Tag Archives: dress

What Lies in a Photo

 “I personally battled with my own body image for years. I used to tell myself, You can’t wear anything sleeveless or strapless. And all of a sudden I was like, What if I just didn’t send such negative messages to my brain and said, wear it and enjoy it? And now I’m more comfortable in clothes than ever.”
– Drew Barrymore
I posted this picture over the weekend on Facebook.

me

In a very rare moment of confidence in my appearance, I decided this picture didn’t exactly suck, so what the heck?

I had no idea what kind of response this photo would garner. As of right now, I have 113 “likes.” Whoa.

Now, I’ve posted pictures of myself before, mind you. Not very often, but still…there have been a few.  (Mostly, I make sure someone else is in them. See my Selfies blog for an explanation of that ‘sneaky selfie’ technique…you’ll thank me later.) So, given those previous selfie posts, what in the world made this particular photo get so much attention? Dang!

And not only did I get all those “likes,” I also got a few comments. Oh, look at me trying to be modest. A few? More like 18, thankyouverymuch! My favorite? “That’s my beautiful honey.” Awww. (That was my husband, in case you were wondering…) And there were a few “Beautiful!” and “Sexy!” comments – even one “You look like a movie star!”

Look out, big head coming through!

And then….

Then there were a few other comments. And these are the ones that cause me to write this blog. (I know, I know, you were thinking I was just bragging on myself. But hang on, there’s a method to the immodest madness.)

First up, a comment from a dear friend who, along with saying I looked great like the other commenters, added in one extra observation.

“I wish I could lose weight.”

*sigh*

There it is. The most truthful ‘woman comment’ of all.

Why do I say that? Oh, she just said out loud what I’d be willing to bet almost every woman has thought in their minds at some point. At some point? Oh hell, who am I kidding? We think it every single day! Probably about ten times a day. A hundred, even. We look at a picture of another woman and what do we do? We compare ourselves to her. It’s like we’re born with a gene somewhere that says “Look at her…oh how I wish I could look like her…” 

I’m not even for a second going to sit here and deny that I do that too. I’m definitely my own worst critic.

So, I decided I wanted to post this picture again, and add in a few extra details. You ready?

meedit

Alrighty, then. Let’s discuss.

Just in case you might have been wondering about those fancy duds I was wearing there, I thought I’d go ahead and let you know where I got them. Yup. Goodwill. This gal LOVES her some thrift shopping. So, back to comparisons. If you’re like my friend (and me) and you decided to compare, say, your clothes to my clothes…then there ya go. There’s no way I can afford a fancy, high-priced dress. I have four teenagers, three dogs, a cat, and a husband…are you kidding me?

And let’s look at those shoes. Yup. Goodwill again. $4, people. Know why I have these? One of our dogs chewed up my only other pair of brown sandals so I found these at Goodwill to replace them. Score! And you know what else? It has taken me years to learn to wear shoes that show my toes. (Many of you may remember the blog that discussed that. See it here if you didn’t.) I HATE my toes. So, if by some small miracle you were one of the comparison lookers that decided to wish you had my shoes?….Goodwill again! And I can guarantee you your feet are going to look better in them than mine do.

Continuing on. Sunglasses? Again, nothing fancy. Dollar General. Hair? Lord have mercy, that hair is au natural – crazy curly, frizzy, tangled, and dyed to cover the gray. So (and as much as I highly doubt this) if you were one of the ones comparing your hair to my hair? Trust me. Be happy with what you have. Especially if it’s straight. You, my friend, are the chosen one.

Now, let’s look at those other stats there. Yep, I just posted my weight for all the world to see. No, I didn’t lie and remove a pound so I could be in the 140s…I promise you that’s what the scale said this morning. 149. Now, let me show you something else.

WomenSee that chart there? Guess what I am? Overweight.

Yep. Overweight.

Now if I were considered a “large frame” person, then I might barely skate in there as a person of “normal” weight. But I’ve always been taught that the way to check your frame size is to look at the size of your wrist. And if that’s the case…oh dear. I’m an extra small frame. My wrists are smaller than some newborns’ wrists. Seriously. So, according to my underdeveloped wrists, I am at least 16 pounds overweight, and could stand to lose about 29 pounds and still be healthy.

Are you kidding me?  29 pounds?  Now, I’m just like most of us, I could stand to lose a pound or two, but 29 pounds? I can honestly tell you that my frame could not handle dropping 29 pounds. I’d look like a skeleton. But wait – the chart says so.

Good grief.

Do you get what I’m getting at here?  There are NO IDEALS. And if there are, they are lies. That chart is a bunch of baloney. In fact, here’s another one I found online.

weightTableBam!  Suddenly, just by scrolling over to a different “expert’s” page, I’m magically a healthy weight! Woohoo!

Geez.

Again, I’m preaching to the choir here, my friends. I’m just as guilty as the next gal of comparing myself to other women. Wishing I was more this, more that, less this…and on, and on. Aren’t we such silly little creatures?

Before I go, back to how I originally started this blog. I mentioned that there were two comments that caught my attention. The other one said this: If I looked that gorgeous, I’d pose for a me picture too.”

*Ahhem.*  Let me just tell you a bit about the person who posted that comment.

It is a woman. (Of course.) But this is not just any woman. This is a woman that I am beyond honored to know. This is a runner. This is a woman who finishes ultra marathons before I’m wiping the sleep out of my eyes in the morning and stumbling to the kitchen for a pop-tart. This is a woman who has graced the cover of running magazines, for Heaven’s sakes. (Yes, I know a celebrity. Now you can be jealous…) This is a woman who could have easily stood by and let the women of past centuries scrub their family’s dirty laundry across her stomach and have it come out sparkling. This is a woman that I can only dream of being…the kind of runner I want to be, the kind of motivator I want to be, the kind of woman I want to be. I wonder if she has any clue how much I admire her? And here she says she says that IF she looked as gorgeous as me…puh-lease!

Oh, women.  Women, women, women. What is wrong with us? We are BEAUTIFUL. Each and every one of us. What we wish we had when we see it in others, we already have ourselves! We just have no idea. What we are constantly looking for in other faces, other clothes, other body types? Those people are looking at us with the same admiration and longing. Isn’t that crazy!

Starting today – let’s all be proud of ourselves. Ok? Let’s post those pictures on Facebook that make us feel  pretty. Better yet, let’s comment on each other’s photos too. Let’s make each other feel as good as the comments on my picture made me feel. If you see one of your fellow gals out there with a new ‘do, tell her it looks great! Like her shoes? Say so! (Hey – she may have gotten them at Goodwill like I did, who knows!?)

The next time the word “comparison” pops into your head, replace it with “compassion.” Not only for yourself (you are perfect just the way you are!) but for that person you’re comparing yourself to as well. They are just as insecure as you are. Believe me. They are.

They really, really are.

Let’s change the way we see ourselves, shall we?

***

“Girls of all kinds can be beautiful — from the thin, plus-sized, short, very tall, ebony to porcelain-skinned; the quirky, clumsy, shy, outgoing and all in between. It’s not easy, though, because many people still put beauty into a confining, narrow box.… Think outside of the box.… Pledge that you will look in the mirror and find the unique beauty in you.”
– Tyra Banks

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Dress the Part

I noticed something interesting the other day.

This is my daughter, Kelly.

dresspartblog

This picture was taken on the day of her 7th grade graduation.  We curled her hair, she had a little makeup on, wore a cute little dress…she was looking pretty darn spiffy.  Well, later that evening, she and I had to be at theatre rehearsal.  (She was cast as Annie in our local theatre’s upcoming production – if you haven’t already heard me mention that about 3,000 times. I’m just a little bit proud.)  She still had her hair curled, still had the little dress on, etc.  And something interesting happened.  When she stepped on that stage that night, she did the best she had ever done.

Now, granted, my daughter is capable of playing this role.  She is beyond capable.  But with this being her first large role (first speaking role, even), she’s a bit nervous and a little reserved.  Up to this point, she hadn’t found her ‘sea legs,’ so to speak.  But by golly, she was swimming that night.  That girl was spot on.  I saw more spunk and confidence than I had seen thus far.

After rehearsal, I told her what a great job she had done and asked what made her come alive like she did.  She said, “I don’t know.  I had my hair all curly and a dress on…I guess I just felt like Annie.”

“I guess I just felt like Annie.”

Kinda profound when you think about it.  She dressed the part, so she felt like the part.  Simple as that.

So, how does that apply to the rest of us?

Granted, I know we’re not all title characters in a musical.  Most of us are just out here floating about in our regular everyday lives trying to make it through the day without any major catastrophes.  But I think I just learned a pretty good lesson from my 13-year-old daughter.  Whatever I want (need?) to be, I just have to dress the part.”

Let’s take my running for example.  Now, I’ve heard a lot of runners have mentioned this before so I’m not alone in this thought process.  Sometimes I just don’t feel like running.  I just don’t.  I know I need to, I know I’ll feel good when it’s over, but none of that matters.  I’m just tired and I don’t feel like it.  But as soon as I put on my running clothes and running shoes…suddenly, I’m transformed.  I went from a lazy bum on the couch who didn’t feel like doing anything at all, to an all-out runner who is raring to go.  It’s that simple.  I dress like a runner, so I feel like a runner.

Now, that’s a literal example.  But maybe this can be applied in a not-so-literal way.  Maybe it’s not always an outfit.

Maybe if you want to be a certain thing, you just have to pretend like you are that thing.  You know?

You want to be happy?  Dress the part.  Slap on a smile and be happy.  The first time you do it, you may just feel dumb…smiling for no reason like that like a big dummy.  But the second time you do it, who knows?  You might actually start to feel a little better.  The third?  Maybe even better.  Eventually your smiles will not only fool other people into thinking that you’re actually happy…you might even start to fool yourself.  How about that?

Dress the part.

You want to forgive someone who hurt you?  Act like you have.  Seriously.  Just act like that.  When those negative thoughts pop into your mind, tell yourself that that person is forgiven.  You don’t have to mean it.  Just say it.  Again – at first, it will feel silly.  You’ll feel like a liar.  But the next time?  Maybe it will feel like a little less of a lie.  The next time?  Even less.  Eventually, maybe it just might not be a lie.  Maybe it’ll even become the truth.

Maybe you can put on that little imaginary cloak of forgiveness and finally – finally – just move on.

Dress the part.

Fill in the blank with whatever you need to fill it in with.  You want to be a more positive person?  Act like you’re a positive person.  You want to be a better friend?  Be a better friend.  You want to trust someone?  Trust them.

You want to love someone?  Love them.

Dress the part.

Start with baby steps.  Then bigger steps.  Then keep increasing your stride until you’re moving at full speed.

YOU alone have the power to change everything.

***

“Endeavor to be what you desire to appear.”
– Socrates