Before I begin, I’d like to make it very clear that as individuals we are all entitled to our own opinions, you as much as I, and I as much as you. That is all. 🙂
Hi There, All.
Today I’d like to briefly discuss a slightly more serious topic than what’s usually addressed on Lace & Lilacs… in other words, no sweet ‘lil links, personal life updates, or travel recs will be featured here today.
Instead, let’s talk body image. (I know – it’s not at all relevant to this lifestyle blog, but stay with me, please.)
I won’t be providing you with a positive pep talk, just so you know – that is far from the purpose of today’s post.
Let’s kick things off with ‘story time’, shall we?
Not long ago I was on Facebook, perusing the articles, status updates, etc…, as most of us do every so often. Now, I recently joined a blogger network that happens to have a Facebook group for simplified interaction between its members. A participant in said group posted to the board, going on about a certain company that sent her a free cellulite set. She praised it, considered herself ‘lucky to review it’, and encouraged other women to reach out to this brand about receiving a set of their own for reviewal.
There are no words that adequately describe how disgusted I was by this.
Okay, I know, I know that in the grand scheme of things, it’s honestly not that big of a deal.
Except, except… it kind of is.
As women, we all struggle with body image issues. Regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, hair color, height, etc… this is one of the few things all of us ladies have in common. Why bother denying it? It’s true.
BUT. Our insecurities do not define us, nor does our physical appearance. Why bother with thigh cream when cellulite is natural, harmless, and completely healthy? The fat in our thighs aids in the development of our babies’ brains during pregnancy. It serves a wonderful, wonderful purpose and helps to create new life.
We will all age. Wrinkles, bone loss, graying hair… it is inevitable. Why then, spend a significant amount of time and a great deal of money on a temporary ‘fix’ that, oftentimes, is nothing more than a meticulously crafted scam to trick us out of our hard earned cash?
I am not against make up, of course, or wanting to look nice for whatever reason, but it’s often taken too far in today’s society. Bloggers encouraging their impressionable audiences to ‘thin out’, ‘lose weight’, or ‘look like such and such model’ concerns me. It’s one thing to purchase a beauty product for personal use – but publicly supporting a kit such as the one previously mentioned can inflict serious harm unto others.
I’m sure my longtime readers are aware of a serious health crisis I faced over a year ago… while the details of this are highly personal, and may never be shared in this space, let me just say this: life or death situations make you realize what’s important; they force you to see the bigger picture, and come to term to terms with the fact that some goals simply aren’t worth working toward; particularly if the ‘work’ doesn’t make you happy. Odds are, even if you reach your ‘goal weight’, ‘cleanse’ your perfectly healthy body, or put the aforementioned ‘cellulite kit’ to use, you still won’t be content or satisfied. The underlying problem, which you might not even be conscious of, could be a psychological trouble, a failing relationship, even an emotional disorder. That’s for you yourself to determine.
I don’t mean to sound at all dramatic. This is just the truth; my truth.
I find that I often fixate on my physical appearance when an emotion or situation I can’t control presents itself to me. It’s a bit of a defense mechanism, I suppose. But over-analyzing our looks instead of taking a step back and examining the bigger picture, can, in many situations, have negative consequences.
Back to the point: The promotion of cellulite kits is destructive and harmful, and no matter how exciting or promising an opportunity to work with a company that backs such a destructive product may seem… it’s not worth it. Think of the self harm, eating disorders, and self doubt it could very well trigger in your readers.
Just think about it.
Abby, you’re so wise. I love this post.
Thank you, Kayle!
Wisdom… At so young an age. Lucky you!!!!
Hmmm, I wouldn’t consider myself wise. Not just yet. 🙂 But thank you, Tessa!
I don’t understand what is so wrong with aging gracefully. Why does our society expect people who are in their 40s to look like they’re in their 20s?! Thanks for your thoughts and comments. If only more people thought like that…
Thanks for your comment, Erin! I believe that everyone should have a choice as far as beauty products are concerned, but also feel that society pressures many people into acting in ways they don’t particularly want to.
Personally, I want to live every stage of life for what it is, and enjoy doing so. Of course, I’m still very young, so who knows how I’ll feel into twenty years… at the moment, though I am content with myself and hope to be so in the future.
I’m see cellulite kits like how I see shaving kits. Women shouldn’t be pressured by society into feeling like they have to shave (or get rid of cellulite), but if they like it that way and want to, then I say go for it! I mean, don’t let anyone stop you from shaving. I’m not sure what the whole story is, but I agree with you when you say that people shouldn’t promote products by saying “you gotta get this cellulite kit,” but I’m okay with them sharing a product they love by saying “I was looking for a cellulite kit and this one has worked really well for me; I’m glad I found it.” I-statements are key! Because when you talk about something that is true for you, you can’t be wrong, but when you start speaking for other people, that can become a problem. Unfortunately, in our excitement, we often forget to use them. -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s
Oh, I completely agree with you, Audrey! I hope that my post didn’t come across as a one-sided argument… that wasn’t at all my intention!
I think people should take their personal situations into account when deciding whether or not to use things like shaving or cellulite kits… I myself love beauty products and use makeup, hair products, etc.
When a product can be triggering to others, however, I believe it’s best to keep mum about it, or at least make it very clear why you’re using it, and that it’s a completely personal decision rather than a “you have to use this because xyz and if you don’t you’re xyz!”.
If that makes any sense, hahah… xoxo
Such wise and true words, thank you for sharing them. I agree with you wholeheartedly. I also agree that our worries about body image are often sparked by a deeper feeling of vulnerability and inadequacy – but I would suggest that, for many women, that feeling is influenced to a large degree by the media telling us we are inadequate, we are too large or too small, too dark-haired, not enough of something else.
The problem I have with people personally promoting something like a cellulite kit (which of course they are entitled to do) is that over the years I’ve seen the amazing power of “gatekeepers” – popular people online who share something and because it’s them sharing it, the thing goes viral. Never underestimate the power of your individual voice.
Oh, you are so correct, Sarah. The media has such influence over women of all ages, and constantly makes us feel inadequate. It’s nearly impossible to tune out, too… of course, I disagree with society on many issues (and agree with some, as well 🙂 ), so checking the news tends to be a bit of a disappointment.
I believe that certain things shouldn’t be addressed by the “gatekeepers” you mentioned, especially when they can be triggering for others. They are entitled to do so, of course… I’m not at all suggesting that the right should be stripped away. But when sharing products or news that could potentially have a negative affect (or effect?) on others, it’s important to word things carefully, and make it clear why you use said product, and that it’s a personal choice that you don’t necessarily recommend for everyone.
Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment, Sarah. xx
ps, I’m sorry I forgot to add – I didn’t know about your life or death situation and I’m really glad you came through it and everything is okay now.
Thank you so much, Sarah. You’re too kind. I felt a bit awkward wording it so dramatically in the post, but it was accurate.
And yes, I’m very well now! My life is only going to improve from here. 🙂
Abby, this was a beautifully put post!
Couldn’t of said it better myself! And it’s always so great to hear fellow woman building each other up, and encouraging inner beauty.
love this real talk.
Wonderful post lovely!!
Awww, thanks, Bec! xo!
I really love this post. And I agree that everyone is beautiful in their own way. I guess though, that everyone just wants to feel confident in their own skin and maybe through cellulite kits that’s what works for some people.
But at the end of day, it doesn’t matter how you look on the outside, so much as the inside.
Oh, thanks for the kind comment, Melissa!
I completely agree that feeling comfortable in your own skin is important, and love beauty products myself! I think what needs to stop is the ignorant promotion of things that not everyone can use/see without feeling or being triggered.
Sending hearts!!! <3
You can’t even know how timely this post is. In all honestly, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror today and looked away, unhappy with all the “imperfections” that I notice in myself. Sometimes I wonder why I am so critical of myself.. as you said, I’m sure it comes from a deeper place of vulnerability and insecurity. When I feel like I have no control, it becomes easy to grasp onto whatever I believe I can control. A vicious cycle indeed! Sigh, anyhow.. thank you for posting such wisdom. xo
Oh, thank you for your comment, Laura! I’m so glad you enjoyed this post. xo!
Oh, thank you Abby for posting this. I woke up in a bad mood this morning with that broken record experience of thinking I am fat and feeling frustrated. But “feeling fat” has nothing to do with my weight, for me, the issue is completely between my ears. Knowing that the issue is my thinking makes it much easier to deal with on one level. Instead of hitting the gym or dieting, I introspect and write and talk to friends and family. Peace and well being comes from the inside out not the outside in (or at least that is how I have found it). Like you, I get upset and angry when I read about people trying to fix themselves by using creams or diets or exercise. I know that the pursuit is futile and it is frustrating to watch people that I love trying to fix their bodies, when all that really needs to be fixed is their thinking.
Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment, Kathryn! xoxo. <3
I really enjoyed reading this post, Abby and am happy to report you’re not the only one who thinks like this! It’s astonishing how much we can desire to be something we are not, to be better this or that rather than being who we beautifully are! Thankyou for bringing this to light, even if it’s not always easy, and for staying true to what you believe in!
Aww, thank you so much for your kind comment, Lucy-Claire! I was a bit nervous about posting this, but it’s something I feel strongly about so I thought I’d give it a go.
It just isn’t worth it; trying to fix the things we can’t change when there is so much life to be lived and beauty out there.