Body Image Obssesion

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Man seems to have always had a feature to obsess over. Be it bound feet, corsets, ivory-white skin, or any number of impossible-to-achieve-without-pain-or-health-detriments looks. For as long as there have been men lusting after these,  women have always been willing to go to the extreme to achieve the look du jour.

Today, the look is big breasts and hard bodies. Not only big, but pert, round breasts  attached to a photoshopped into perfection model. Of course, almost everyone knows the look is near impossible to achieve.  Some of us would go through anything to look ‘like that’. From dieting, countless hours at the gym, and expensive pills, creams and other supplements to dangerous binging and purging, anorexia, and costly, guarantee-less plastic surgery.

Studies have shown over and over again that most people aren’t happy with their bodies, even people . Other studies have shown that reading men’s or women’s magazines, particularly the ones packed with airbrushed to perfection models and articles that indirectly critise any extra jiggle or untoned body part by promising that you’ll be rid of it in “x” number of weeks, causes an immediate drop in self-esteem and body image. We cant help but compare ourselves to that.

Why are my love handles such a bad thing, really? Are flabby, even (gasp!) touching thighs terrible as they seem to imply? What exactly is so attractive about a hard, flat tummy? Do small breasts spell the apocolypse for my attractiveness to men?

Completely honestly, not according to any men I’ve met. My fiance loves the curves of my big, touching thighs.  Love handles can enhance the lovely feminine waist-to-hip curves.  Some guys absolutely adore small breasts.

But really? Even though I know all this, I’ve read it, heard it, thought it over and over, enough to take it in, consider it and rewrite it. I know damn well the average guy dosent care if I’m perfect.

But some part of me refuses outright to believe it.

Sound familar?

Someone important to you compliments you on some aspect of your apperance. Maybe you smile and thank them, and on the surface you appreciate it and it makes you feel good. But some part inside you questions it, denies it. You might even wonder if that person has some ulterior motive, is blind, or has some wierd fetish or something.

Really, you can be pretty sure they’re sincere, particulary if the person is someone you know and who you know respects you. But you just cant take that in 100%.

Why? why does our culture breed insecurity and unhappiness amongst the masses? Shouldnt someone be doing something about it? Of course not, happiness isnt profitable.  Happy people arent contributing to the multi-million dollar weight loss industry. Those who are happy with their lives and content with themselves arent driven to buy. Companies and buisnesses arent just trying to sell your their product, they’re trying to sell you the idea of happiness.

The worst thing about all this? Even knowing it, having thought about it for hours, being fully aware that I am being manipulated by the media, there is still nothing I can do to escape it. Even the temporary relief brought by critically, sometimes angrily examining the way my own mind and body have been effected by people who want me to be unhappy for their personal gain, will be torn away painfully the next time I see another ideal I’ll never come close to.

Even while I curse the culture and media that have influenced me so much, I cry and screem and even consider ending it all because I know I’ll never be “good enough”.

“Good enough” for what?

What exactly is “good enough”?

I don’t even know, but not being it hurts every single day.


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