Work That Body (Positivity) For Me

The last few years have given rise to a new movement among feminists and women everywhere, promoting body positivity and feeling comfortable in your own skin. I have always been a big supporter of this, as someone who was plus sized for a great many years I took a lot of comfort and pride from knowing that other women were learning to love themselves at any weight/height/shape. While my self-esteem has always been pretty high, thanks to my mother “not raising ugly children”, I know that a lot of people- women especially, haven’t had such a positive environment to love themselves and nurture their self-esteem. I would like to take this week’s entry to talk about how awesome I think body positivity is and what it was like to grow up before it was widely adopted.

Growing up in the 90’s and 2000’s, things seemed pretty great. Technology was advancing, politics were progressing, TV and movies were pretty excellent, and I had no complaints. When I was reaching my formative years in middle school however I started noticing that there weren’t a lot of women on TV who looked like me. The only women who did look like me were always in the “fat best friend” role in movies, which was discouraging to say the least. I think the first movie I remember seeing where the “fat girl” got the leading handsome guy was Hairspray. I’m of course referring to the 1988 version, which my mom and I watched often growing up. Seeing Link Larkin fall for Tracy Turnblad gave me hope that I could find a gorgeous man who would love me despite my weight. At the time, that was the best example I had of a plus sized woman being with a thinner man. I had no idea that curvy women were desirable to men, because it’s not something you ever really saw at the time.

4a5d082d834705bba47184a788883a88

Link was a hottie, and falling for Tracy made him even more attractive. 

When I was in high school a new show was gaining popularity on AMC about the advertising industry in the 1960’s, featuring a beautiful buxom actress by the name of Christina Hendricks. That show of course is Mad Men, which became a national phenomenon and that character was Joan Holloway-Harris. Joan became my hero and gave me an ideal image I wanted to look like, but was still realistic for a plus sized girl like myself. Seeing her adored by so many men made me long for the years when my body type would’ve been seen as desirable. However I was stuck in 2007, where high school boys wanted to date the skinny girls I went to school with and not me. I yearned to be Joan and to capture the attention of so many men, and not long after when I had my first “serious boyfriend” he made me feel like I was perfect even at a size 16.

christina-hendricks-as-joan-holloway-in-mad-men_6

For those of you living under a rock, this is the beautiful Christina Hendricks as Joan Holloway-Harris on Mad Men. She was everything I wanted to be: curvy, confident, and killer in heels. 

In the years since Mad Men began, especially the last 5 or so, plus size women have started rising to elevated roles and come to the forefront of pop culture. Melissa McCarthy went from Lorelai’s best friend on Gilmore Girls to leading lady in films such as Spy, The Boss, and the new Ghostbusters. Ashley Graham has made huge strides in bringing truly plus sized models to mainstream media, being a cover model for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Even Mattel has gotten with the times and started offering Barbie dolls in different shapes and sizes that represent all little girls instead of just the tall, thin shape she’s always had. Dove has commercials featuring plus size women and showing how body positivity is important. We now have an entire week dedicated to body positivity in May, which brings attention to the movement and many media outlets use to shed light on it.

Every body type is beautiful and it’s great to see women of all shapes and sizes beginning to be represented in mainstream media. These changes have been for the better, I hope that one day we reach a place where all women are represented and every little girl can see women that look like them in popular culture in diverse roles.

tumblr_static_tumblr_static__640

The moral of this story is there is no perfect body, so long as you love the one you have you’re doing great. 

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Work That Body (Positivity) For Me”

  1. This is still a big struggle for me. even though I have kept off 40 of the 50 pounds I lost three years ago- I still am pretty uncomfortable in my body. Sure there are some outfits and some days were I think I look pretty good– but most days I have to literally tell myself I am strong and healthy and thus I should love my body. And my favorite part of my body are my muscles! But I focus on the bad more than the good. The struggle is real and I am glad you have such a strong foundation as a badass who was raised by an awesome mom to love herself!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You look amazing and have been such an inspiration and supportive role model for me through my journey! It’s almost hard to believe that you struggle with this as well, but I guess it really does effect everyone. I’m glad that most days you can believe that you look healthy and great, because you definitely do!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s