenced by the fashion industry, media, and advertising. Throughout history, these industries have dictated what is considered fashionable and what is not. The result? A never-ending cycle of women dieting and going to extreme lengths to achieve an "unattainable" body type.
I’m a size 34G bust and as a teenager with a developing body I became hugely self-conscious of my growing breasts. By the time I was 16, I was a DD and with that came unwanted attention from boys, which left me feeling uncomfortable, embarrassed, and negative about my body. I desperately wanted to be able to wear a backless dress and remember feeling left out that I couldn’t. Aged 30, after having my three children I booked to have a breast reduction. I had seen the consultant, set the date for the operation and a couple of weeks before this was due, I changed my mind. Up until this point I had convinced myself that if I had smaller boobs my body would look better, and I would feel more confident. I don’t know what changed my mind but I’m very glad didn’t go through with it.
I spoke to a friend of mine recently who is much smaller chested, and she shared how that had also knocked her confidence over the years and often left her feeling less of a woman.
When it comes to the size of our boobs and body sizes, women have been pitted against for decades by the fashion industry, as they dictate what body shape is "in" and what's not.
It's time we reclaimed our bodies!
Let’s start with the super curves of the 1950’s when women strived to have an hourglass figure like Marilyn Monroe, then came a sudden shift in the 1960’s with Twiggy’s flatter chested much thinner look ruling the fashion industry. Only to be told that curvy bodies were back in favour influenced by the super models of the 80’s, followed by Kate Moss’s super slim, waif like physique shifting the ‘perfect’ body barometer once again.
Do you see a pattern emerging as each decade sees a sharp shift of body shapes developing?
Just when you might have thought we’d made real progress and started to see a diverse representation of women’s bodies shapes the worrying article “Bye bye booty; Heroin chic is back” emerged in the New York Times this week. There are so many reasons why this latest ‘trend’ is so alarming
- Women’s bodies are not trends
- Women who are naturally slim shouldn’t be labelled in such a derogatory way
- The last time we saw this trend in the 90’s it coincided with an increase in eating disorders as young girls strived to ‘fit in’ to society
Women of all shapes and sizes are made to feel inadequate by these unrealistic standards. Well, I say screw that! It's time for us to turn our backs on society's idea of the "perfect" body and love ourselves for who we are. Here's why...
Women's Bodies Are Not Fashion Trends!
The first reason we should reject society's view of the "perfect" body is because women's bodies are not fashion trends. Fashion is about what you wear on the outside, but our bodies are so much more than that. Our bodies are the vessels that carry us each day.
They give us the ability to see, to hear, to feel. To think, to love, to laugh. Our bodies are amazing! And they deserve to be treated with respect and love, not judged against some arbitrary standard set by the fashion industry.
We Should Be Turning Our Backs on So-Called "Perfection"
Secondly, we should be turning our backs on so-called "perfection" because it's an unattainable goal. There is no such thing as a perfect body, no matter what society tells us. We are all uniquely beautiful creatures, each with our own individual quirks and imperfections. Embracing those imperfections is what makes us perfectly human. I don’t recall men being told what shape their bodies should be to be “in” either.
So, let's start loving ourselves for who we are, not who the fashion industry, media and advertising says we should be! Let's spread the word to protect the younger generation so they don't feel the need pressure to conform.
It's time for us to break free from society's unrealistic standards and learn to love ourselves for who we are!
Repeat after me-
Our bodies are not fashion trends, and "perfection" is an unattainable goal.
So, let's start celebrating our unique beauty today!