Today’s Woman: The Non-Airbrushed Variety

I was surfing the web and came across a couple of photos of celebrities who were featured on magazine covers.  These covers have obviously been airbrushed.

Kelly Clarkson’s cover caused quite the controversy back in 2009.  “My happy weight changes,” Clarkson says in the September issue of SELF. “Sometimes I eat more; sometimes I play more. I’ll be different sizes all the time. When people talk about my weight, I’m like, ‘You seem to have a problem with it; I don’t. I’m fine!’ I’ve never felt uncomfortable on the red carpet or anything.”  Yet, her cover was obviously airbrushed which I believe she had little control over.

Editor-in-chief of Self Magazine, Lucy Danziger defended the magazine cover. People reports:

“Yes. Of course we do retouching,” Danziger writes in a post on “Did we alter her appearance? Only to make her look her personal best.”
Calling Clarkson “the picture of confidence,” Danzinger writes, “I think this photo is the truest we have ever put out there on the newsstand.”

What?! “Only to make her look her personal best”…are you kidding me?  How is this her personal best if she doesn’t ACTUALLY look this way?!  What a crock! Am I supposed to stare at these magazine covers and wish I looked just like them?  If so, I best be opening my Photoshop folks, cause it’s going to take a lot of airbrushing.

I am a Mom of 3. I have a daughter. The idea that the media promotes airbrushed images as a standard of “beauty” is disturbing.  These images are not even REAL. Models are expected to fit a size 0. In reality, the vast majority of today’s women are not a size 0.  I feel an immense responsibility to show my daughter what the true measure of beauty is, and it comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes.  At the same time, I also want to show my daughter what a healthy lifestyle is all about.  A lifestyle of balance, activity, and healthy natural foods. Of course there is always room to enjoy a little dessert too…balance. 🙂

Here is my reality.  I will be turning 35 years old next month.  I have 3 children, and I’ve had 3 c-sections.  The heaviest I have ever been was the day I gave birth to my second son, which happens to be 122 pounds heavier than I am today.  I started the path to lose the weight a few months after I had my second son. From the day I officially made the decision to live a healthier lifestyle, I weighed in at 242 pounds.  Today, I am 150 pounds which means I have lost 92 pounds.

Because of this fact, I have stretch marks and I have extra skin. There is nothing, short of plastic surgery, that will change that. It doesn’t matter how much I work out…you can’t work off extra skin.

Again, I’m going to do something completely out of my comfort zone but I’m going to post a picture of MY belly. The belly that carried around my beautiful kids. At times I am self-conscious. But, in posting this I hope to be less self-conscious…if that makes sense. Because it’s real. It’s obviously not airbrushed. It’s who I am. You can see the lines of my 3 babies who I loved before they were even born and who I dreamed about before they were even conceived. This tummy is a story of where I’ve come from and where I am today.

When I went to Jamaica, I never thought I would actually wear a bikini on the beach. What amazed me when I got there, was that the sunbathers on the beach didn’t care what their bodies looked like. In fact, I actually felt completely at peace with my body. I felt good about myself.

This has been on my mind a lot lately as at times I look in the mirror and pick apart the areas of my body I wish I could change.  Then I snap out of it when I remember that my goal through changing my lifestyle is to be HEALTHY. To be vibrant, full-of-energy, and to hold within my heart a zest for life which involves the mind, body and spirit.

I have spent far too much time in my past struggling to accept the person that I truly am. It’s time to let go and just embrace it. I’m not defined by the size of clothes I wear, or the number on the scale. That really has nothing to do with who I am.

My perspective today is that…

Confidence is beautiful.

Authenticity is beautiful.

Vulnerability and honesty are beautiful.

Sincerity is beautiful.

We are not perfect like the airbrushed Magazine covers, but perfection isn’t reality and thank God for that.

Perfectly Imperfect. We are who we are. View yourself through the eyes of those who love you most.

Be kind to yourself.



From my heart to yours,