So I came across this photo on the Facebook page of Healthy is the New Skinny
I shared this response that I'd like to just post here so I can come back to it over and over again whenever I'm feeling ugly. Sorry for the weird formatting, I'm getting back into the saddle and for some reason it doesn't want to justify LEFT!!!!
"This is so true, I know it and at times I feel it, and I would wholeheartedly tell anyone that they are beautiful even those they are outside the beauty standard and be 100% genuine.
But for myself, it is a constant struggle to internalize the feeling that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and most importantly from within. There will be glimpses when I look at myself and for a split second see a beautiful women and then all the programming takes over and then the "if only I could lose..." "If I didn't have these wrinkles..." "I wish my hair..."
I could have whatever creating force is out there tell me that I am the ideal definition of beauty and I'd still say "but I'd be better looking if I lost a few pounds right?"
How sad is that, that despite being a strong minded vibrant woman who would gladly eviscerate any argument that women outside the media's image aren't attractive, on behalf of all women and men, that I cannot apply that to myself. How deep the message has gone that even with all my strength and stubbornness and wisdom I cannot still see my body as a soft curvy reminder of a life well lived, overcoming struggle and still supple enough to bend. That I cannot see these lines for every reflective moment, brilliant thought, survived trauma or wonderful bliss. That I cannot see these grey hairs for the sparkly reminder that I am getting older but I am still here, with purpose and with people who are on this journey with me.
I promise myself over and over again that "no more!" I will not succumb to the evil poison the media has fed me. If I can see the beauty in women who are fat, thin, old, young, hairy, bald, with long legs or none at all, curly or straight hair, and every skin shade imaginable, I should be able to see it in myself. It lasts for a little bit, but like smoke, those evil messages seep through the cracks in my armor and I find myself staring at the mirror poking myself, smoothing out imperfections, wondering when my beauty will fade so dramatically that I won't be worthy of love anymore.
This is what these messages have done to me, and it is a constant fight to overcome them daily and feel confident enough to dress in anything other than baggy clothes or to go out without makeup or without my hair perfectly done. It's like an illness I have to fight daily in order to be whole with myself again so that I can focus on the task at hand, my friends and family, hell...life!
I hope someday some wisdom untapped will finally kick in and kick out all those negative messages. To be able to look at myself and reflect on what I have done, rather than focus on what "society" deems as imperfection. I want to be that crone who is wise, proud, wrinkled and beautiful someday and just know it and share it and hopefully inspire someone like me who still has some much beauty left untapped."