Category Archives: Body Image


I was reading about what to give up for Lent here and here. It made me think about what would be good for me to go without. I am taking 4 different exercise classes at my University this semester, and I have found myself comparing other’s bodies to my own. I have discovered that when I compare myself to someone else, even if I am “favored” in the comparison (ex. I’m thinner/better/tanner/etc. than her) I am less happy with my own capabilities and features and am less loving of those around me.

The partner trait to comparison is Judgement. In order to compare two things, a judgement must be made about each of them to establish what grounds are available to comparison. I don’t want to be a judgmental person. I find myself doing this more often then I want to admit. I loved what Meg wrote here:

I remember being a little girl and going to school with another little girl. And I remember the moment that someone else said to me, she’s fat.And I said, she is not. She is not fat. How can you say that she is fat? Truth it, I don’t know if she was fat or not. I can’t tell you anything about the shape of her body other than that she was tall.

As a little girl I didn’t look at others as fat or not. My eyes didn’t register that as a thing to take note of.

Sitting in Tom’s office, years ago, I said, I want to go back to that place. I want to not know if someone is fat or not because I simply haven’t noticed. Because it’s not part of my visual vocabulary. But I don’t think it’s possible. Because once you see something, how do you un-see it? 

If I could let go of looking at others and finding them or myself lacking, I would be more able to see all of the good that they (and I) have. When I judge or compare, I am focusing on one thing, and putting one of the two of us down. I love the notion of a visual vocabulary, and removing certain words that lead to judgement and comparison from that vocabulary.

What would you take from your visual vocabulary? How do you handle judgement and comparison?


Pinning for a (better?) you

pinterest logo wikipedia

I love Pinterest. Unabashedly. Probably too much. But I also have a problem with how it is used. (There is a difference). I have started looking through the pins and seeing them for what they really are. So many (this is often on the ‘Everything’ section, so it isn’t just who I follow) of these pins are “get rid of ___ in 5 minutes a day!” or “3000 tricks for smooth flat abs” There is not time in the day to do all the exercises “every woman should do”. (More on this at a later date)

Today I saw a pin that was for postnatal exercises. Great idea, help the body recover from 9 months of abnormality. What really bothered me was the next statement, “Start this the day you bring baby home”. While I currently do not have any children, I know a lot about the process of birth (academically, of course). From what I understand, the day after you have a baby, you hurt, and you are tired. Babies are demanding on their own. A woman doesn’t need the world telling her that she needs to start attacking her body 48 hours after expelling a human from it. It took 9 months to get in that shape, and it’s going to take some time to get it back. But starting day one just seems overly aggressive to me.

I think that moms need to spend some time getting used to being a mother, no matter how many other children they have. They need to adjust to being that child’s mother. And that child doesn’t really care if her mother is still wearing maternity pants a week later. And that’s what really matters.