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This started as a facebook rant, but I didn't want my words to get lost in the facebook abyss. So here's the rant, blog-style. Today, I want to talk about Photoshop transformations and you. And me. And everyone.
Sure, I like some Photoshop transformations. I like making bad pictures of food or crappy lighting better. But when it comes to changin' boobs, butts and bodies, carving out a fake waist, or trimming down some thighs, I get upset. Really upset. That shit is dumb.
And it always seems to slingshot back to a discussion about food.
While many of us change how we eat in a quest for health, and with the desire to simply FEEL better, many of us also come to the Paleo/Primal/Real Food lifestyle still in a mind-set not of health, but of “how can I eat to be skinnier/curvier/look more like what the magazine photoshop transformations suggest to me I should look like physically?”
That's certainly what led me to this lifestyle – I won't lie, I came into this lifestyle with the same old food neuroses, and the same old body hatred – but over the years, I noticed my relationship with food changing. I cared less about image and more about health. Less about physicality and more about physiology. Less about calories and more about nourishment and sourcing my nourishment as responsibly as I could in any given moment.
This has been a beautiful transition for me, and I am grateful and PROUD (as many of you have heard in the Balanced Bites podcast) of who I am. I am beautiful, and that's not because I look a certain way. It's because I'm happy, healthy, and fulfilled.
The parts of me that are “conventionally” beautiful and acceptable, I love. The parts of me that would be photoshopped out of Glamour or Cosmopolitan, I love, because they are equally and absolutely beautiful, too.
That's not vanity, I don't think; and it's not a statement I make out of narcissism. It's one I make out of sheer self-worth; which was something I desperately lacked for many years. The lessons of self-worth are lessons I've learned the hard way, but the lessons have changed my life so profoundly.
I can say, unabashedly, that I love my body, I am grateful for it, I'm not trying to change it, and that I'm beautiful, kick ass, and in full control of my self-worth.
Watching the AMAZING video in the link below about the implications of many types of Photoshop transformations reminded me, however, of the many forces working against us – many of which we can't NOT see, that we sometimes don't even know we're seeing, and many of which parents simply can't shield their children from. The only thing we can do is own who we are, never apologize for it, and never try to change something on the outside unless it's part and parcel to becoming healthier on the inside.
The good thing about this video? It reminds us of the plastic culture we live in, wherein who a woman is NATURALLY is digitally changed into something that doesn't exist anywhere. ANYWHERE.
That shouldn't make us feel better about our “imperfect” bodies. It should teach us that we are ALL perfect, already.
WE EXIST, and WE are amazing. Not “in spite of” or “despite” what we look like, but just because we ARE. The video inspired me to refresh, in my own mind, my OWNERSHIP over my body and solidify the message I hope to “model” to others. (While the video is about women, the same message is sent to men and boys.)
If you can't see the video below, watch it directly on YouTube by clicking here.
Please chime in with your thoughts in the comments below, and feel free to tweet it out to your peeps.
I've talked about body image in the past, on Email Monday, so please join the list to access the archives and read more.
Thanks for reading (and watching!)
Liz Wolfe, NTP
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