Fighting the elusive body and beauty standards we’ve all grown up with has proven difficult.
I’ve been dreaming this blog up in many variations for over a decade. Every client I’ve ever had has had something about herself that she felt wasn’t good enough. Flaws that I couldn’t see because of her inner beauty.
The idea that inner beauty can cancel out or fade flaws is REAL.
I want to show women everywhere that we are so silly about our bodies. I’m using myself as an example. These are my vulnerable thoughts. I hope that sharing my insecurities will help you see that some of your thoughts may be skewed as well.
I’m breaking my studio rule! I don’t allow anyone to say anything negative about themselves in my presence. I believe if you can abstain for minutes or hours, you can do days of self-love. And days turn into healthy decisions and then years of being at a happy weight. But in all honesty I know that these negative thoughts creep in. That’s what makes fighting the elusive beauty standard so difficult.
To preface my personal account, please watch this video:
Dustin Hoffman discusses how profound it was for him to be transformed into a woman for his famous role in Tootsie. He actually tears up while acknowledging the need for fighting the elusive beauty standard.
I’m a visual artist, so I think what I have to say will have more impact if I illustrate where our minds go wrong when assessing our bodies. Fighting the elusive beauty standard will give us the power to think for ourselves. Appreciate our bodies for the vessels they are.
The following images and self-criticisms are how I USED to evaluate my body.
If you say or do any of the following too, I hope my words sound entirely crazy. I hope you think, “Geez, she’s nuts! I don’t see what she’s criticizing.” When you do this to your body, you sound crazy too! If you think I’m fat please, for the sake of humanity, keep it to yourself!
All of these criticisms are honest. But after years of hating myself, I make a conscious effort not let these thoughts grow and fester. I replace these thoughts with positive affirmations. Too many women have lost too much time as they took outside criticism and wove it into their being as an irrefutable truth.
But rather than use a client to illustrate this, I’m making an example of myself. I hear ridiculous things like this and more from women every day.
I’m going to end with the way I look at my body NOW.
Granted, I’ve worked hard to lose almost a hundred pounds. And I still struggle to see myself this way. But self-empathy is a muscle you have to work out and practice makes perfect.
Iman Woods is an American artist who specializes in pin-up photography. Through a unique and therapeutic process, she’s spent over a decade in perfecting, Iman helps women undo the damage from a negative self-image and unrealistic beauty industry expectations. She helps women embrace their own style of beauty and see themselves in a new light. You can find her on her website, ImanWoods[dot]com.
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