Can I just be real for a minute? I am not even sure if this qualifies as a blog, a journal, or hate mail, but if you’ll hang with me for a second I am about to get very real about something that is on my heart.
Last night I watched a show called My Big Fat Fabulous Life. In this show Whitney has made it her life mission to break the stereotype that fat girls are not pretty, smart, capable, etc. Can I just say her show had me laughing, crying, and cheering as she HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD!! I am so tired of body-image issues in this country. I am so tired of perfection (that does not exist) being the standard girls and women are literally KILLING THEMSELVES to obtain. There is an expectation for ALL girls to look like they just walked off the cover of a magazine. The inability to be that girl is leading to body-image issues, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, suicide, identity issues, and self-esteem/self-worth issues.
GIRLS, listen to me…this is where I get real. I have been that girl. I have been the girl trying to be perfect. I have been the girl with an eating disorder to obtain perfection, I have been depressed from body-image while simultaneously degrading my self-worth.
I HAVE BEEN THERE AND IT IS A HORRIBLE PLACE TO EXIST.
I want to share briefly what turned me around from the disaster. Of all things I went to makeup artistry school, became a certified makeup artist, and WOW did that change my entire life! Working with models who were starving themselves was my chance to see myself in the mirror, so-to-speak. It was my chance to realize that PERFECTION DOES NOT EXIST!!!! The models walked on set with crazy hair, blemishes on their skin, bags under their eyes, cellulite anywhere and everywhere. Then, the magazine magic happened. I used a pound of makeup, airbrushed and powdered arms, stomachs, legs, etc. I shaped eyebrows with makeup, I contoured smaller noses, sharper jawbones, defined cheekbones, created cleavage and six-packs. False lashes are a requirement for thick, fuller, longer appearance. I can make the old look young, the young look old…all with makeup! In addition to makeup, the photographer created shadows and light in all the right spots. The final “touches” were done in post-edit Photoshop. I hate the term “touch-ups” because that’s not the truth. That minimizes what really goes on. “Touch-up” implies a pimple is taken away…but for magazine covers, billboards, etc. it is more like a Photoshop MAKEOVER or REINVENTION of the model.
It did not take me long to realize that a great reason I was a personal mess was because of the very situations I was now participating in and creating. I was a catalyst for body-image issues, depression, suicide, eating disorders, etc. I QUIT MY JOB as a high-fashion makeup artist and set seriously strict guidelines on what photographers can do post-edit with any makeup gig I agree too. I want you to watch the video below. I did not participate in the making of this video but I want to show you a 100% accurate depiction of what goes on to create the body that does not exist…to create the body you are killing yourself to have.
This video is what I have witnessed in real-time over and over. I have seen eyebrows created, lipstick added, fingers elongated (for real??), and anything else you can imagine. The results APPEAR to be real, but I am here to tell you YOU HAVE BEEN LIED TO.
Once you have body-image issues it is incredibly difficult to reframe your thinking and create a new idea of “perfect” to place in your picture frame or to pin to your dream boards. I get it. I have been there. I am free from eating disorders for over a decade, but I still have to remind myself PERFECTION IS FICTION. I still have to remind myself healthy living is a lifestyle to increase your daily functioning, it has NOTHING to do with how I look.
THE STRUGGLE IS REAL
Body-image in our culture is tied tightly to our self-worth. It is tied to what society says we are and are not capable of doing. There are over 30 million males and females in the United States with eating disorders. Currently there are 297 diagnosable mental disorders…
EATING DISORDERS HAVE THE HIGHEST MORTALITY RATE
This is a serious problem; an epidemic that is claiming too many lives. Let’s spread the news and accept ourselves for what we are: HUMANS. Being human means we are IMPERFECT (that’s a whole other blog!). Being aware of truth is a great start, but it does not remedy the struggle. If you or anyone you know are struggling with any of the issues mentioned, please be encouraged this is not how you are supposed to feel. Please seek help so you can live the life you deserve to live! Let’s revolutionize body-image by changing our expectations!
#BodyImageRevolution #NoBodyShame #BeYou
National Eating Disorders Association hotline: 1-800-931-2237
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1 (800) 273-8255