My journey to body acceptance
I'm a ruler. That means, I have a body that is straight from the shoulder to the hips. I do have a waistline(a curvy ruler), but by no means, I am an hourglass. This dream as eluded me for the past 10 to 12 years. I have tried to chase, buy, and exercise my way there, but nothing has worked. My dream of the Coke bottle shape went poof last year and I know why it happened.
Two days ago, I was on a women's forum and someone posted a picture of Kate Upton doing a photoshoot for Sports Illustrated. The women were not criticizing her plus size figure but her absence of a waist. Terms that were used ranged from, badly built, to tragic body, including ironing board body, Spongebob, and unfortunate shape. From the number of thanks these posters received, one would have thought that every women on that forum had a 22 inch waist. While I read the responses, it made me sad for the non hourglass women on the forum and for women in general.
In this age of record number of women entering Congress, women are still focused on tearing themselves to pieces because they do not fit this standard of femininity and beauty. Is this the legacy we are passing unto our daughters, nieces and cousins? If your shape does not resemble Kim Kardashian's or some photoshopped model's in a magazine, you are doomed?
Sadly two years ago, I would have been snickering at the comments even though I would not have posted the nasty comments about the model. I too have desired to be an hourglass. I have tried workouts to the detriment of my knees and education as I know is not possible. I went as far as purchasing expensive corsets to whittle my waistline. It wasn't until my husband yelled at me that I was crazy that I decided to give the corsets to a friend. Last year, I decided to make some YouTube exercise videos and I saw myself on film. I was like, "not bad, you look good". I think this was my turning point and I even wondered why I spent money and time trying to achieve a beauty standard, that was the opposite of who I really am.
As an Exercise Physiologist, group fitness leader and personal trainer, my goal has been and will be to preach, getting in the best physical shape for your body type. Hopefully, one day, women will stop seeing themselves and others as unfortunate because of their shape. Instead, they should embrace who they are, from within, and advertise their attributes to empower other women.