All the Beautiful people

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Mirror Mirror on the wall....

who decides who is the prettiest of them all?

For a lot of reasons this question has popped into my mind again and then after a conversation on Twitter
I decided that the nails can wait until tomorrow I want to explore this.

Where did your view of beauty come from? Do you know?
Where did your view of ugly, fat, weird, skinny, too tall, too short come from?
Is this what beauty looks like?

or is it this?

Who decided what plus size is and why is it called that?

Is this plus size? Seriously? Who changed the rules and who gave that idiot the right to change them?
When my Mother was a teen this was average, normal, beautiful.
So why now is this no longer the perfect body? Who and when did it change?
These ladies are Plus size models and acourding to mainstream fashion and society they are overweight.....WHAT!

Why isn't this the picture of perfection?

I am aware that I do not , on most occasions, agree with the mainstream.
I know that a lot of what I see as beautiful is repulsive, odd, creepy, ugly etc. to the deciders of "The Rules of beauty"

Did you ever think that just maybe the rules are wrong?
Maybe we have allowed the wrong people to tell us what beauty is.

Is this what intelligent looks like?

Or maybe this is truly what intelligence looks like.

Is she the ultimate in feminine?

or is she?

When did the influence of our family, friends and loved ones go silent?
Why do we hear magazines, Television and movies view of what we should be so loud and clear?

Is this what you strive for?

or this?

or is the reflection that you desire?

What is my point?
I spent the majority of my life trying to be something/someone that is not possible for me to acheive.
I wanted to have milky white skin or blonde hair, blue eyes. At times I wanted to be 5 inches taller or to be perfectly thin. At times I wanted to be "normal" or to be smarter.
What I was, was never good enough. But why? Why wasn't me perfect enough for me?

Through my adult years of observing I can to accept my not so normal views on the world and found that weird is wonderful. I finally realized that I am very smart, just not in the traditional sense. My English is rough, my spelling is sad and let's not even talk about my math skills but I can look at a piece of jewlery and figure out how to make a similar piece, or I can purchase $16 worth of materials and make an amazing prom dress for my daughter, or I can start a cosmetic company from nothing and within a year be making women all over the world feel beautiful.

But it is only in recent years that I have started accepting that the physical me
IS beautiful. My nose is not too big. My feet are not too small. Dark hair is sultry and amazing. Brown eyes are gorgeous. My butt is not too big, and it's rather comfy for sitting. My size is just fine for me. I'm not too short or too fat.
The problem is that the blind fool that is trying to destroy our self worth is winning the war.
That pathetic ass is a master of deception. The rule maker has brainwashed us into thinking that we are less than perfect. And sadly we as humans have allowed it.

I refuse to allow my children or yours to grow up thinking that they aren't good enough.
I don't want them to struggle with anorexia and compulsive eating as I did. I want them look in the mirror and think "this is what beauty is."  I want them to feel brilliant at whatever they do. I have never met a stupid child, so how is it that there are so many stupid adults? Someone forgot to teach those people that smart does not live in this one little box, smart is about perspective not dollars. I have met some idiots who have a lot of money and I've met some amazing minds that haven't a dime.
I still fall back into bad paterns of selfimage. I forget that I'm curvy, not fat and I occasionally lose site of how amazing the story of love is that created my unusual skin color and my perfect nose.
I am very lucky that when I forget, my dear sweet husband reminds me.

So I thought that some of my friends out here might have forgoten as well and might not have
someone to remind them. I will be your someone.
You are beautiful! Tall, short, skinny, curvy, muscular, red hair, blonde, brunette or pink, purple and blue, no matter the color of your eyes, the size of your shoe, whether you are fair as snow or dark as the richest mocha, if you have freckles, a crooked smile, or whatever it is that makes you you. You are beautiful, you are amazing, you are brilliant and you are perfect just as you are!

Physical beauty is as diverse as the universe
Beauty has many colors

Beauty does not fit into any one box

Perfect is what you decide

You are as amazingly perfect as you choose to be

You do not need to change a thing

Smile and let you shine.
Shake the world a bit and let them know that the new beauty is in every mirror and on every face!
I challenge each of you to break down the false rules and create a better and more accepting world for our children. Each rule that we dispose of is one child that will NEVER think that they aren't perfect as they are.



108 comments:

  1. Made me smile, ty :)

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  2. You, dear, are a brilliant woman!  This is just what I needed to hear right now.  

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  3. <span>
    <p>This post is so beautiful. Thank you so, so much. I've been questioning everything about myself lately, and this really reminded me that I'm beautiful, even if some people don't think so. When I am comfortable with myself, others will be, too.
    </p></span>

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  4. this post was beautiful. You go girl! Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder, and as time goes on it's sad that the perception of beauty changes. Have you seen this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hibyAJOSW8U it's actually scary how even "models" aren't pretty enough for billboards. I think everyone is beautiful in their own way. Beauty is something that can only be achieved when the person truly feels comfortable in their own skin to admit that they are beautiful for who they really are, rather than what people perceive them as. =] 

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  5. THANK YOU!!  i am who i am suppose to be!!  I am beautiful the way I am!!  I AM A PHENOMAL WOMAN!!   YOU ARE A PHENOMINAL WOMAN!!  WE ALL are creatures of creativity to which we are only limited by our imaginations!!  Thank you so much for this!!  There are no ugly people - just ugly thoughts!!  Thanks for this perspective!  I have earned every wrinkle, every dimple of cellulite and every curve of my body - WE ARE PHENOMINAL PEOPLE!!

    www.levernischocolat.blogspot.com

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  6. sparkly paints.May 6, 2010 at 3:08 AM

    This was amazing & brilliant, and I have de-lurked to say that you are one of my favorite bloggers, and such a positive influence. Thank you so much for this, it made my night.

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  7. Aurica-ManicureTimeMay 6, 2010 at 3:45 AM

    You have to be a strong person not to be influenced by what you see on t.v., in magazines and on billboards. They show us a dream, and we have to translate it to real life, which for some is very difficult.
    Only, curvy and feminine is one thing, being overweight and unhealthy is something else :) . A healthy weight is beautiful, and means you treat your body the way you should: As a temple.

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  8. This is a brilliant post, thank you so much Andrea. and my two cents: the beauty industry is run by middleaged pedophiles. White, fat, rich men who need the penis enlargement that having a young trophy partner is. They want to break every innocent virgin, they want to make every teenager as filthy as they are. And when they cannot have it, they tell those of us who are older, mothers, different sizes, to look like teenagers. The child is their perverted ideal of the ultimate sexuality. When you think of it for a while, you find that it's painfully true. Our most successful supermodels are seldom over 20 anymore. And since when does the crowd listen to pedophiles and sexual perverts? So why do we want to look like we're 17 our entire lives?

    And Jill Scott is so, SO beautiful! <3

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  9. Thank you! I don't however think we should stop telling thin women that they are beautiful and only say that fat or curvy is. I also do not think that we should condone obesity and tell them they are perfect the way they are, because they are not. They may be considered beautiful, but it is not healthy and can cost you your life. I'm not gonna start off on my tangent, but I just wanted to say this.

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  10. Thank you so much.  This is something I struggle with so much.  My issue is that I have always wished that I was a little shorter (I'm 5'8"), had smaller feet (I wear a size 10), and had more exotic looking eyes (my eyes are actually more arabic looking, now that I think of it.)

    I don't know WHO decided that looking like a 14 year old boy was hot, but it's destroying our society.  Honestly, many people are too fat or too skinny.  I hate to single out a certain race, but it seems like Spanish people have it down best.  They love their women no matter WHAT size they are.

    I'll stop, I'll end up writing a whole damn novel on here.  I just wanted to say thank you.

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  11. Beauty is subjective and not touchable. We can try to fix it but usually then ones who do are celebrities (that explains the loads of make-up and our shock when comparing them with/without make up). I know what I like and that is my concept of beauty, we can't generalise it. (Sorry about this now, it's just my opinion) Some people think Scarlett Johanson is beautiful and I think she's not, I think Rachel Weiss is pretty but some people don't. My boyfriend doesn't like skinny women (I'm not skinny neither fat... but more fat than skinny :) ) and I don't like skinny neither fat men... but they can have pretty faces, right?
    It's all super relative! We should blame the asshole who saw Twiggy and thought she had the measures for the perfect body. As for faces, that's different to everyone ;)  I have to love myself as I am (although sometimes I don't really) or else, who will? ^__^

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  12. Thank you for this post.  We all are beautiful no mater the size, color.  Personality what counts anyway, It's the charactor of what makes a person not their looks :)  

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  13. Aurica-ManicureTimeMay 6, 2010 at 7:02 AM

    :)  I think you mean South American people. I lived in Spain, and most girls are very skinny there!(spanish clothing sizes are a disaster!!)It's the Latina's who bring the curves back in the picture.

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  14. You my dear are so right!

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  15. I honestly do not know who most celebs are by name. I do not watch television and haven't for years. So I'm out of the know in that area.

    I agree that beauty is about personal taste. Selfimage should be about self worth not media prototypes.

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  16. I personally think that whatever a persons natural shape is, is perfect and lovely.
    Mine happens to be quite curvy which tends to be unacceptable by most people. I dispute their distorted sense of normal.
    If the average woman these days is a size 14 then yay I am slightly above average! :-D

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  17. I can't agree with you on this one ''perfect is what you decide''. I'd like to decide that some of my features are perfect, but that's not possible. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That's it.

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  18. I see nothing imperfect about naturally thin women, they are beautiful as they were made.

    My issue is more with where the lines have been drawn.
    If a woman is naturally thin then that is perfect for her, if a woman is naturally curvy then why is that suddenly ug;y and unhealthy?

    Being too thin is as unhealthy as being obese.
    The line of what is obese has been moved so far back that I am considered obese and in order for me to be health accourding to standards I would have to go back to the torment of my anorexia. My point is that what is healthy and beautiful is not one size fits all.

    I am 36 coming up on 37 very soon. I eat healthy and I excercize as much as I hate to. I am healthy, my cholesterol levels are perfect, my blood pressure couldn't be better, I am accourding to all medical tests a very healthy woman. (It shocks and annoys my doctor) So why am I considered fat, obese, unhealthy and or lazy? It's not true, it's a sad misconception. I am more active than most people I know, I am far from lazy and very healthy.

    I'm not picking on you love, you just bring up a point that is very important. Health is so important but the size of your dress does not determine the state of your health.
    My sister is and has always been naturally thin. She is only a few years older than me and since she was 30 she has had so many health problems that people associate with obesity. She weighs 105 lbs at her heaviest.
    For me my size has created no health issues and it's unlikely to ever to so. The women in my family have always been big and 99% of them have lived very healthy and active into their late 90's and beyond.

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  19. My dear friend you hit a tender nail right on it's head.

    I didn't look like a teenager when I was one so why would I strive to look that way now.

    Pervy old men with disturbed emotional attachments to their youth and lack of sex during that time are not who I want telling my girls what is perfection.

    Theis Daddy has a much healthier view of a woman's beauty and he tries to pass that on to them.

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  20. Unfortunatly the idea of a healthy body size has shrunk to an unachievable standard for most. It's sad that a healthy size 16 woman is not seen as healthy but as fat and lazy, but a size 3 woman is never percieved as lazy even if she is.

    We need to reteach the world that healthy is not one size fits all but a series of actions done throughout life. Physical health is so important but it cannot be enjoyed if a person is a mess mentally.

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  21. <span>Thanks very much for this post !! Perfection doesn't exist !!</span>

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  22. Thank you for de lurking!
    I am just a Mother of 4, Step Mommy of 2 (4 girls and 2 boys) that wants better for my children. I can't expect it to just happen so I open my big mouth and do what I can to try to change things for the better. Isn't that what being a woman is about?!

    ((Hugs)) and is you aren't comfortable commenting publicly, you are always welcome to email me!

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  23. Yes love I know you and you are nothing short of fabulous!

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  24. Thank you lovie.
    I haven't watched and I probably won't. I was a model for many years as a teen and it created so much self doubt and serious emotional scars that I do not buy or read fashion magazines and I no longer watch TV. Media is a funhouse mirror.

    Beauty is when your spirit shines out past your skin and brightens the world around you!

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  25. Lovie you are beautiful and those who don't see your beauty are likely in doubt of their own and cannot see past their own shadow.

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  26. :*  Now whenever you doubt yourself, come back and re read this post or just email me and I'll gladly remind you how amazing you are!

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  27. There is no better compliment that a gorgeous smile! :)

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  28. That is what I'm saying love.
    There is no set in stone, this is beauty. Beauty is a wide range of different things, none are wrong or any less than another.

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  29. I have to disagree. Every baby and child I've ever met was absolutly perfect. Imperfections are taught and imposed throughout our lives. That is sad. We are so messed up that we teach our children what is wrong with them and then wait to see if they can fix it. So insane.

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  30. You are truly beautiful for posting this.. I saw perfection though when I saw my babies for the first time!  And for that moment, I was perfect too, I was "Mom."  This is powerful, rock on girl.

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  31. *stands up* *applauds*

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  32. Hun,
    this post is an absolute beauty

    *a round of applause*

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  33. So much "WORD". And thank you for reminding us of this.

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  34. WOOHOOO!
    :::standing ovation:::

    Preach it sista!

    I for one, find every woman you posted to be beautiful!  I think beautiful comes is a vast array of shapes, sizes and colors.  I think everyone has to decide how they want themselves to be and pursue that, be it rail thin, very heavy, super muscular, very pale, very tan, tattood, peirced, or otherwise!

    And thanks for including that muscular chick!  that always seems to get overlooked in "what is beauty" descussions.  I guess cause the overwhelming majority of people don't find that beautiful.  which is very sad!

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  35. I should have added to the whole "we shoudl be free to pursue the look we want" rant to add, that we shoudl all try to be healthy though!  I however an totally tired of people thinking that just cause I'm not a size 4 must mean I am unhealthy!  One of my friends lives off of candy and fried chicken strips and shes thin!  So I tend to think that my lean protein eatting-veggie loving-thick and curvy self is far more healthy! 

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  36. Beautiful and very inspirational post.

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  37. ~Elizabeth aka Lacquered LizardMay 6, 2010 at 11:03 AM

    Oh you might check it out then, it totally supports what you're saying here. I love Dove's new promotions, they also support what you're saying here. 

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  38. <span>I totally agree!  My husband and I see a nutritionist every other week, and the receptionist has a body fat percentage of 17%.  I look much thinner than she does, and 3 weeks ago I was 28%.  We got checked last week and I am at 26% body fat.  (Thank goodness I am staying on track)  When I got down to 19%, and was much healthier a year ago, everyone tried to tell me I looked too skinny.  Everyone says I look great now, but I am 24 (will be 25 in August) and my bad cholesterol is very high.  Needless to say, I may look healthy, but genetics can play a mean role.  I'm trying to get back to where I was a year ago, and keep my lifestyle.</span>

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  39. ~Elizabeth aka Lacquered LizardMay 6, 2010 at 11:10 AM

    It's always interesting to me how - in my experience at least - when I find myself on a path, rather than finding arguments to that path, I find things to sustain me and keep me travelling straight and true. This post is one of those so thank you for posting. 
    My mother once told me, and I don't make it true because she said so, but it made sense to me and so it just might be: Back when modelling was young, the models were voluptuous and gorgeous and got way more attention than the clothing ever did. Designers didn't like that, the attention was supposed to be on the clothing so Twiggy, the clothes hanger was born. Problem is, dress a confident looking woman in anything and she's beautiful. Models are trained to look confident (whether they are or not) and so the new beauty standard arose. 

    I disagree with the "family" stuff you post though. My dysfunctional family made sure I questioned myself at every turn. My mother, rest her soul, was my light at the end of the tunnel, but with 4 older sibs and an alcoholic father, the damage was irreparable. Family isn't always the source of good stuffs. It is my "family" of friends that have reminded me of how beautiful I am, and returning to school as an adult that showed me that, contrary to my father's opinion of my stupidity, I am VERY SMART! :)
    Thanks for reminding us all to look to ourselves to define beauty.

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  40. Awesome!   :)   I guess I am a strange duck.  I find beauty in all shapes, sizes, colors and styles.  I LOVE my body.  I love that it made two babies.  It's strong and functions pretty darn well.  But, I have had plastic surgery and plan on having more.  I definitely didn't go for the 'normal' look.  I wanted to look like what I felt was 'me' again. I feel it's silly to waste one second worrying about physical aspects we can't change.  I loved my shape before the knife and love it just as much after.  


    I LOVE how your posts incite so much thought and sharing.  You rock my beautiful friend!

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  41. Awesome post Andrea!
    My mother inadvertantly laid the foundation of my views of beauty with Playboy magazines. I believe that I was 7 or 8 years old when my dad came down w/some kind of major flu. He was in bed for a week, and my mother bought him stacks of skin mags to keep him "occupied".
    I remember looking at those women thinking to myself that they were the epitamy of beauty and perfection and "one day, I will look like that". Sadly, when I matured, I never got the curves I had expected.

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  42. Kirsten (The Dutch Nail Blog)May 6, 2010 at 12:06 PM

    Hear hear!

    I have nothing to add except that I agree with the comments made earlier by other posters about health. And healthy comes in a lot of sizes too!

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  43. Kirsten (The Dutch Nail Blog)May 6, 2010 at 12:06 PM

    Hear hear!

    I have nothing to add except that I agree with the comments made earlier by other posters about health. And healthy comes in a lot of sizes too!

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  44. I agree with the earlier post about health and would like to add that it all starts at a very young age, where we realize what we deem "beautiful" and "not beautiful"...and it's diffreent for every culture and every woman.

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  45. awesome post, thank you!

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  46. Goodness I'm almost in tears here at work reading your post and all these comments, amazing ladies! Great post Andrea! 

    I think we all need this reminder on occassion its easy to loose site of the positives and let our self esteem and self-worth be broke down because we aren't exactly whats considered to be normal or sexy.  Thankfully I've got a wonderful family and b/f that always support me and tell me I'm always beautiful even when I feel like poo.

    And I agree 100% about the health aspect just because you're curvy or fluffy doesn't mean you aren't health and vice versa, I might be chubby but damnit my bloodpressure is great even though highblood pressure runs in the family and I sure as hell can do 4 miles with a warm up and cool down in less than a hour.

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  47. Lacquerwarefortipsandtoes.blogspot.comMay 6, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    Very thought provoking post! I've researched this for years as I live these thoughts every day and I *try* to be a role model for the youth I work with so they can find their TRUE self and feel good in their skin and hearts!  FYI: I have a library of books and other things in my arsenol of fighting society's view on what is beautiful! You are welcome to email me with questions or recs at dragonrhia(at)gmail(dot)com  PLZ do, its a topic I LOVE to discuss and present on!

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  48. Excellent post.  As much I love fashion, I hate the whole industry mentality that surrounds models and body type.  The smallest I have ever been in my adult life was a size 8.  By fashion industry standards, I would be plus-sized.  Now, even at size 8, I had a lot of bones sticking out and my clothes hung off me.  I can't imagine what these size zero girls (who are taller then me) look like underneath their clothing.  It must be frightening. 

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  49. Lovely post. So glad you wrote this. So many women struggle with being 'not enough.' And even sometimes when you start to feel happy with who you are, some jerk has to try and tear you down.

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  50. Sing it from the rooftops, sista!  :D

    ...now if only they would make clothes that fit larger boobs.
    Have you ever noticed that the cup-size of a dress or shirt, or the triangle shape for a spaghetti strap dress never changes size from small to x-large?  I'm a LARGE and my boobs are not a-cup!  *rant*

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  51. I really enjoyed reading this post. Thank you!

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  52. I love you. Seriously, thank you so much for this - I have such low self esteem, I've always been too "fat" for the norm, not pretty, too old to wear makeup, you name it, I've been put down my entire life, from the time I was a little girl I was constantly held in comparison to other, prettier, little girls. It's a hard thing to get past, especially with the media influx on what is the "beauty standard".  Totally made me tear up; I feel exactly the way you do. *hugs*

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  53. Steph (ImperfectlyPainted)May 6, 2010 at 4:17 PM

    Thank you for this post. There is not a day that goes by I do not think of all things you talked about above. It is something I am truly passionate considering I grew up with a lot of issues with self esteem, body image, and perfectionism.

    There were times in my life that I felt like I didn't deserve happiness because I didn't look like the popular girls in school or what I felt everyone was attracted to. I allowed those feelings of unworthiness to diminish my sense of self. I went from being an outgoing confident person to a isolated scared person. It brought on severe anxiety issues for me. However, as I have gotten older I have realized the beauty in me whether it be my eyes, my shape, my wit, my intelligence, and etc. I am a beautiful person and there are beautiful people around me. Some days are more difficult than others. It's challenge for me to remind myself of my greatness and what I have to offer. It saddens me to see pre-teen and teen girls struggle with this I so wish I bring them words of comfort that things do get better and turn out ok. There are amazing people in this world who don't see color or size they see you as people and love you for you.

    Again, thank you for this post.

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  54. babbling brookeMay 6, 2010 at 4:21 PM

    This is a really compelling post.  I think we all have different standards of beauty, but there seems to be a socially accepted 'standard' that the media sells us.  Throughout my life I have wanted to be that standard - who wouldn't really?  We see on television, in magazines, in movies, etc. that if you are thin (with the appropriate curves), blonde, blue-eyes, nicely tanned, etc. you get everything you want out of life.  That is why people go to such extremes - like surgery.  Most of them want to be socially accepted and believe that by looking like that socially accepted image they will get everything they want out of life.  Beauty is a funny thing, and we each need to reach a point where we don't really care if others like the way we look or the outfit we wear or how our hair looks.  And it would be nice to really not care that others will judge us - but what would be BETTER would be if we would quit judging each other.

    As for intelligence, that is something I have wondered about A LOT.  What tells us that book smarts epitomizes intelligence?  My father is a builder - he can take a naked piece of land and create a home on it.  I could never do that.  But my father doesn't have a college degree and I have (almost) a Master's - and society tells us that college degrees and upper-level degrees make us 'smart.'  Why is intelligence only based on what we can demonstrate through tests and writing?  That really bothers me, and has been something I've been thinking about a lot lately.

    Thanks for the compelling and thought-provoking post.  I really enjoyed it :)

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  55. Jennifer ClaridaMay 6, 2010 at 4:22 PM

    what a beautiful well thought out post.  Saving this for my dd to read!

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  56. has goosebumps and tears in my eyes.
    As someone who has suffered with body image issues all her life...
    I am speechless.
    Thank you for putting that out there!
    Nancy (NanRx)

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  57. Great post. All women in the pictures you showed are gorgeous because they show confidence and strength, I like women like that and in a perfect world we would all be like them. But If you are not remember you have only one body, it's yours alone and if you are in good health you have to live in it for many years to come. Do not spend those years disliking that what you are given, embrace it, take the best care of it in your own way: you may work out sometimes, it's good for you, eat lots of blueberry muffins sometimes, they make you happy, decorate your unique body as you please, but most of all have FUN in it, life is just too short.

    According to my friends the poem Phenomenal Woman applies to me, but I think it should apply to all you funny, crazy, lovely girls: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/phenomenal-woman/ 

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  58. <span>i agree with you !!</span>
    <span>just be happy :) </span>

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  59. Wow, thank you! 

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  60. We girls gotta help each other out!

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  61. What is that saying...Love it or leave it?! lol

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  62. I love that poem!
    And you are so right we really do need to have fun in our spirits temple or it just isn't worth it!

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  63. Has hugs and tissues!

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  64. That is what it's all about, we have to pass on better to our babies!

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  65. So well said love!
    I too have had the pleasure of knowing a lot of brilliant people that their smarts were not in text books and tests.
    My Great Grandfather had no education, he never stepped foot inside a school house. He did manage to buy a tiny puece of land and over time built a huge farm that supported his 13 children and wife all while fooling the community he lived in to not knowing that he was Native American and by law not allowed to own land or live off a reservation. He also managed to build a big enough cushion that his lovely wiife never had to work outside the home even for the 30+ years after he died.
    That is smart!

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  66. Lovie on those days that you forget the amazing and beautiful woman that you are....you just email me and I will gladly remind you!

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  67. I love you too!
    It always shocks me that it's the most beautiful women that have the worst perception of themself.
    Wether you see it or not, you ARE Gorgeous inside and out!

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  68. You are preachin' to the choir! If I could cram my boobs into a 34B the world would be awesome but no way that's gonna happen!

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  69. Maybe it's those jerks that need help and we are just fine. lol

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  70. I think women who are naturally thin are fabulous but I am sad for those that are killing themselves to be thin.

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  71. I am always up for thought provoking convo!

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  72. I know a lot of not skinny women and chubby chicks that are in wonderful health. All sizes are fab and health is so important. People just shouldn't assume that only this one size is truly healthy.

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  73. So very true!

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  74. Exactly! Healthy is beautiful and so important, but healthy is not one size fits all.

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  75. There are so many thing like this that create an unatainable expectation for children and then the self dissapointment when it's realized that they are not that. It hurts and is sad. This is one of many reasons that I do not buy magazines and I do not watch TV and very carefully monitor my childrens viewing.

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  76. That is what is most important, a healthy self image!

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  77. I think your Mother may well be correct. As a former model it sound rather accurate.

    I'm sorry that your family wasn't your support. Mine was not either. I was too fat and not smart enough for my Dad and I watched my Mom starve to be thinner but never reach her goal and fall into depression. I did have amazing Grandparents who did build me up and tried very hard to counter the rest.
    It has been my Friends and my Husband who have really opened my eyes to and have slowly helped me to tear down the funhouse mirror I spent a lifetime looking at.

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  78. babbling brookeMay 6, 2010 at 9:33 PM

    I love that story - WOW!  That's awesome :)   There is so much more to intelligence than books.  Thanks again for the great post :)

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  79. SilhouetteScreamsMay 7, 2010 at 2:55 AM

    Aaaaaaaaaaamen <3333

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  80. This spoke to me so deeply...  I think we as women all struggle with some form of this at some point in our life, and although there are those of us who learn to move past it or use it to make ourselves stronger, none of us ever forget how it feels. 

    I've been too thin my entire life... I struggle to put on weight constantly.  I've always had a very large appetite and a fast metabolism, but I was always a little smaller than everyone else.  I'd always notice my legs were so skinny and thin compared to all the other girls' healthy legs, and when puberty hit it was even more apparent.  I hoped adulthood would kill my metabolism and I'd actually start developing some curves, but nope.  I'm now almost thirty and nothing has changed.  No matter what I eat, how much or how frequently, I cannot seem to put on the amount of weight that I perceive will make me look normal, let alone remotely attractive.  The worst thing about this is most people generally assume that I want to look this way - that I make some sort of effort to be this skinny, whether it's excercising or dieting or anorexia, when in reality there's nothing I want more in the world than to be curvier.  I can't understand why in the world anyone would ever want to look even remotely like me.  The beauty ideal has been warped and twisted into all different kinds of shapes and the perpetual struggle for "perfection" goes both ways.  All I want, just like everyone else, is to be understood - not to be met with nasty sneers or sarcastic remarks when I confess to someone I feel insecure or ugly.  I am told to shut up and look in a mirror, that any woman would kill to be as skinny as I am.  It makes me cringe.  Skinny does not equal beautiful.  I want to be curvy and rounded and voluptous and have the body of a woman, not a six-year-old boy.  Everyone has insecurities, and it really does not matter what everyone tells you - in the end, it's you who has to go to sleep every night with the reflection staring back at you.  I'm still learning how to deal with my issues, but I have a long way to go yet in life. 

    Thank you so much for writing something we can all relate to, and reminding us all of what we so often forget  :)  xo

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  81. So well said... 

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  82. This really spoke to me. Though in a slightly different way. Nobody is perfect physically, and I realize that now. I have some weird kind of severe acne, keep forgetting the actual term. Have had it since fourth grade. It's there on my arms, my thighs, and to a lesser extent, on my face. It's so difficult when people kept questioning me about it. Whenever I'm in a family gettogether, relatives keep staring at my arms, and sometimes whisper looking disgustedly at it. So I'm just 15, so I'm dumb? Do I not have feelings, can't I make out what you are staring at? When they ask about it  once, I think its maybe out of concern, but when they point it out every time we meet, it's irritating, humiliating and depressing...
    It's hormonal, dammint, I can't help it! It's not like I'm not treating it, but nothing works. It will only heal when the hormones settle down when I'm 19 or 20 or something. Till some time, I only wore full-sleeved Tees to avoid the stares and questions. But I don't care what they think now. Just a bunch of ignorant people who have an illusional image of 'perfect'.

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  83. Thank you. Beautifully said.

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  84. I'm sure you're not picking on me, and I didn't mean to insult you or anything. I've just noticed that thin girls get picked on for being what they naturally are. I agree with you, the size of your dress does not say how healthy you are and neither does your weight. You can be 200 pounds of muscle. If you are a little curvy and have perfect health I see nothing wrong with that at all! I meant more of the morbidly obese people who are not able to do normal things and die at a very young age. That's what's not healthy and you shouldn't just accept you are 400 pounds and think that's okay. Nor should you if you're starving/making yourself throw up and weigh less than 100 pounds.

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  85. stunning bit of writing. Do you mind if i share this with my friends?

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  86. Great post, thank you for reminding me this (sometimes I feel so unhappy about me)!!

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  87. This is, as far as I'm concerned, the post of the year. Well said and illustrated.

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  88. :'( The emotions your post brings up are amazing.  This is a wonderful post.  I think there is beauty in all colors, shapes and sizes.  I can't change the basic me but I can strive for better.  When I was much younger I was still considered overweight.  There was always someone thinner than me.  When I look a photos of me when I was a teen I wish I was that weight.  I was very curvy.  I had big breasts, nice ass and hips.  Older men always went after me.  I never wanted them but guys my own age.  There were a few special guys that were smart enough not to go for the skinny girls.  Now through years of off and on diets I'm severely obese.  I have many medical conditions, can't walk much and I don't go out unless I have to go to the doctors.  That's pretty pathetic that I let myself get that way.  Today's a grey day and I'm hurting inside and out.  I've lost 80 lbs so far.  Still trying to get more off.  I'm glad your trying to change your childrens views of things.  I think change will come from the young.  I pray there's still some smart people out there.

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  89. I guess we've all had our "struggles" with physical beauty when we were all younger (well, perhaps for some, it's an ongoing issue).  I wrote something about this very early on when I started my blog, one of which was entitled "Chasing Snow White's Beauty".  The media is largely to blame.  The people around us when we were growing are of course also an influence, although it probably wasn't ill-meant at that time, I think. Lovely post! Great read! :)

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  90. Being 'not enough' is the big theme in my whole life. I'm glad to hear that many people have the same problems, that so many have the same bad perception of themselves. And that there is no need in having that. To everyone I would say, that he/she is beautiful and alright the way he/she is. But with myself I'm too strict. Your post helped me to see ist more clearly!
    Thank you.

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  91. :'( The emotions your post brings up are amazing.  This is a wonderful post.  I think there is beauty in all colors, shapes and sizes.  I can't change the basic me but I can strive for better.  When I was much younger I was still considered overweight.  There was always someone thinner than me.  When I look a photos of me when I was a teen I wish I was that weight.  I was very curvy.  I had big breasts, nice ass and hips.  Older men always went after me.  I never wanted them but guys my own age.  There were a few special guys that were smart enough not to go for the skinny girls.  Now through years of off and on diets I'm severely obese.  I have many medical conditions, can't walk much and I don't go out unless I have to go to the doctors.  That's pretty pathetic that I let myself get that way.  Today's a grey day and I'm hurting inside and out.  I've lost 80 lbs so far.  Still trying to get more off.  I'm glad your trying to change your childrens views of things.  I think change will come from the young.  I pray there's still some smart people out there.

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  92. This spoke to me so deeply...  I think we as women all struggle with some form of this at some point in our life, and although there are those of us who learn to move past it or use it to make ourselves stronger, none of us ever forget how it feels. 

    I've been too thin my entire life... I struggle to put on weight constantly.  I've always had a very large appetite and a fast metabolism, but I was always a little smaller than everyone else.  I'd always notice my legs were so skinny and thin compared to all the other girls' healthy legs, and when puberty hit it was even more apparent.  I hoped adulthood would kill my metabolism and I'd actually start developing some curves, but nope.  I'm now almost thirty and nothing has changed.  No matter what I eat, how much or how frequently, I cannot seem to put on the amount of weight that I perceive will make me look normal, let alone remotely attractive.  The worst thing about this is most people generally assume that I want to look this way - that I make some sort of effort to be this skinny, whether it's excercising or dieting or anorexia, when in reality there's nothing I want more in the world than to be curvier.  I can't understand why in the world anyone would ever want to look even remotely like me.  The beauty ideal has been warped and twisted into all different kinds of shapes and the perpetual struggle for "perfection" goes both ways.  All I want, just like everyone else, is to be understood - not to be met with nasty sneers or sarcastic remarks when I confess to someone I feel insecure or ugly.  I am told to shut up and look in a mirror, that any woman would kill to be as skinny as I am.  It makes me cringe.  Skinny does not equal beautiful.  I want to be curvy and rounded and voluptous and have the body of a woman, not a six-year-old boy.  Everyone has insecurities, and it really does not matter what everyone tells you - in the end, it's you who has to go to sleep every night with the reflection staring back at you.  I'm still learning how to deal with my issues, but I have a long way to go yet in life. 

    Thank you so much for writing something we can all relate to, and reminding us all of what we so often forget  :)  xo

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  93. what a beautiful well thought out post.  Saving this for my dd to read!

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  94. has goosebumps and tears in my eyes.
    As someone who has suffered with body image issues all her life...
    I am speechless.
    Thank you for putting that out there!
    Nancy (NanRx)

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  95. This is a really compelling post.  I think we all have different standards of beauty, but there seems to be a socially accepted 'standard' that the media sells us.  Throughout my life I have wanted to be that standard - who wouldn't really?  We see on television, in magazines, in movies, etc. that if you are thin (with the appropriate curves), blonde, blue-eyes, nicely tanned, etc. you get everything you want out of life.  That is why people go to such extremes - like surgery.  Most of them want to be socially accepted and believe that by looking like that socially accepted image they will get everything they want out of life.  Beauty is a funny thing, and we each need to reach a point where we don't really care if others like the way we look or the outfit we wear or how our hair looks.  And it would be nice to really not care that others will judge us - but what would be BETTER would be if we would quit judging each other.

    As for intelligence, that is something I have wondered about A LOT.  What tells us that book smarts epitomizes intelligence?  My father is a builder - he can take a naked piece of land and create a home on it.  I could never do that.  But my father doesn't have a college degree and I have (almost) a Master's - and society tells us that college degrees and upper-level degrees make us 'smart.'  Why is intelligence only based on what we can demonstrate through tests and writing?  That really bothers me, and has been something I've been thinking about a lot lately.

    Thanks for the compelling and thought-provoking post.  I really enjoyed it :)

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  96. Awesome!   :)   I guess I am a strange duck.  I find beauty in all shapes, sizes, colors and styles.  I LOVE my body.  I love that it made two babies.  It's strong and functions pretty darn well.  But, I have had plastic surgery and plan on having more.  I definitely didn't go for the 'normal' look.  I wanted to look like what I felt was 'me' again. I feel it's silly to waste one second worrying about physical aspects we can't change.  I loved my shape before the knife and love it just as much after.  


    I LOVE how your posts incite so much thought and sharing.  You rock my beautiful friend!

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  97. It's always interesting to me how - in my experience at least - when I find myself on a path, rather than finding arguments to that path, I find things to sustain me and keep me travelling straight and true. This post is one of those so thank you for posting. 
    My mother once told me, and I don't make it true because she said so, but it made sense to me and so it just might be: Back when modelling was young, the models were voluptuous and gorgeous and got way more attention than the clothing ever did. Designers didn't like that, the attention was supposed to be on the clothing so Twiggy, the clothes hanger was born. Problem is, dress a confident looking woman in anything and she's beautiful. Models are trained to look confident (whether they are or not) and so the new beauty standard arose. 

    I disagree with the "family" stuff you post though. My dysfunctional family made sure I questioned myself at every turn. My mother, rest her soul, was my light at the end of the tunnel, but with 4 older sibs and an alcoholic father, the damage was irreparable. Family isn't always the source of good stuffs. It is my "family" of friends that have reminded me of how beautiful I am, and returning to school as an adult that showed me that, contrary to my father's opinion of my stupidity, I am VERY SMART! :)
    Thanks for reminding us all to look to ourselves to define beauty.

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  98. I cried as I read this.  I don't know if I can flip the off switch on my insecurities, but this was truly inspiring.  Thank you for making people feel good about themselves.

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