Body Image Warrior Week – Patti

This post comes from Patti of Not Dead Yet Style. Patti’s blog is a wealth of positivity and wisdom, and she brings a smile to my face every single day. She says, “Though pressured by society to recede gracefully, I prefer to burst out with a love of fashion and style.” And she does so with grace and originality. Read on for Patti’s contribution to Body Image Warrior Week:

We Don’t Have “Problem Areas”

 

Oh boy, this is a pet peeve. I hear it mostly on the home shopping channels (gulp, if I ever, um, happen to have the TV tuned to one of them while I am, errr, polishing up an article for the New York Times). The cheery host or model points to the latest tunic top (two easy payments!) and delivers the good news: it covers all those problem areas!

I know they mean our midriffs, in this case. Other garments mercifully cover over our problem hips, “derrieres”, thighs and upper arms. Sometimes the salespeople make little unhappy faces as they mention the offending body region, or they smile ruefully and pat their own (perfectly nice) hips.

Of course, I don’t want to expose all my body secrets to the waking public. What a world it would be. I like to drape garments over my body to make a pleasing line. Because I have a relatively small waist, I like to wear clothes with waists, and/or I add a belt. I don’t wear clothing that clutches on to my hips and thighs because it’s 1) uncomfortable and 2) unprofessional in my workplace.

My thighs are not a “problem” however! Sometimes my finances are a problem, my cat having allergies can be a problem, and new construction making me late for work is a . . problem. My pale, slightly dimpled thighs are just mine. My upper arms have lost a bit of their struggle vs. gravity but they are not a problem. They are . . . interesting. I choose to show them or not, and for work I choose not.

I rarely hear any garments for men, of any size or shape, touted as covering up their troublesome bits. “This polo shirt will not cling to that problem tummy, guys, so grab two!”

We want to dress to look better, or we wouldn’t be reading and posting on fashion blogs. It’s natural to want to look good, we’re built that way. Do I sound grumpy? I’m not. I am a happy woman who objects to the problem-ification of my body parts. Does that mean I have a . . . problem?

 * * * * *

February 27 – March 3 is Body Image Warrior Week. Throughout the course of this week, you’ll read posts from an inspiring group of women who fight hard against body image oppression through their own words and work.

Participants in Body Image Warrior Week are:
Already Pretty
The Beheld
Decoding Dress
Dress with Courage
Eat the Damn Cake
Fit and Feminist
Medicinal Marzipan
Not Dead Yet Style
Rosie Molinary
Virginia Sole-Smith
Weightless

Image courtesy Killer Heels.

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  • Jennifer Pierce

    Awesome!

  • Mimi

    Also, it would be nice for magazine editors to stop referring to plus size as a “body type”. It isn’t. There are as many “body types” in the plus size range as there are in regular sizes.

    • AMEN!

    • Tabie

      It would also help if they stopped saying a size 6 model is a plus sized model. Showing clothing on a beautiful lady who is a size 6 will not show me how it will look on my size 18 hips which are equally as beautiful.

  • ali

    On the subject of not having women’s bodies turned into problem areas, and objectified, you really must watch the two videos at the bottom of this links page that Gala did. They are longish but amazing, about the ways that advertising contributes to bad body image. The speaker reminds me of your empowering messages.

    http://galadarling.com/article/carousel-how-to-be-a-lone-unicorn

  • V

    I love this!
    This is exactly what I’ve been trying to tell anyone who’ll listen. I’ve learned to love my body. When I look for clothes and find those that don’t fit I think that the clothes aren’t right rather than blame myself. I’m very happy with that. I don’t ever want to fit myself to clothes; I’d rather look hard and buy clothes that fit just the way I want it to.
    There isn’t anything in this world that is perfect. And it just seems so misguided to chase that idea of a “perfect body”. I just don’t get it.

  • Janet

    I have a long torso and short legs — the problem isn’t my body, it’s finding clothes which fit.

    Men don’t have as much of an issue with this — their clothes are sold by waist, inseam, sleeve length, neck size. If we women had better clothing sizing (and/or affordable tailoring), those areas wouldn’t be “problem areas.”

  • Oh, I absolutely despise the idea of ‘problem’ areas! Grrr… stupid media :(.

  • I love this! It has taken me many years, but I feel the same way. I don’t have problem areas, my body is just my body!

  • Patti, AWESOME post, and thanks Sal for sharing this series on here!

  • Lorena

    Great post.
    This “problem creation” is marketing at its best.
    Makes you think you have a problem – discover you have a problem – that was never even a problem because you were not aware and it was not an issue….
    they point out the problem and 2 seconds later: the solution which HAPPENS to be the product being sold.

  • Oda

    You didn’t mention the short legs short waist (long hips) figure.