Monday, March 5, 2018

More Than A Magazine Cover + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content

Recently I have been impacted by several outspoken movements that are attempting to help women redefine what is perceived as the primary value in women--their physical attractiveness. Physical beauty has traditionally been dictated by what society says. For instance, in ancient China, the smaller a woman's feet were, the more beautiful/desirable she was. And so a woman went to great and tortuous lengths to make sure that her feet were small enough for her to be perceived as beautiful. If she was worth enough, she would be able to be treated well and have a a comfortable life. 

Is it any different in today's society? The fashion, beauty and now, even health industries have seemingly successfully defined a woman's value based on some very narrow perimeters that say she must look no more than 25, be no more than a size 6, and in order to be perceived as healthy, her boobs, booty, and legs must be free of cellulite, and jiggle-free. She must be able to look great in anything--- volleyball shorts, bikini tops, and mini skirts. Her face must be unlined and her hair shouldn't be gray. 
So many of us have bought into that notion and have suffered because of it. How often do we refuse to go to the gym because we don't want to look in the mirrors and see ourselves compared to others? How often do we discount any other achievements we have made because the numbers on the scale are not what we want? When someone tags us on Facebook with photos which I've totally noticed, for some reason, never seem to be our best look, are we mortified that the public sees this or do we just think, "Not the best shot of ME, but she certainly made sure SHE looks good." (Ha Ha!) When we see wrinkles or signs of aging, do we rush to the med spa to get an injection to smooth it out or turn to the latest beauty discoveries to help slow down the process that happens to everyone, but a process no one wants to happen to them.

I must say I am guilty of all of the above in some form or fashion. The power of the media and societal rankings are powerful indeed. But I have realized that these manipulative, mind-altering lies about my worth as a woman are not healthy and so I've tried to fight back the best that I can so I can move forward. Here are some things that I do consistently:

When I go to a gym, I purposefully wear clothing that is not attention-grabbing or anything but functional. I do it so that I don't need to feel like I'm competing in any way, shape or form with anyone else. I just go and git 'her done!

I picked  the most non-judgemental being I know of for an exercise partner--my dog. She lets me do things at my own pace, in my own way. No judgement!

I don't weigh myself as much as I used to. If I feel healthy, comfortable, and energized after what I've done for myself the day before, then that is good enough for me. I use my own body as a regulator for my health, not the scale. 

I use real women as examples for my own social media. I follow authentic people who aren't into posing and showing that their worth is based on their bodies. I don't photo shop my own photographs and I never attempt to be more than I am. However, I do need to improve at feeling comfortable being photographed, especially when I'm not feeling at my best. We need more real women to help others know that we all have worth, more than just our bodies.

I was especially impressed at something Jessica Biel did at the latest Golden Globes. She actually let her gray roots show through...barely. It's something that I do a lot! I had to give her an air high five for that one!

I especially love this quote by Erin McKean--"You don't have to be pretty. You don't owe prettiness to anyone. Not your partner, not your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don't owe it to your mother, you don't owe it to your children, you don't owe it to civilization. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked 'female'. "

Here are some links for sites I love that are all about positive, non-body-focused female empowerment.  Invisible Women Documentary, Beauty Redefined, Leah Darrow

Today is "My Post Monday!", a curation of the week's best original content. It's all about posts from Crafts to Camping, Wellness to Wealth, Fashion to Food, and whatever else is on the brain!  I  open up with a post of my own and then follow it up with a linky of the week's top original blog posts! It's all about what the writer thinks, believes, and knows--in other words, they are active, writing blogs. If I happen to find a great original, non-sponsored post, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MyPostMonday hashtag!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize! (Affiliate links welcome!)     

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