All posts tagged: body image

The Skin I’m In

I am white, middle class, Anglo female, and here I stand in front of the mirror lamenting my own skin. The weather is warming and long-sleeves and jeans are swiftly being exchanged for singlet tops and shorts. Yes, that golden, celestial orb is bestowing her warmth and those of burnished skin are reveling in the strip-down. Us of “alabaster complexion”, as my mum fondly names it – we stand in front of mirrors lamenting that the change of season means baring these ghostly limbs, these legs like fluorescent tubes. I reach for the cream, squeeze brown onto my palm and begin to rub fakeness into my pores. This year more than years past, I’m attuned to it. The farce of it. The travesty of altering my very skin colour. It’s hard to say what’s changed. 32 years of life and a daughter who shares my skin tone might be a good place to start. Still, I rub it in, from the tips of my toes to the tops of my thighs, rubbing at my counterfeit skin. There …

There’s a Difference Between Humility and Self-Deprecation. Just Sayin’…

My mum sent me a text last week. It made me feel twice my height and warmed me from the chest outwards. I guess I’m going to have to share it with you now… (Sorry mum, I know it was intended for my eyes only!) “Hey Claire, I want to express how I see you as a beautiful, stunning, gorgeous woman with beautiful long flowing golden hair, such incredible blue sparkling eyes and milky skin – which are all your assets. Enjoy being you, as you are perfect the way you are!” Gah! Did I mention it also made me a little teary? A funny thing happened when I sat down to write this piece. I wanted to share the beautiful message my mum sent me, to show how wonderful she is, but there was a reticence to include those descriptions of how she sees me. “Wouldn’t that be big-noting yourself?” the voice in my head said. How are you at taking compliments? Me? Rubbish. Someone says, “I love your outfit!” and I’m reflexively muttering, …

The “I Can’t Wait to Get My Body Back” Lie of Pregnancy

“I can’t wait to get my body back!” This is the most common statement you will hear of late coming from the lungs of this, your 36-weeks-pregnant correspondent. I’m ready.  I’m sick of myself.  I’m counting down.  And four weeks is a lifetime! Pregnancy is a beautiful, miraculous thing but there comes a point when supporting a watermelon-esque belly cantilevered at your midway point (can someone confirm that I still have legs – I haven’t seen them in so long!) gets plain old.  And did I mention the swollen ankles, indigestion, fatigue, stretch marks, weight gain and the looming promise of who-knows-how-many-hours of grueling labour? (Pity my husband – he listens to these laments often enough!) And so, with more than a sprinkling of self-pity and self-loathing, I say, “I can’t wait to get my body back!” There’s something wrong with this way of thinking though – mostly because it reveals a mind conditioned by the media’s warped representation of women and their bodies.  The glossy magazines present pictures of pregnant celebrities and supermodels with …

Beauty is More than a Sexy Selfie

I think we all know someone with a selfie obsession. They post photos of themselves on various social media sites in different mundane situations expecting us to like, share, favourite, retweet and even comment on such humdrum proclamations as: “New lipstick!” (photo: lips pouting, eyes bulging like a Bratz doll). “Having a fat day” (photo: sad face, skinny jeans proffering a lean little bum). “Lunch!” (photo: a smoothie, ‘nuff said). Er, why? Why oh why oh why do people waste their precious moments on this? I shall pause briefly here to accommodate the decreasing percentage of the populace who have not caught up with the social media craze (c’mon dad, it’s about time!) A ‘selfie’ is “a slang term used to describe a photo that is taken of oneself for the purpose of uploading it to social networking sites and image sharing websites… To take a selfie, the right or left arm is extended with the camera held backwards.” (webopedia.com) All us social media users are prone to the occasional selfie but it’s worth pondering the why …