I was never a popular girl. Ever. The popular girls in my world scorned and teased me actively in middle school, studiously ignored me in high school. And my actual friends talked a good game about the importance of non-conformism as an important and valuable characteristic. They relied on it as a means of feeling detached and superior, but in reality we all wished to be just a little more like the in-crowd. And we made many concessions to their preferences and edicts, often wore what they said we should, frequently looked and acted how they wanted us to.
Originally posted 2012-06-29 06:40:17.
Before I became interested in dressing and style, I avoided thinking about my body. At all costs. I didn’t look in the mirror if I didn’t have to, didn’t focus much energy or attention on how my outfits interacted with my figure, and did my utmost to think about anything besides my own physicality. Because of this choice, the information I was given about my body came almost exclusively from external sources. And none of it was good news: I was chubby, disproportionate, my breasts were too small and my hips were too big, my arms were flabby and so was my stomach. Virtually all of this information was comparative: I was flabby compared to Gwyneth Paltrow, my breasts were too small compared to Victoria’s Secret models … you know the drill. I studiously ignored my body, hoping its perceived inadequacies would diminish if I pretended I was a brain in a jar. And yet this comparative information still crept in and made me feel inadequate.
Originally posted 2013-09-16 06:02:50.
A couple of weeks ago, reader M. dropped me a note about a body image crisis. She’d spent years and years learning to love and accept herself, and had finally reached what she considered to be a really healthy, serene, positive place. She was doing well in school, had a marvelous new boyfriend, and felt confident and on-track. But then she’d inexplicably gained some weight, and her clothes stopped fitting, and she just plummeted. She was depressed, and she was disappointed in herself for being depressed.
Originally posted 2011-11-09 06:18:37.