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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Land of the Barbies

I'm not really sure when it all began. It could have been when I got my first Barbie doll that was supposed to be the epitome of beauty. It might have been the first time I was called bean pole or string bean. Or maybe it was when my neighbor called me french fry head(yes, this really happened). Either way; I have stuggled with body image and confidence issues most of my life. If you knew me you would never guess that about me. I exude confidence and I talk a real good game, but deep down inside I am very insecure with myself.



My body issues have covered both ends of the spectrum. When I was younger I was very skinny and was constantly made fun of because of it. Most people would think that being skinny is a great thing but I was made to feel like it was a problem. Being that I am a woman of color most people expect me to be more bootylicious voluptuous. So when I got to college I started taking birth control just to try to gain some weight. It worked I gained 20 pounds while I was in college. It might have been my eating habits but I credit the BC for the weight gain. I was happy for a little while until I couldn't fit into my favorite pair of jeans. This began my struggle to lose weight. Then I had a baby and well all know what that does to your body. I actually lost weight after having my daughter (thank you breastfeeding) and then quickly gain it back.


We live in a land full of wanna be Barbie dolls who are chasing an unrealistic dream. I'm sure that all of you have heard what the real life dimensions  of a Barbie doll are but I'm going to share them anyway. I life size Barbie doll would have a 42D chest a 18-inch waist and 32-inch hips. How realistic is this? We see everyday on television, movies, and real life people obsessed with be perfect. But what is perfect and who gets to make that definition for us?

Everybody has their own flaws and I definitely have my share of flaws and scars. The struggle that myself and other women have is embracing those "flaws". We were all created different and unique and that is okay. This is what I have been trying to tell myself. It is so weird that no matter how often my husband and other people tell me how beautiful I am; I still don't feel that way. Who knew that that  seemingly small things that happen to you in your youth can have such a big impact on you adult life.


 You have teenagers whose bodies aren't fully developed having; having plastic surgery.There are kids constantly faced with images of what you "should" look like. You have the Heidis in the world that are having complete overhauls on their bodies How do you avoid the  lure of perfection? .I have a little girl and I want her to grown up with a healthy body image. I know that in order for her to have that; I have to have one as well. I want her to be okay with the body that God gave her but I also want her to be healthy and take care of herself. How can I protect her so that she doesn't have to go through what I've been through?

 
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