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 Self.com. “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.

Love.

Acceptance.

From my heart to yours,

Christine

14 thoughts on “Today’s Woman: The Non-Airbrushed Variety

  1. Thank you for this Christine. I was just in the doctors office with my 8 year old daughter yesterday explaining this very thing. I asked her to look at the models faces and bodies and see if she could find any marks or flaws and told her how in real life people do not look that way.
    I too had the extra skin from pregnant and had the plastic surgery. I am a size zero but you know what? I have stretch marks from top to bottom, my boobs are a saggy defllated version of what the once were.There are many things I could pick apart about my body but I am a mother, I am human and I no longer hide under a t-shirt at the beach.

  2. Wanting to look a certain way is an internal struggle for a lot of us. I find that it gets even worse, I become even more critical of my body, when I AM working out and eating properly. Maybe it’s because I’m putting in so much work and expecting more than perfect results. I’ve been working really hard for the past couple of months to lose a few pounds and continuously have to remind myself that this I’m doing this not for cosmetic purposes, but for my own overall well-being. My logical self knows this, but sometimes the ego rules. Occasionally the scale will disappoint me and I find it dragging me down. I force the voice in my head to tell me that the people who know and love me already think I’m beautiful, even with an extra 10 pounds tacked on.

  3. Thank you for the blog love everyone! I’m very thankful for you!
    And Celena, you are a natural size 0. I’m not implying that there’s anything wrong with being a size 0! 🙂 I think you look amazing.
    And Amy, your words are exactly what goes through my head when I get into a workout routine. I’m impatient for results rather than focussing on the amazing benefits of regular exercise and eating properly. You are right, those that love you could care less, you are beautiful just as you are (and hilarious too).

  4. Everyone has this vision of what “beauty” is, and you’re right about the whole air brushing/photo altering world of celebrities. Its causing normal people to feel less than satisfied with their own body image, when in fact these “people we look up to” are less than perfect as well. Its hurting the young girls. They should be happy with who they are, but instead feel they need to lose weight at a young age, or wear makeup, or stuff their bras to feel “pretty”. Its really sad.

  5. How much do I love you?
    You amaze me a little more every time I talk to you or have the pleasure to read your blog.
    A true authentic woman and an inspiration.
    I miss you.

  6. i’m a 16 year old girl and i would just like to thank you for writing this. obviously being a teen in today’s society has made me hate myself. i was at an all time low when i read this article about a month ago and since then it has slowly seeped into my brain and i think i finally get it. you have helped me reach peace with my body. no more binging and purging and hating what i am anymore. thank you so much. ❤

    1. Coco, your comment means the world to me. It’s so hard growing up in a culture that promotes a standard of beauty that just isn’t real for most women. They tell us what we “should” be, and growing up in that culture means it’s confusing to find out just who you actually are as a person. So please hold your head up high. Walk tall and proud. You and I are perfectly imperfect. Be good to yourself. Respect yourself and your body for the immaculate creation that you are. I have been where you are, at the same age too…16 was a tough and confusing time in my life as well. There is so much life ahead of you! You have no idea the greatness that awaits you as you mature and grow as a woman. Enjoy every minute of it, you will go through trials during your teens, but just know that it will develop you into the woman you are meant to be. Amazing life experiences are waiting for you Coco! Happy New Years and thanks again for taking the time to comment. You touched my heart in a way that words just can not express. Sincerely, Christine

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