As "BE" drives to promote a message of women embracing, accepting and loving their full selves, it's a celebration when stories about empowerment and body positivity make it to the headlines. For years, there always at least one video or picture that goes viral showing the dramatic "transformation" that Photoshop Editors drag a magazine or advertisement photo through. The exposure of such practices, have recently created more and more conversations about how "unrealistic" images of women are in the media, especially in print. Such conversations have been crucial in creating a sense of transparency around what it means to really Honor Your Body. The first step, acceptance.
I do very well believe we are in this space of transparency when it comes to real women and their relationship with their bodies and those seen in media. It's a fuzzy space though.
See, the road seems to have several paths.
1. An obsession with health and "fitness." I put fitness in (") because while many women live a healthy lifestyle to be healthy, there are women who feel the need to overdo their fitness to fit in an ideal. They feel the need to "push themselves" because that's what all the memes say... -_- . As a wellness advocate, I believe living a healthy active lifestyle can transform your entire being, but if you embark on it and you are constantly on the scale, comparing yourself to others, and being hard on yourself, it really defeats the purpose.
2. "Curvy" has been equated to extreme hour glass figures. The Idealization of entertainers like Nicki Minaj, Beyonce, and Kim Kardashian create this body ideal that most women will never meet unless they indulge in cosmetic enhancements.
3. Then their is the full blown Body Positivity movement!
Even though social media sucks a lot of millennials into this vortex of comparison (which has monstrously negative effects), there are many positive accounts that promote self love and women loving everything there is to love about their bodies. Now, the heat is being turned up a notch! Major modeling agencies and magazines, are slowly but surely loosening the reigns when it comes to the images they portray. Granted, we have a long way to go, progress must be celebrated.
Within the last week, the 3 ladies above have been celebrated for breaking out, embracing themselves, and being representatives of the "average" woman. In a world that says, get this sucked in, tucked, clipped, or removed, they stand to be themselves. They are proof that walking in your truth may not always be easy, but it is always worth it. Making sure to Honor yourself, body, mind and spirit, is an absolutely liberating journey to a life of Freedom.
When you learn to accept and just BE yourself, the Universe responds. The light, the God in you shines, and you attract such a magnificent life. SO let's embrace these women, and embrace ourselves. Just by them BEIng them, they have broke barriers. The average woman in the US is estimated to be a size 14, so even though Ashley Graham is actually more "normal" than plus, its a start.
Cheers to BEing You! Happy FEARLess Friday!
By: Tiffany W.