Friday, February 18, 2011

Friend Friday - Body Image

Hi All -

Below are my answers for this week's Friend Friday questions.  Please to enjoy.

1. Since you started blogging has your image of yourself changed?

I feel less sure of myself now that I’m blogging.  Not just of my body, but of myself in general.  Before I started my blog I thought I was a stylish, funny woman with something to say.  Now that I’ve started blogging, I’m starting to question if that’s true. 

Outfits that I feel comfortable in, and feel like I look good in don’t always photograph the way they feel.  So, I’ve start to question if I know what actually looks good on me.  I wonder if I might be delusional about what actually fits my body and what is actually flattering. 

And my style?  I wonder if it’s too ambitious referring to it as “style.”  It’s not high fashion and it’s not avant garde; it’s just average, everyday clothing.  Is that really worth writing about?  Is anyone really interested in the everyday wear of a regular girl, albeit a really tall one?  Is my style really anything to write home about, much less write a blog about?

Now, I feel myself stressing about what to wear – not in the usual what-am-I-going-to-wear-today way, but in the I-hope-people-like-this sort of way.  And I’ve never been someone who worried if people liked what I wore.  I don’t want to stop being me because that was the whole point of my blog – just me, rambling on about my style.

2. Are you self-conscious about any aspect of yourself? If so, do you go out of your way to avoid it or do you post it/talk about it anyway?

I have a love/hate relationship with my hips and thighs.  On one hand, I love how strong my thighs are and I recognize that my broad hips balance my broad shoulders.  On the other hand, I like to playfully accuse my thighs of trying to take over the world.  They’re big.  I have no illusions about that and frankly, there is no hiding these bad boys. 

Because of that, I don’t avoid discussion of them on my blog.  I talk about them a lot (maybe too much) but in a joking manner.  I don’t want to complain about them, because they are what they are.  But, they do influence my clothing choices and when I blog about what I wore that day, if my thighs affected my decisions at all, I’m honest about it.

3. Based on how you are feeling now, what do you think the future holds in the evolution of your body image?

I don’t know.  I use to be very, very thin, but over the past five years I’ve gained quite a bit of weight and am two, sometimes three dress sizes bigger than I was then.  All in all, I’ve accepted my new weight – I think the new curves are a good thing for my body.  But its still weird for me – I sometimes forget how big I’ve gotten and I’ll select clothes to try on that are two sizes two small.  I don’t buy them, which is a positive, but for some reason I still try them on.  And I haven’t gotten rid of everything in my closet that is too small yet – but I’m working on it.

Mostly when I think of the future, I wonder if I’ll just keep gaining weight.   And I wonder how I’ll handle it if I do.  Will I panic and go on a crash diet?  Will I become a shut-in?  Will I accept it like I’ve accepted this new weight?  (Which opens a whole other can of worms for me; is it a bad thing that I’ve accepted my weight?  Should I fight harder to get back to my old weight?) 

Whatever the future brings, be it weight gain, weight loss, grey hair or wrinkles, I just hope that I handle it gracefully.

4. Do you photograph yourself for your blog? If so, how do you feel about the experience when you're having your picture taken? If you choose not to post pictures of yourself, what prompted that decision?

I do photograph myself, although not very well.

For me the issue is not with having my picture taken, it’s with the end result.  I joked to a friend the other day that I needed a stylist or a director for my photo shoots because I’m always a bit of a hot mess in my photos.  My hair is messy, my pant cuffs are uneven and my necklaces are backwards.  I don’t mind so much for myself, because those photos are very representative of who I am (I am a bit messy-haired and uneven), but I’m sure they’re not great to look at.  Frankly, I’m just not certain that I look good in still photos.  I think I might be one of those people who look better in motion.

I also realized that I have a strange habit of pushing my pelvis forward when I’m taking my pictures.  It’s the worst possible thing I can do for my thighs, but it seems to be a habit for me.  I figure if I had a director they’d remind me to push my hips back and would fix my hair for me.

5. What would you want every person who struggles with body image to
take to heart?

That nobody is perfect.  I don’t care how perfect they look on their blogs, nobody is and I think they would tell you the same if you asked them.