Thursday, 13 March 2014

She's (not) in fashion

It’s been a while since I last wrote but last week I saw an article in the paper stating that ‘boobs were no longer in fashion’. This got my heckles up, not because I have reasonable sized boobs and so am therefore no longer fashionable, my body has supposedly not been fashionable on many occasions, (when it was fashionable to be skinny, when it was fashionable to tall and slim, when it was deemed fashionable to look like you took heroin).  

Other friends have had similar problems, some of them were out of fashion when allegedly only women with Christina Hendricks curves were fashionable, others when we were told that big lips were cool and there were those that suffered from not been fashionable when it was deemed that ‘fat bottomed girls make the rocking world go round’ 

What I find even more frustrating is that we all buy into it.  Sit in a room with a group of women for long enough and eventually somebody will start talking about what they like about their body, or more often than not, what they don’t like.  More concerning is the amount of conversations held about what we are and aren’t feeding ourselves.  I admit that I have found myself having these conversations but I have decided, no more.

At my age I feel that these are not conversations that women should be having. In fact they are not the conversations women should be having at any age.  I have a niece and I don’t want her growing up thinking that her body should look a certain way because the media and other women say so.  I know I can’t change the world and I can’t even change the media, but I can change me and make sure that that isn’t the message she hears from me. 

Deep down we all know it’s about how you feel about yourself that’s important and that nobody has ever liked anybody more just because they’ve got thinner thighs, or big boobs (well this may not be true but people who like you more just based on those things are usually the men your mum warned you about).  I’ve never sat with my mates and thought I would love you all a bit more if your bodies were just that little bit more fashionable or if you only consumed limited calories a day.

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with watching what you eat and taking care of yourself.  I just feel that they are not things we need to be constantly conversing about, thus giving the impression to younger girls around us that calorie intake is a really important thing to be discussed on a regular basis.

It seems that we have all been conditioned to want to be something we are not.  I have even heard myself saying “I want to be thinner” like some mantra, but when I think about it I have never really wanted to be thinner.   I’ve wanted to be fitter, I’ve wanted to be more toned, and I’ve wanted to be firmer but thinner, not really, I understood a long time ago that I am always going to have boobs and a bum and accepted it.

So I am taking a stand and I am going to say, something that women very rarely say….I love my body, not because I have a flat stomach, I don’t,  and not because I have achieved the elusive thigh gap, I haven’t, but I still love it.

The reason I love it is because it works.  In my lifetime I have seen loss, we all have, people cut down in their prime, people living with life threatening illness or having their lives turned upside down by a cruel twist of fate and it is because of these people that I have decided to embrace my body and accept how it is.  

My body works, it is strong, I exercise to feel strong not to be try and be thin (I’m really not designed that way) I know what to put in it to make it work at its best but sometimes I choose not to do this and decide to eat chocolate, drink too much wine and stuff my face with pizza, but instead of worrying about this for days I have learnt to accept it and move on.

If I live to be old and healthy, and my niece learns from me that her body is beautiful whatever it looks like and yet my body is never deemed fashionable again then I will be happy.