Body Image

Discussion in 'Ask a Guy/Girl' started by 10_3XL, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. 10_3XL

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    Initially I had started this as a Venting Thread post, but then I decided I'd post this as its own thread. I want to hear what other people's thoughts/feelings are on this matter. The good, the bad, and the ugly...

    Body image is a huge issue for me - even as a man (yeah, we have issues with body image too). Seeing how it affects all of the people around me... It has the tendency to spark my temper quicker than many of the more "controversial" or "inflammatory" matters out there.


    This time it was this...

    Within mere weeks of one another we have Tess Munster become the first ever "plus-size" model get a contract with a major agency (London-based MiLK Model Management).

    TessMunster3.jpg
    Tess Munster
    And Robyn Lawley be the first "plus-size" model to grace Sports Illustrated.
    RobynLawley2.jpg
    Robyn Lawley

    Seriously?!

    Take one look at those two women and tell me - which one makes you think "plus-size model?" And here we have people going around wondering why so many women have such a warped idea of what a healthy/appropriate body and body image is? Why so many can't realize the difference between what fits the Standard of Beauty as dictated by most human-beings rather than what fits the Standard of Beauty as dictated by the media?

    Don't get me wrong - both women are beautiful. I'm not saying one is better than the other, or that either is in the wrong here or a bad person or anything like that. From all I can tell both of them are actually quite positive role models (and good models in general). However, most of that I've determined by reading interviews and articles which, let's face it, who really takes the time to do that? What person out there who sees a picture of one of these women then seeks out an obscure article in a magazine where someone asks her questions about her; not her body?

    When you say that a woman with the build of Lawley is "plus-size" then that means a woman with the build of Munster is... what?

    It's unfair, untrue, and unrealistic. It establishes a Standard of Beauty that everyone sees and internalizes as True and then we have to fight, fight, fight to alter the perception back to what is the real Truth.

    munster_lawley.jpg
    Pictured:

    Tess Munster (L) "plus-size" model
    Robyn Lawley (R) "plus-size" model
     
  2. Lou_x

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    the real truth is what us as individuals envisage it to be there is no right or wrong, if anyone of us has a body issue its a personal thing and only that person can change (medical conditions the exception) how they look...
     
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  3. lucky5338

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    It is such a shame that we have to look at personal appearance as a yardstick to measure how desireable we are . This applies to men as well as to women. At the exteems some people are either obese or unhealtily skinny and neither of these are attractive per se but these are medical factors and can be cured in most cases. So many of the pictues we see on a daily basis have been retouched before publication to lead us to believe that the person we see is more attractive than they actually are. They also tend to make us ordinary folk less secure in ouselves if we don't measure up to the images we see.
     
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  4. sandwich

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    Robyn, in the general sense, is not plus-size. I just looked her up, and she is 6'2" and wears a US size 12 (or 14). That would make her a large in misses sizes, which are the non-plus sizes. Perhaps she is referred to as plus-size because models are typically size 2 or 4. If that is the case, then that is just plain silly.

    I agree with you on the body image phenomenon. No one needs a magazine or TV show or movie to define what is acceptable. We all have different frame sizes, so it doesn't make sense to match an image. Personally, this topic annoys me because I know several women who are hung up on it because they feel they are not what they should be. My cousin looks at herself in the mirror and sees something much different from what the rest of us see. She is pretty and proportionate, but she has no idea, and she's a 33 year old Botox user.

    Several years ago I disliked my arms, and then I realized that was ridiculous, and now I think they're fine. I have a longer/leaner muscle structure that I failed to change into the arms I wanted. They're a little on the slender side, and when I look at pictures of them now, I realize how silly all that was. My arms are right for my height and build.

    I might be a little opposite of some. Women tend to worry about appearing fat, and I sometimes have trouble with getting smaller (I have super metabolism). Lately I have decided if my body decides to be a 6 instead of an 8 then so be it. I had thought all my body image crap went away with my concern over my arms, but looking back, I see that I had been fighting pretty hard to not get smaller because I don't want to be skinny. Size 6 sounds too close to size 4 when you're just under 5'9". For now I am in between a 6 and an 8, and honestly, I wish my body would settle on one or the other because my jeans are loose. What's funny is that both of these sizes are too fat in the modeling world. My husband likes what he sees and I am healthy, so that is good enough for me.

    Anyway, I do like my looks and my curves because I'm the only one who looks like me. My mom really has been a good role model for body acceptance, so if I have a daughter I want to do the same for her.

    If women wish to lose weight on account of the health concerns involved with extra pounds, that's one thing, but there are all sorts of women out there who are stressing themselves out seeking to be smaller and smaller and failing because they are fine they way the are. Their failure then adds to their self esteem and body consciousness. I bet if women who are at an unhealthy weight would stop obsessing about not measuring up, they would begin to love themselves and lose weight slowly until they reached where their body wants to be.

    Don't try to be someone else. Life is too short to worry about wishing you were smarter or more outgoing or more organized or thinner or prettier or more whatever. Take care of your body without flipping out over it. Move in the ways you love and let yourself have some ice cream if you want. Listen to your body. It knows what you need better than your Hollywood skewed brain does.
     
    #4 sandwich, Feb 6, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2015
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  5. 10_3XL

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    Expanding a bit more on my thoughts:
    A large part of the problem, as I see it, lies in the fact that individuals are too frequently adopting the truth displayed for them in the imagery provided by the media, society, &c rather than electing to decide on their own truth. Of course body issues are a personal thing - not much could be more personal than your own body! - and so another part of the problem is that people are letting the issue be taken out of their hands or freely handing it over to someone else because that's The Path of Least Resistance. Having someone tell you the answer is always much simpler than finding it for yourself. At that point the issue a person is focusing on - rather than being the real issue - is the issue that society has given them...

    I'm too fat. I'm too tall. I'm too skinny. I'm too short. My hair isn't ____ color. My eyes aren't _____ color. My complexion isn't light enough. My complexion isn't dark enough. And on and on and on and on...

    Ex: For the longest time I was absolutely convinced that if I didn't look like some sort of Adonis then I would never be able to get anybody worthwhile in my life - romantically, platonically, whatever. It crushed my spirit and held me back from so many opportunities that I never realized I had - all because I was soooo caught up in the message I'd received and internalized from external sources; not my own mind/heart/soul. I had my "lightbulb" moment years ago now but it still took me almost 4 years to get over myself and those blocks I'd established (and that had been reinforced from external sources) and start working on just being happy and healthy - media, society, &c be damned. I to this day fight it almost every hour of every day - to not look at myself and think I'm a piece of shit because I don't have The Perfect Body As Seen In Hollywood.
     
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  6. 10_3XL

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    Spot on, sandwich! And these same principles apply (as both lucky5338 and I have stated) to Men as well as Women.

    Another example:
    My friend whom I go to the gym with - both of us going regularly in an effort to get the right body for us. Unfortunately, he too is dealing with fighting the Hollywood dictated ideal and has not come as far in finding the truth for himself as I have (and I still have a long way to go!).
    However, where I'm on the Broad end of the spectrum, he's on the Slim end. He wants the bulky muscled "body of Thor" look, but his frame, metabolism, and so forth dictate that's just not feasible or healthy to aim for, obtain, and/or maintain. He will always have the lean musculature - more of a triathlete, rather than the bulky musculature of a power-lifter. In his efforts, he only does about 15 minutes of cardio then goes full on ballistic weight lifting, pressing, &c. He follows a bodybuilder's diet to increase muscle mass, shape, and tone.
    The horrible irony is that my frame, metabolism and other factors make it so that I could feasibly have the bulky musculature that my friend is so enamored of. And that's not what I'm going for! All I'm trying to do at this point is lose all the excess weight and no longer be obese. It'd be nice to climb a flight of stairs and not be breathing hard, ya know? After I get to a healthy and happy weight I'll make any further decisions.
    But I've digressed a bit... The point I was trying to make with all of that was to reinforce the statement that we need to know and listen to our bodies and do what is best for us personally rather than aiming for something that may not be possible.
     
  7. Horny Joe

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    Well I prefer Robin over Tess. I'm just not into tatoos all over the body.

    Your posts could be slimed down (no pun intended) into self esteem issues. So many children aren't spoken to with positive reinforced comments, which leads to grown adults with self esteem issues.

    Listen to a simple conversation in a resturant. All people do is complain about this and that. Gossip with a tinge of repulsion of the people involved by the story teller. Telling something wonderful is rare. Giving a compliment to someone is almost offensive and in some cases harassing. A beautiful woman walks by, it is now almost forbidden in public to hold the door for her, or even tell her she looks nice. In an office enviroment, your welcoming a sexual harassment case for paying a compliment to a pretty woman.

    Quit reading mainstream media content, and watching Entertainment tonight programs, and you'll find out life is pretty awesome without someone telling you how awesome the Kardashiams are and how plane your life is. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
     
  8. 10_3XL

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    It is arguably self-esteem issues, but I'm talking about the sources and what makes it up and how people deal with it/decide on their own image/identity for themselves. The self-esteem factor isn't the only matter being discussed here.

    I did have incredibly positive and supportive parents/family/friends/community growing up. So that was never a source for my self-esteem issues. It was all a compounding of the messages seen in movies, read in books, and so on by anyone not part of those in my specific social circles.

    I don't saturate my life with mainstream media content or watch E.T. or anything like that - I avoid that stuff like the plague. Still it is impossible to be a member of our modern society and not still be subjected to that imagery and those messages. I'm relatively reclusive and uninvolved - but I don't live in a hermitage in the Himalayas, thus I am still getting those messages.

    Also: I don't see where the subject of your second paragraph factors into the discussion... Can you elucidate for me? :confused:
     
  9. Sweetlysad

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    #9 Sweetlysad, Feb 6, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2015
  10. 10_3XL

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    And I think that's a great example of a step in the right direction. However, it's only one ad spot (thus far) - there's so much more that can and should (and hopefully will) be done! Unfortunately I think part of the accomplishment is detracted from by their billing of Ms Lawley as a "plus-size" model - who so far as I can find isn't actually in the "plus-size" ranges... :confused:

    Also if Sports Illustrated is doing that there also needs to be reciprocation by other major media outlets.

    But - as I said - step in the right direction. No matter how small it still counts!
     
  11. Candela

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    Pics and looks dont matter to me..I never judge a book by its cover xo..BTW...The ladies are very pretty!
     
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  12. Sagittarius84

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    1st off I thijk both models are beautiful in their own way. But i fail to see how labeling them as plus sized is a problen in of itself. In fact to behonest both could be just as unattainable as the sze 0 models which seem to be ruining female self esteem. One is 6'2" ,making her proportions highly unique, and the other while definitely larger has the coveted hourglass figure, the bane of many larger women. In eithe case theyare larger than the average woman hence the plus size moniker. Doesjt make them any less enticing, and if it does to a man I dont ujderstand why that mans opinion is so pertinent to your being. Maybe if women were seeking to impress those who actually appreciate real women this would be less o a problem. As skinny as I am i dont seek approval of Chris Hemsworth and Idris Elba fans.
     
  13. 10_3XL

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    People endeavoring to obtain a specific body shape to impress or get approval of others wasn't the "issue" I kept/keep mentioning. Nor is this issue unique to women - it affects a great number of men, too (though we are less likely to admit it because we have to Be A Man).

    The reason the labelling of women as Lawley and Munster as "plus-size" is "a problem and of itself" is because of the negative connotation that we, as a society, have of that term. "Plus-size" translates to "Fat" translates to "Ugly" and so on in an everlasting downward spiral. Yes, their figures are equally unattainable as being a Size 0 is for some women, but how many people consider that? Not many.

    The point that I'm making is that the messages about an "appropriate" or "beautiful" body are so pervasive, constant, and powerful that those external messages become internal messages. That people are out there doing unhealthy things, thinking in unhealthy ways, and so on in an effort to get those bodies for themselves because they have so thoroughly internalized the standards that have been set. None of this is about pleasing others - it is about the importance of self-awareness, happiness with who you are, and self-acceptance. Nobody, when attempting to get a healthy/beautiful body and body image, should consider anyone outside themselves. Women shouldn't do it for men/other women and Men shouldn't do it for women/other men. Everyone needs to be pursuing this matter for themselves - regardless of any external sources.

    The thing is most (myself included) have always done it without even realizing that we were/are doing it for others rather than ourselves. Not everyone - in fact, very few - has had that epiphany of self that you have. The power of a message when it is constantly thrown at you from all directions is very hard to resist. As I stated earlier, even though I attempt to avoid the messages about The Ideal Body, since I do not live in total and 100% seclusion from everyone and everything it cannot be avoided and to claim that the world around you holds no influence is preposterous - I don't care who you are.
     
  14. cbrmale

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    If we go right back to the beginning, Tess Munster is just, plain fat. Ugly fat and unhealthy fat. I worked in healthcare in the years 2009 to 2013 and I know how just a little over a person's BMI it takes for major health consequences like diabetes and heart disease. Only 10% over. When I used to flip through the appointment book for glucose tolerance testing, the test used to confirm type 2 diabetes, and see appointment after appointment after appointment it worried me a lot.

    Regardless of who you are, to keep a healthy body weight takes two things: eating healthy and regular exercise. At age 56 I am about 4 or 5kg heaver than when I was 18, and I exercise for half an hour minimum each day and alternate that with swimming laps two or three times a week. I watch what I eat and minimise saturated fat and go for healthy portion sizes, and no junk food! If you don't do the half hour exercise and the swimming or equivalent, then it's obvious that you will get fat.

    When you haul yourself out of the water after 1,000 metres, apart from knowing you still look pretty good, there's a natural high from endorphins that's like the high you get from the afterglow of sex. Anyone can have this post-exercise afterglow anytime they choose, if they set aside some time for exercise rather than wasting time on internet forums like this one. For me there's no exercise better than swimming; it's great for the cardio vascular system, hauling yourself through the resistance of water exercise many muscles in the body, and it's very gentle on the body unlike running or jogging.

    For me fat people are unhealthy and lazy and I'm not into that.
     
  15. 10_3XL

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    Disregarding everything else in your post (including a few valid if not entirely on topic comments) - I wanted to make special note of how much I appreciate your crass generalization and harsh judgement of people that takes into account literally nothing other than what you can see, Professor. Bravo!
     
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  16. cbrmale

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    For normal people you cannot get fat unless you eat too much and / or exercise too little. Regular, hard exercise is mandatory when it comes to managing weight.
     
  17. Sweetlysad

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  18. 10_3XL

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    That's as it should be... I view it as the reason that it's Health & Beauty. To me the two are not mutually exclusive.

    Also: Those who are role models on a mass scale need to be held accountable in some capacity for the messages they are sending/displaying/promoting. I'm not saying to condemn a person totally, completely, and forever if they back the wrong horse - but there needs to be more responsibility, awareness, and accountability.
     
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  19. MarkJ420

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    A 'perception' of how we all 'should' look like is thrown out there a lot now by the media e..t.c. Now most people can look 'pretty decent' what ever that means exactly. The Eye of the beholder i guess.

    But most people can look 'pretty decent' have a pretty decent body if they want that of course. Barring any medical conditions causing any issues a good body can be achieved with good eating and some exercise. As for those two models size is just size numbers designed to work out what clothes will fit you or not. So for only that reason my view is , if you're a plus size according to the numbers then that's just factual , it you're smaller that's just factual too according to the numbers. It is silly to try and manipulate this.

    Throw in body dysmorphic disorder into the body image mix debate , which i have a bit of. It's a whole different ball game for those people who have this mental disorder whether mild , moderate or severely. You cant always realistically see what the hell you actually look like from one day to the next sometimes lol Which can be confusing and upsetting at times , you really believe you look pretty damn crap one day and another day you think you look ok enough. Depending how severely you have it. Definitely does your head in sometimes , the brain is soo very tricky at times :D :)
     
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  20. 10_3XL

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    I had completely forgotten about body dysmorphic disorder and other similar issues. Thanks for bringing that one up, Mark.

    More later... Brain not fully functional at the current moment. Plus I need to do a bit of research before I open my gob on this. :)
     
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