With the theme of body confidence, I would like to look at just that this week - our bodies!
We all tend to have the same 'idea' when we are asked to draw a person. They will most likely have a head, 2 eyes, a body and some sticks for arms (depending of course how good your drawing skills are - you may prefer actual arms to sticks!) So why then does this simple view tend to become slightly warped when we are asked to look at our own bodies?
Now not all people feel badly about themselves - and to these folk I say HURRAH! But on the other hand, if you are part of the 75% of the human population who dislike, or worse HATE bits of your body, then I think it is time to do some serious soul searching! Self esteem boosters have really started to come onto the scene for the past few years, so why is it taking us all so long to catch up? I mean seriously, when Beyonce's 'Maple syrup' diet came out it took the World over! I remember being in school and seeing girls carrying around these skanky brown bottles of sugary water, taking a sip whenever they were about to keel over from hunger (and yes I was one of them!) So why oh why has loving your body taken so long to catch on?
I have had my fair share of ups and downs with food and exercise, feeling fantastically happy one day - then verging on bulimic the next. I am glad to say that this is a thing WAY of the past, and it is true that age makes you more confident. But isn't it a shame that we didn't feel as good as we do now when we were 17? And wouldn't you like your children to feel supremely confident as soon as they can walk? Or breathe even?! I do know that many of us do have to go through things like that only to realise how ridiculous it is at the other end! I mean how do you know how disgusting Papaya is before you taste it? (And it is very, very disgusting!) But I think it is such a shame to waste so many of our years worrying and twitching and jittering around people because we don't feel comfortable in our bodies. Seperating ourselves for a while, whilst we judge ourselves as not being good enough in comparison... to WHO exactly?
I have mentioned before about how I love the diversity in this here blog, between our fellow 'Ma Bicyclette-ians' and the topics we discuss. But with that, I also love how completely different we all are and we all look as people! I have always wanted to do a little dolly paper chain with all of our different pictures on, so we can see how even though we differ in size and shape (teeny tiny Cristina for instance, mixing it up with 6ft tall Alexa) we are all still there together on this little paper chain, holding hands and facing the same way (forwards - because I'd probably forget to do it double sided!)
Another of our ladies, Nicola Semple, introduced me to this fantastic model called Teer Wayde. Her blog is aptly named Curves to Kill, and boy do they! (Kill preconceived notions of body hatred that is!)
I love her because there is none of this 'size 12 plus model' malarky, these are curves worn with pride. However I have to admit although I love the striking photos, I do prefer the natural ones of her - because here you see how naturally beautiful she is, and it also shows too that you don't have to dress up in full clobber all the time to exude sexuality and confidence.
However as much as I love this bosomed beauty in all her curvy glory, I do know that you don't have to be supremely curvy either to be sexy. The naturally slender folk out there will be getting pretty peeved that all you tend to hear now in the way of body self esteem is 'curves are better!' And 'all boys love REAL women!' But these comments too can be thrown around a bit too much without people realising the consequences. I sometimes feel that naturally skinny women will often get an ear full from people assuming they are on some kind of strict 'I eat nothing but apples and bran' diet, when in fact they eat as healthily as the next person and if that comment was switched around and used on someone who is say a bit more fuller bodied, then all hell would break loose! Just look at our lovely Kate Hudson here, I have a serious girl crush on Kate and I am 100% sure it's because she just beams happiness and contentment. She is the complete opposite shape to Teer, especially in the bust region. But they are both equally strong and beautiful in their own right!
It doesn't matter what size you are, labelling and judging others in any shape or form will just keep us all completely seperate, when in fact we are all just on the same journey (the paper chain thing again!) And we are all 'real' women, by the fact that we are REAL, and here and alive in all our feminine glory!
Let's be honest, how boring would the world be if we all did look the same? Why plaster pictures up on our walls of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen as 'inspiration' for us to lose weight, when if we did actually end up looking like them, then there would just be millions of Mary-Kate and Ashleys running around the planet, and all the curly haired Sues and big bosomed Brendas are all just a thing of the past?!
Let's all start becoming the 'real' women we want to be by allowing our harsh views of ourselves and others be overshadowed by the good to which we can all create when we feel like we are united. Let's stop blaming others (the media, the fashion world or friends and family etc) for teaching us the wrong things, when in fact we all have minds that are controlled by us alone! So, if you would like to spend your time comparing yourself to 'painfully beautiful' women and wonder why it is you don't have legs that match theirs - then be my guest! But I speak on behalf of myself and all of The Ma Bicyclette females, when I say the time is ripe to Let Go and let our perfectly 'imperfect' bodies go and have some serious fun! We deserve it after all :)
Lots of Love