Do you know the Selena Gomez song, “Who says you’re not pretty. Who says you’re not beautiful, who says?” I love this song, and I was thinking about it when I decided to post these images. I thought some people might judge these photographs? As I see it, they are art that my mom has developed.
My mom is a photographer, and I’ve been doing photo shoots my entire life. This time it was a little different because I was in my sports bra. I think this was the first time I’ve felt comfortable in my sports bra knowing these pictures were going to be shown to other people. I can’t explain why I’ve never felt comfortable in my leotard or sports bra? They are the just uniforms.
As a teen, I never thought I was skinny enough. As an adult, I could never find that perfect outfit that made me look good enough. Why was I so critical of myself? Why did I care so much about what others thought? As long as I am happy with myself then who cares, right?
Maybe that was the issue? I wasn’t happy with myself for all those years. It’s taken me a long time to accept myself and to accept my body. I don’t think I am alone here. I imagine a number of women have found it to be a long road. This road began around puberty.
I empathize with the youth of today who are concerned what others think of them. At some point in our lives, most of us have worried about whether or not we will be accepted. Will they think I am nice, smart, pretty, etc? Not only do we worry what others will think, but also many of us are critical of ourselves.
I feel we try to uphold this image that society expects of us. This image is all over the television, magazines, and the web. The image is of a sexy, skinny, pretty, “perfect” woman. We start comparing ourselves to her. We compare ourselves to something that is unrealistic. Come on, you’ve all done it in one way or another. Have you looked in the mirror and wished your thighs were a little smaller, your butt a little rounder, or your stomach a little flatter? Join the club!!
Some of you may think that I am beautiful, some of you think I am cute, and some think that I am not attractive at all. Some of you may love my body, some may think I am too muscular, and some may pick apart the little things that are wrong with me. I used to care so much about your opinions. I really did. I cared to a fault.
I would have cried when I read that someone thought my legs were too big. A few of the comments I received on my back squat PR would have fed my insecurities. They would have crushed the confidence I gained from performing that squat. What would have devastated me a few years ago I shrug off today.
Now, I choose to care about and put my energy toward the things I can control. I can’t control what others find attractive. The old saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is so true. What one person finds attractive another doesn’t. If I love myself, then I’m happy. I have accepted that my thighs aren’t ever going to be “skinny”. I’m okay with my arms being muscular. And, I know that I’ll never look like Pamela Anderson.
I realized, most importantly, I have to be happy with who I am. It’s unhealthy to compare myself to anybody else. It’s absurd to let the mass media dictate who is pretty, we are all beautiful. We are all gorgeous in someone’s eyes. Comparing yourself to airbrushed models will just make you crazy! They are airbrushed!! The only person you should be comparing yourself to is you. If there is something you don’t like about your body, work hard to change it. Eventually, when you accept who you are, you will look into the mirror and be content. And, you will be singing in your head, “Who says….”