Thursday, July 19, 2012

Curves, Confidence and Criticism

By this time in the week, most of you have already heard about or read the backlash towards a post on a self-proclaimed "pro-skinny" website about Kate Upton being "well-marbled", a.k.a. too fat to be a fashion model. I will not mention the website's name or link to the post because I refuse to advertise for such hate. The blogger in charge of the website is a self-proclaimed former model working in the fashion industry, and while she rarely posts, when she does it's full of hate. While she claims her site is not a pro-ana site (websites encouraging and offering tips on living with anorexia), she admits she did take down her featured "Starving Tip of the Day" because of questionable tips being shared. A quick scan of the community forum shows women writing about their periods disappearing from weight loss (amenorrhoea) and how to avoid saggy skin to maintain the much desired "super skinny" figure. I will leave you to make up your own minds.

Apparently her main beef (ha!) is that society as a whole mistreats skinny women and verbally abuses them while fat women are embraced and exonerated. According to the blogger, we will often tell a skinny girl that she is "too thin and needs to eat a cheeseburger", but we never tell fat women that they are "too fat and shouldn't eat anything." Now this may be hard to believe, but once upon a time I was a skinny girl- my step father used to call me Toothpick in fact. Did it hurt my feelings and my self-esteem? Sure, okay. I remember during my toothpick days getting sent home from school because my shorts were too short. I remember my mother fuming that if I was fat no one would have said anything, but because I had a cute little figure I was being picked on. Poor, bullied skinny girl marginalized and punished for being thin. You know what hurt worse? My first summer home from college when I overheard my grandfather say "Damn, Katie sure has gotten fat." And when I say overheard, I mean he said it while I was sitting three feet away from me. Loudly. And he wasn't kidding. Which incident hurt worse?

In a society where ALL women, not just plus size, are inundated constantly with images of the ideal woman (and I promise you it's the skinny one), it's no wonder there is so much hate among women. Skinny hates fat; fat hates skinny. Hell, skinny hates skinny and fat hates fat. We are equal opportunity snarkers. What causes this trash talking? Are we insecure or jealous or self-loathing? What's the deal. The blogger insists that Kate Upton resembles a squishy brick and chides women for striving for the lazy, lardy look of Upton.

Too bad my interpretation of "lazy, lardy" doesn't resemble this!
Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated Online
Since receiving death threats, the blogger has apologized,and many people have added their own two cents to the discussion (including myself with this post), and Kate Upton has responded by saying she's not going to starve to be thin and that she can't enjoy life "not eating and miserable." And I say "Amen and can I buy you a cheeseburger, Kate?" The blogger continues to back pedal, however, stating that her blog simply celebrates her "preferred" body type- super skinny. She thinks it is unfair that plus-sized fatties get to celebrate their curves without backlash or criticism. Really? I didn't realize that America, the land of the free and fat, had started embracing fat women. As far as I can tell, we are still demonized and looked down upon by many. Remember the Gabi Fresh "Fatkini" controversy from earlier this summer? The only hateful comment I've received stated simply that I was fat and ugly and needed to stop blogging. When readers defended me, telling the anonymous hater that she was just jealous, she kindly clarified that I was nothing to be jealous of!

So true, so true. We should not be jealous. There is enough hate in the world. Why do we choose to hate ourselves and others because of our bodies. Didn't we learn years ago that we are all the same on the inside? Doesn't it hurt a skinny girl to be called a "flat chested gypsy ho" (yes, I got called that in sixth grade- extra points for "Mean Girls" creativity) just as much as it hurt a plus-sized girl to be called a "fat cow"? Shouldn't we admire bodies instead of envy them? Shouldn't we accept bodies instead of hate them? This post was actually inspired by my friend Tricia who recently posted on Facebook:

I haven't always been accepting of my body but recently that has changed, I love my body and it's size exactly the way it is. And while I realize my pride in my body has led me to say hateful things about other body types(particularly skinny ie "That girl is too thin needs to eat something" or even big girls like me regretfully) I am stating now that this will happen no more! EVERYONE SHOULD LOVE THEIR BODIES NO MATTER THE SIZE OR SHAPE EQUALLY. We are all beautiful no matter how many times someone tells you you aren't.


She's 18 years old. Imagine if we could raise all of our girls to feel that way- not only about themselves, but about each other?! But to do this we must lead by example. We must be the change we want to see, right? Stop hating other women's bodies, and, most importantly, stop hating your own body. So start today- tell me: What do you love about your body?

81 comments:

Diana Teodoro said...

Great post. I've also written about this incident here http://thegirlwhocouldntbeafashionista.blogspot.ie/2012/07/she-isnt-fat-youre-just-sick.html
Like you and your friend I have learned to love my body the way it is and I have accepted that I'm fat. No matter what I do I will always be fat again. And I have no hate against skinny, thin, athletic or curvaceous ladies. We are all built differently and we're all entitled to make our own choices, no questions asked.
Love,
Diana from http://thegirlwhocouldntbeafashionista.blogspot.ie/

Selah said...

Katie, this post made me cry. I cried for myself and all the girls out there who can't seem to love themselves and others, no matter what size they are. I cried to think that this horrible self-loathing and other-loathing might one day get hold of my precious daughter. I cried from frustration over the seeming enormity of the problem.

Then I got angry. NO MORE will I speak ill of my body! NO MORE will I allow my husband to speak ill of his body! NO MORE! I will FIGHT to keep this from happening to my children! I will FIGHT to help them maintain the positive outlook that they have right now!

You asked what I love about my body - I love my boobs. There, I said it. I spent years hating the fact that I had big boobs. I got teased by other girls, by boys, and even by my own dad (he was uncomfortable with me growing up and handled it really badly). My boobs made me stand out in dance class. I got unwelcome attention from older guys. I hated it!

But now I love my boobs. They are amazing! They produced milk that sustained my babies lives. They are a soft place for my children to rest their heads or cry on when they're hurt. My husband enjoys them. And, when properly supported, they look damn good too!

Colleen P. said...

I saw this on FB yesterday and frankly I had to laugh. I showed my husband the picture of Kate Upton looking "well marbled" and he clearly thought she looked pretty tasty as I had to restrain him from licking the monitor. I think we can safely disregard this person and her issues. What others think of us is really none of our business! The real sadness here is that so many seem to think that their own issues deserve special consideration.

I followed the link from Erica B's site and I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!! You and I are built very similarly and it's wonderful to see the clothes on someone else so that I can use an objective eye to really SEE how they look. On myself I always go right to the spots I dislike the most, ya know what I mean? On someone else I think "wow, that looks really cute!"

By the way? The picture where you're seeing your friends baby the first time? You look LOVELY! My first thought was NOT "wow she looks a bit untidy" my first thought was "WOW she's got flawless skin!".

Sharon S said...

Katie, this was such an inspiring, well written post about the subject! I agree that it comes down to insecurity about our own selves, which then leads to jealousy, which leads to women hating other women.

I think it's absolutely ridiculous that the author is complaining that skinny girls are mistreated. Really?! Cry me a river. If the worst thing that's ever happened to her was being told to eat more, then she's had a pretty good life.

-Sharon
The Tiny Heart

Chris Williams said...

Love this post! You know I've been skinny and now I'm not skinny and I can assure you that my happiness or my feeling fulfilled never came from the size I wore or the weight on the scale. We are too hard on ourselves and too critical of other people who are different from us. We need to learn to love ourselves, love each other and find a place of acceptance.

Tashia G. said...

Fantastic post Katie! Loving the body you have is so important. The thing I hate most is when people make inferences about your health based on size. Healthy comes in lots of different packages! Skinny does not equal healthy. My mom smokes, eats a lot of processed foods, drinks a lot of soda, and never exercises and is a size 4. I eat fairly healthy, lead an active lifestyle, I've never smoked, and I'm a size 14/16! How is my mom more "healthy" than I am?
.

Marie_McGrath said...

As always, you are such an inspiration. I love the way you stand up for what you believe in! And I totally agree of course. It's so important to just accept and LOVE the way we are. I remember that when I was modeling I used to get constantly critized for being too fat to be a model. It was a really difficult time for me and I had a lot of insecurity issues. But later on in life I realized that I am beautiful just the way I am. And even though I am about 30 pounds heavier than I was when I was modeling, I still feel prettier now than I did back then, because now I love myself and treat myself right. Keep up these great inspirational posts Katie! You are awesome.

Faith Ledlow said...

Wonderful!!

Catie said...

Great post, Katie! Posts like these are why I love you. =) You're so open, honest and your inner confidence shines through. Coincidentally I read the story about Kate yesterday, and couldn't believe someone would call her fat! Really, is a size 0 the only acceptable size for these women? And do they really think that a body of an 11 year old girl is sexier than a woman's body that has curves? I certainly don't see it.

I am fortunate that I've never had an issue with my weight. But that being said, I still see the beauty in women who are bigger than me. I don't think that we all have to be the same size to be beautiful. And personality has A LOT to do with beauty. If you're thin, gorgeous and a bitch, well in my book that doesn't make you a very attractive person!

And as far as health goes, I have friends that a bigger than me and much healthier! If I had to 'run for my life' I would probably die. For reals! I get winded running up the stairs to get the phone. haha We are all built differently and should embrace it! This would be a pretty boring world if we were all exactly the same. Don't you think?

~ Catie

Sorry for the long comment. Maybe I should do my own post on this subject. =)

Frugalistablog said...

Way to go! I drafted a similar post last night after reading a Kate Upton article. I also had a post months ago called 'if real women have curves, then what about us skinny bitches?' It was intended to try to break down the constantly one-upping different body types. We need to embrace differences, not put down one to put up the other. Right?
I got inspired to post pics of my new swimsuit after seeing your cute ones. Stay tuned...

EvaNadine said...

brava!

maria.kreps said...

Great post! I am really enjoying your blog. You are inspiring and wonderful!

lovelovefashion said...

such a good post and a really really important one too -of course body loving should have nothing to do with shaming others, and jealousy something to be avoided - if we are truly happy, all of us ladies absolutely truly happy with ourselves, we should recognise the beauty of all women and accept it in ourselves - every woman is beautiful, and i sympathise greatly with any woman suffering any form of eating disorder or who suffers from an inaccurate view of their bodies - it is a debilitating way of existing - i'm all for every woman on this planet to love and respect themselves and to honour all other forms, i'm not naive but i conduct myself in this manner and i bring my daughters up like this - they know God created us all differently and thats just great, beacause we all are different x

Modenmeyer said...

I agree wholeheartedly that women of all sizes should celebrate their bodies! As long as they are healthy and happy that is all that should matter. I do however have to add that everyone defending Kate Upton because she happened to be called overweight is a little ridiculous. Had the SkinnyGirl insulted a true "Plus Size" woman then I can see people coming to her defense. Kate Upton happens to be very young and in my opinion quite thin. She will be fine. What we need to do is stick to what is fact...some women are thin and some aren't and that is Okay. Using something like the SkinnyGirl blog to jump on a soapbox just adds fuel to the fire. Most of the women defending Kate aren't even close to her size yet feel compelled to act like they are in the same category. They aren't looking at themselves as they truly are or maybe they do see themselves correctly and are just offended that if Kate Upton is being called fat what does that make them?...be happy, be healthy and who gives a hoot about the rest.

Hannah @ Tattoos and Pearls said...

Thank you for this post Katie. Seriously. I didn't hear about this blogger or her disgusting post but I just googled it and read it (so to be informed when reading the rest of your post) and can't even believe someone like that exists. You are so right- why are we all so jealous? Too often I am comparing myself to another woman. Honestly. Way.too.often. And I drive myself nuts thinking I am not pretty enough, thin enough, don't have good enough skin, etc. And if even half of that negative thinking went into something else everyday- I would be so much better off. I know this and still it takes someone like you to write this article to make me truly realize it about myself. And thinking negative thoughts about others? I am so guilty!
So- here it goes. One thing I love about my body: my face. I admit it! I think I have a pretty face! (and it took me way too long to figure out what I like about myself. so I need to think about that more often).

Hannah Tattoos and Pearls

grownandcurvywoman said...

Kudos to a awesome post! Only in America we would consider Kate Upton "fat". I feel bad for younger girls and women who look to these so called sites for inspiration and continue to hate themselves b/c they dont look like a model (who are all above 5'9 and weigh less than 120lbs btw!). Its sending a message that the only worth a woman has is her looks and her body. That is a VERY dangerous message to send. Too many girls and women are involved in abusive relationships because they have little to no self esteem. Blogs like yours help women to accept themselves no matter what size they are. I love seeing your inteligence, beauty and confidence leap from the screen. We need more positive images and women to say "ENOUGH" to this crap.

Now that Ive gotten off my soap box (tee hee), I love my waist, smile, booty and hips! Loving your body is the best thing you can do for yourself!

Always Maylee said...

Katie, you are seriously an amazing woman. I loved reading your honest and inspiring thoughts on this very real subject. Truth is, women are insecure. Skinny women, fat women, smart women, tall women, short women... even 'average' women feel insecure. And insecurities turn to jealousy and that turns into hatred. We need to teach our girls from a young age the importance of confidence and self-love. Until you learn to love yourself and know your own self worth, you can't expect others to see you or love you the way you truly deserve to be.

Did you see the recent story of the 13 yr old who petitioned Seventeen Magazine to stop airbrushing their models.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/30/julia-bluhm-seventeen-petition_n_1464445.html

I wish we lived closer because I know we'd be the best of friends. :)

xo, Yi-chia

Carrie said...

Great post! All women are beautiful ... no matter what their size or shape. And we should all put our energies into supporting each other vs. sniping at each other over superficial differences.
Hmm, my fave body part? I'd have to say my legs. :)

Sarah With A Bow said...

I really wanted to talk about this on my blog, but I had no idea where to start. My first impression (after horror) was, "wtf is a 'squishy brick,' anyway?" Worst metaphors ever. Beyond that, though, I'm guess I'm still astonished with the amount of hate I find on both ends of the spectrum. I got flak when I was bigger and I got flak when I was at my skinniest. Honestly, right now, somewhere in between the two, this is where I get the fewest negative comments, I guess because my body size is not threatening in either direction. Which is stupid.

I have to admit I sometimes judge. But instead of it being over someone's size, it often ends up being over their poor choice in how to dress that body they have (and hopefully love). I'm equally critical of myself--which doesn't necessarily make it okay, but I'm admitting that it's there. I find it really interesting that "plus-size" (I'll use that loosely because, apparently, size 8 and up can be plus-sized) women are EITHER labeled as gluttons who cannot control themselves OR overly-sexualized as if their curves mean they are promiscuous. Or, I suppose, implying that the thin woman is asexual. (Side node: shouldn't that be saying something? Because if having some curves = sexy, then why are we actively as a society trying *not* to be sexy?)

I teach high school girls and on a team of 30 it is rare not to have at least 3 with actual eating disordered behavior and at least 6 that do not feel comfortable in their bodies. Part of coaching the team, honestly, is building up their confidence and self-esteem and challenging their views of their body, health and appearance with what we ask of them (uniforms that flatter all of their figures, teaching about nutrition, etc.). Never having walked that path where I was unhappy AND without a clear solution (my solution to my unhappiness at 200lbs was to change my lifestyle and do what I had to do), I cannot imagine how lonely and restricting that must be.

ashleigh mcelfresh said...

As much as I live for your fashion blog, I love when you do posts like this. As a former skinny girl-nicknamed feather- I hated being told to eat a steak. Or worse that my butt was too big for my 98lb body. But since having two kids, getting older, and my nephew dying i have put on weight. I am 180lbs. This is the first time I've ever admitted my true weight since my first child was born. And I love it. I love actually having boobs. Do I wish I were thinner hell yes! But most days, I am happy. I feel beautiful, inside and out. That's what I love about your blog. It is about feeling/looking/being your best. The fashion is just a very awesome bonus.

Kristin said...

Ok, so I started writing this loooong comment and then decided maybe I should just write a post about the topic! LOL

Coming soon...

Jenny Lauren said...

What a fabulously written post, Katie! You and the other commenters here have articulated my thoughts way better than I could have so I'll just say that, as women, we need to stop judging each other and ourselves. Everyone suffers when we judge. We need to celebrate our own bodies and learn to stick together as a gender.

xo Jenny
www.crazystylelove.com

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Can't wait!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

This seriously made my day! Thank you so much Ashleigh! I'm with you- sure, I'd love to be thinner, but I'm rockin' what I got and I am not going to be ashamed!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

The fact that both sides hate is really what started the conversation. I see people say "real women have curves" and then people counter with all women are real women. True! I think everyone judges- that's just human nature . It's a tough habit to break. You (and I) are doing exactly what everyone needs to do, working with young girls to build up their self-esteem and confidence in healthy ways. I often have older girls mentor my students, especially if I see them struggle with body issues and I try to constantly set a positive example in my classroom. We DO NOT talk bad about people. We will not call someone fat or gay or retarded.

I also loved your paragraph about the asexual skinny versus the sexy curvy. It's a very interesting debate... though curvy I think is a word under fire. Someone found my blog once by googling "Why do fat women call themselves curvy?" Ouch!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Amen!!! I love that I am positive enough that I can admire your legs (bow chicka bow wow ;) instead of hating you for them!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Awww, I love you so much Yi-Chia! Yes, every woman is insecure because of what we see and you are right- that insecurity manifests into awful things. I am pleased about the Seventeen Magazine decision. It's a step in the right direction. I mean we have grown women who still don't understand how photoshopped images are and strive for impossible realities. Of course, young girls are going to be influenced even more so! I definitely think the key is getting to them early, exactly like what you said!

PS- Aren't you in Tennessee or did I make that up? We need to get together for sure!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

You are absolutely right about the correlation between low self-esteem and negative relationship. My sister is a perfect example. She has just never felt "worthy" of positive love and attention. It's such a shame!

And thank you so much for your kind words about my blog! I also love your waist, smile, booty and hips! You are beautiful!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Yes, I wish I could turn negativity into a positive thing- we should try that! Blogging is definitely a community where you reach out and are positive to other women, but it's often something we need to do in real life as well!

And you do have a beautiful face! And now you know what you like best, so figure out what you like second best!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

I definitely think Kate Upton can handle the criticism, but at the same time we don't know what kind of insecurities she might be dealing with. I think many defend her for the exact reason you stated- because if she is fat then I must be an effin' cow- and frankly that doesn't feel good. Most days I think I look pretty awesome. Could I stand to lose weight? Obviously the answer is yes. Does that mean I deserve to be ridiculed and talked about- of course not. I wish more women would love themselves and not worry about the women thinner than them or fatter than them!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

I think you are on to something. Sometimes to love your body is to shame someone else's body (and does that really make it love). For example, "Ugh you can see her ribs, glad I've got a little meat on my bones." Or "Nasty, look at her gut, my stomach is nice and flat." That's not really loving yourself I think. I don't think you are naive- I wish everyone would raise their daughters the same way!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Thank you so much, Maria! I really appreciate it :)

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Thank you! Thank you!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Can't wait to see your pics! And I would love to read your perspective. I mention that whole "real women have curves" in a response somewhere above you. I get what the blogger is talking about with skinny-ism, but I don't think to the extreme that she does- there's plenty of bashing to go around. I agree with everything you say! Love you!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

I would love to read your post, and I totally don't mind your comment. This post has got a great conversation going on! I think if more people of all sizes could see the beauty in all shapes we would all be in a better place with ourselves. (Personality is also extremely important. Teens are so caught up in dating hot boys or girls- they don't realize personality is way more important than looks!)

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Thank you!

Grace said...

This is such an inspiring post. It angers me when people aren't comfortable enough in their own skin so they put down others. The sad part is the Kate Upton's body is fabulous. It's because of ____ (insert negative adjective here) people like these that are ruining the minds of children! I saw on good morning america a study, and a majority of children have said that they have "dieted" before to be skinny. It's terrible.

A Southern Drawl

Savannah said...

I so totally love you Katie! Even though I may not be all too happy with my plus-sized body, I have a fiancé that loves me just the way am I. He gives me the boosts of confidence I need every now and then.

My favorite parts of me are my eyes, and weirdly enough, my feet or at least the tops, not so much the bottoms.

I wish I could meet up with you one day and have a chat.

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Marie, thank you so much! I can't imagine the stress to be thinner when you are already thin! You are beautiful and have an enviable body, but most importantly a sweet soul! You are awesome!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Amen! Sadly, I am pretty unhealthy, but I am at a place now where I am willing to do something about it because I want to not because someone else tells me I need to! But this is a perfect example of assuming, and you know what they say about assuming... ;)

Always Maylee said...

Haha, a little further... I'm in Boston! Let me know if you ever make your way up here! :)

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Exactly! I am much happier now than I was when I was skinny, but like you said, that has nothing to do with my size, it has everything to do with my self-esteem and my confidence. I love LOVE your last two sentences! Can you imagine how great life would be if we all did that!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

It definitely seemed like a petty argument (at least from a fat girl's point of view). I've had students who were naturally thin and petite and constantly picked on for being "anorexic", so I'm sure that it can be harmful, but most of it I would say was just good-humored teasing. I am guilty of seeing people and thinking or saying "Damn, she needs to eat something!" Now I have to examine why am I saying that- is it coming from a place of concern or jealousy? Thank you for chiming in, and following me even though I'm a well-marbled fatty and you need to eat something ;) (just kidding, just kidding)

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

That's all I could think too when I saw her! I was like, "Damn! She's hot!" So glad you came over from Erica's blog and that you like what you see! That's so awesome. Thank you, thank you!

When I go to other blogs I always look at their tummies because that is definitely my least favorite spot, and like you said it's nice to see the clothes and the body and think that looks good or I can wear that!

And thank you for the skin comment- I am super self-conscious about my skin, again I think we are our own worst critics!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Selah, this is why I love you. You are so caring and compassionate and thoughtful. I think you will raise your daughter to love herself and hopefully one day she can help her friends accept themselves. It is tough to stop talking down to your body. I wrote about this subject back in November maybe. I found a quote on Pinterest that said "If we talked to our friends the way we talk to our bodies, we wouldn't have any friends." And I encouraged readers to ask themselves "Would they talk about their daughters the way they talk about themselves?" Such a loaded question. Of course you wouldn't! It really puts things in perspective!

I love my boobs for all of the same reasons you do! They are pretty damn magical!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

I am going to comment on your blog after I read it. Part of loving yourself is accepting yourself, which you have clearly done. I know I will never be a size 0 and I am A-ok with that. I wouldn't want to be! But I don't hate people who are! Thanks for sharing the link.

Misty Tumlin Kerns said...

Katie, your post made me cry. But, Selah, your comment made my cry even harder. I can so sympathize with you! Katie, I think I commented on your post back in November. I have a real problem with self loathing. I have been skinny ("too skinny" I've been told). I am now one curvy Momma with two beautiful babies! However, I feel fat constantly. I look at myself in the mirror, and I hate what I see. I read this blog as part of my morning routine (although I am sometimes late seeing the newest post), and thoroughly enjoy seeing my dear friend Katie looking awesome! I wonder why I can't do that for myself. Since you started this blog, I have been putting more effort into what I wear. I try my best to put on a confident smile and walk out the door feeling and acting like I am my best. But it doesn't work. My husband loves me for me. He has always loved me, no matter what my size. 16 years together and he still tells me I am beautiful and sexy. What is MY problem?! (This comment has gone WAY off course.)

Anyway, I know I deal with my own body image issues, and I do NOT want my precious baby girl (age 2) to deal with the same. The thought of my little angel ever feeling like she is anything less than perfect KILLS ME!!! She is perfect, and always will be. My son (age 5) already doesn't want anyone to see him without a shirt. He thinks his tummy is "fat". He has the slightest little pudge, but he is nowhere near "fat"! That leads me to wonder if my little comments about my own body have started to influence my kids. It hurts me. My kids are perfect. They always will be. I will make the same pledge Selah made.
"NO MORE will I speak ill of my body! NO MORE will I allow my husband to speak ill of his body! NO MORE! I will FIGHT to keep this from happening to my children!"
It starts at home. Everything starts at home. Maybe, just maybe, we can help our little girls (and boys) find the confidence and self-esteem they need to be happy and successful in life.

BTW, I was an early (and big) bloomer as well. I hated my boobs, too. I was in a C cup by the time I was in the 6th grade. I was picked on for my "water balloons". Now, I love my boobs! My boobs are amazing!

Selah said...

Even good-humored teasing can be extremely hurtful to a sensitive teen. I have friends and relatives who are very thin, who struggle to GAIN weight, because that is their genetic makeup. Being teased about being anorexic hurts them. It is basically someone telling them that they look sick!

I also had a college classmate who was anorexic. I majored in dance so weight and body image issues were rampant among my classmates. This girl, who was tiny (under 5 feet, less than 100 lbs.) when I met her, starved herself to under 60 lbs. She had to be hospitalized and couldn't walk because she lost so much muscle mass. It was heartbreaking.

Tara_St said...

This was such a great post and I feel like all the women that commented said it all. I was picked on in grade school for being "fat," which I wasn't. I even had a doctor tell me at 14 that I was overweight! You do not tell an already fragile teen girl that she's fat. In my old age I've come to embrace my curves and focus on the positive things. (i.e. with small boobs, at 29 they are still in the same place that they were at 17 AND I can sometimes go braless). I still try to eat healthy and go to the gym...but that's just so I will stop getting out of breath walking up one flight of stairs.

Tara
Penniless Socialite
Enter My Giveway!

LK said...

Katie I love your blog - ever since I saw one of your outfits pinned by my "skinny" friend onto her My Style board. I was intrigued. Why would someone who didn't have lots of curves want style like someone who did? Now I understand.

I too had an immediate and strong reaction to this story about the blogger who criticized Kate Upton and I think the worst part is the "well-marbled" comment. It really does show that all some people see is meat. We are meat walking around occasionally wearing clothes in some people's eyes. What a disgusting way to see the world. I agree with you that we should stop the body hate, but we should also be aware of the body objectification. Each body is attached to a real person with thoughts, feelings and emotions. It annoys me when I see a catalog or magazine where all the women's (or men's) heads are cropped out of the shot - it makes it that much easier to criticize them for having too much or too little flesh.

We do need to be the change that we want to see and I hope that I will be able to raise my daughter to see bodies as more than just moving meat and to love her body for all the good things it does. At almost 30 years of age, I have finally come to terms with my own curvy body after seeing it perform the miracle of creating a baby. Keep up the good work, girl! You are an inspiration to me every day.

Sarah Suiter said...

My friend wrote a great book about being less crazy about your body. In it she mentions about loving what your body can do NOW, not if you lose 10 or 20 or 100 pounds.

http://thehairpin.com/2012/06/be-less-crazy-about-your-body-for-the-children

Selah said...

I love you too Katie! Thank you for writing this blog and for always responding to comments. You inspire me.

I was thinking about this post last night and a song popped into my head. It's a song my dad wrote when I was a little girl. The verses are about different body parts / features (like Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes) and the chorus is taken from Psalm 139:14.

"I am fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of the Father and His Son. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. What a wonder God has done!"

Colleen Rust said...

Katie, this is such an incredible and inspirational post. I agree, there is far too much hate between women and much of that is centered around negative body images. It is embarrassing that women like the nasty blogger exist out there! Not only are you absolutely beautiful and incredibly stylish, you are so inspirational! Being beautiful isn't about weight, it is about your character and embracing who you are. Thank you so much for sharing such wise and kind words!

Selah said...

Misty, your reply has me crying again. Thank you for your honesty.

Sometimes parenting is more about correcting our own behavior than it is about correcting theirs!

EFournier said...

I believe all extremes are bad and unhealthy! There are so many bad effects on extreme dieting that its sad that people overlook them in order to conform to what society tells them.

What we should be teaching young girls is to be healthy, eat foods that are good for their bodies and maintain a weight that is the right one for their height and body structure... What is good for one is not necessarily the best for the next person.

We are all different and that's what makes all of beautiful!

ChiWei said...

Hi! I came over from A Simply Klassic Home, and really appreciated this post. I'm not going to go read the hate, but I am amused by the "lazy, lardy" thing. Heck, if that's what lazy and lardy is, I'll take it! For me, it's just a matter of being healthy, at whatever size. Not that I am (fit, that is), but there's health problems and body image issues at both ends of the spectrum, so why differentiate? I think we should just strive for happy and healthy, and tell the rest to go bunk. :-)

maggie b. said...

Such a great post!! I didn't read the post that you are referring too, and apparently I missed the Gabi Fresh post as well, but I get the idea. It's a shame that woman, on the whole, are so insecure with ourselves that we must lash out at other people. Because each time a woman says a negative comment about/to another woman, it's not really her saying "you're too skinny, you need to eat something!" as much as she's really saying "I'm so uncomfortable with my body and I'm jealous". Both sides of the conversation are hurtful, but this will likely never get any better until we can all start loving ourselves.

And what do I love about my body? I love that I am strong. I love that I can move, and run, and climb, and stretch. Bodies are amazing! I weigh more then I want to, at 210 and 5 foot 6 inches tall, but I'm working on changing that. I joined weight watchers yesterday in a hope that I could loose weight, but more for the chance to do something that will help me to be comfortable with me.

Maybe once I'm comfortable with me I'll be better able to be comfortable with everyone else. =)

Mini Me Style said...

Amen, sister. I hate that women are so awful to one another - don't we have enough to worry about without bringing each other down?

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

I agree with you so much! I mean there's enough hate in the world, don't add to it!

Mary in FL said...

I find your blog very inspiring - your fashion style is awesome! The first thing I noticed its that all your clothes fit you so well. (I found you on Erica B's blog)

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

I agree. We won't stop hating others until we stop hating ourselves. I think it's important for all of us when we insult another woman to examine ourselves and why we are lashing out. I think it would be very telling. Congrats for joining Weight Watchers. It's a great program for making life changes :)

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

I wish my lazy looked like Kate Upton, but it doesn't. And healthy is so important (and comes in every shape and size)!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Yes, both extremes are unhealthy! And sadly we are not teaching girls how to live healthy- we are teaching them to conform to society. I hope we can change that.

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

This is another lesson I wish we could teach girls. That beauty is so much more than a physical thing. Some of the most physically beautiful people I've known in my life have had the ugliest insides.

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Thank you for sharing the link, Sarah. I'm going to check it out right now!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Well, I'm glad you checked me out from your friend's board, and I am tickled pink she had pinned me.

You brought up a point I didn't get into because, while related clearly, it's a completely separate issue. The entire beginning of the article used this extended idea that she was a cow, going so far as to show her eating a burger and saying she was a cannibal. It is absolutely disgusting the amount of objectification that goes on in our society. We devalue people and don't see them are humans, leading to the criticism.

I think you will do a great job raising your daughter. And I agree, having a child really opens your eyes!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Lucky boobs! I don't even like to be in the house without a bra ;)

And I swear some of the doctors in this country truly suck ass. So much for bedside manner!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Yeah, it's scary to see the stats of childhood dieting. I never ever thought about that growing up. I can't imagine how much worse my teenage self-esteem would have been if I had been labeled as overweight. I had enough issues ruining my confidence. Clearly these kids have parents (most likely moms) with body issues and it has trickled down. So sad.

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

It's amazing the amount of confidence my husband has given me over the years. He will not let me speak negatively of my body.

Aren't you up in the Jacksonville area?

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

As an adult I can see that "teasing" can be harmful, but you know how teens are. They just aren't there mentally. It just goes to show, no girl is immune. That is just chilling about your classmate. So scary.

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

And now I'm crying. Misty, you were beautiful 16 years ago, and you are beautiful now! I was always jealous of how cute you were! It's tough to stop negative self-talk. I still do and Curtis just looks at me and I totally rephrase it. He'll say, "Your boobs look awesome" or whatever, and I'll start to say "Yeah all saggy and .... totally awesome. You are right." I know it's tough.

And your words are very powerful even when you don't know you are saying it. Kids are smart and they pick up on it, and I don't want Sean to be like me either. I am glad you are taking this pledge, and I am goinng to hold it to you!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Crying all around! Selah, such a great point about parenting! That's something I learn more and more!

cherizangel said...

No negativity towards fat, that's a joke. Kinda like some TV stations banning the Lane Bryant lingerie ads, but still featuring Victoria's secret. http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2010/04/22/abc-wont-air-ads-plus-size-line-lingerie/ Kate moss has been another one that has regularly knocked anything but skinny.

Colleen P. said...

LOL-you're quite welcome!

I'm the same with tummies, I simply have no waist whatsoever, and at 45 I'm not likely to get one. If I see someone built like me that has something on that makes it look like a waist is there, I am ON it!

My first paragraph, last sentence, reads a little harsh-I was really trying to point out that the person making hateful comments about Kate seems to feel her opinion ought to have more, for lack of a better phrase, "weight" than anyone else's.

Lynne DeVenny said...

Katie, you reminded me of something my dad said at the dinner table during the first holiday break of my first semester of college. He very casually said to me, "Wow, you're getting to be a porker." I had gained more than the Freshman Fifteen, in no small part due to discovering how awesome pizza is for breakfast. He was right, he wasn't trying to be mean, but it really hurt.


It amazes me sometimes how mean some women can be. As a 40+ style blogger, we face the struggle of older women to be seen as stylish, visible and beautiful in a society that embraces youth. But you know what? If enough of us say we like ourselves, just the way we are, then maybe we can overcomes the cruel and unreasonable ideals we see in the media every day.

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

YES! What's so interesting is I'm not sure who's fueling this "younger is better" crap. I have so much more confidence than I did as a 20-yr old and I think most women would say that. I can honestly say I don't want to be younger. I have no problem with my age. So you are right- they've got to hear from us that we like ourselves as is. That's the great thing about the blogging medium. We don't like what they are offering so we create our own!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

I thought about the Lane Bryant ad too when I read this. And that's a perfect example. I mean they dedicate an entire show to super skinny "Angels" who admit they don't eat solids in the days leading up to the show to keep their stomachs flat, but heaven forbid we see some "tig old bitties" on the tv!

Hems for Her, a.k.a. Katie said...

Thank you so much for coming over Mary and for the super kind words!

Kathy said...

great post! Thanks!

Keri-Danielle said...

This is my first post of yours that I've read after seeing you guest post on J's Everyday --- I think youre amazing :) sharing your link with all my girlfriends.

Thank you.

Qtpie1910 said...

I must say...I LOVE this post. I am new to your blog after your guest post on J's Everyday Fashion and am working my way through your older posts. God bless you and this post! I would like to say that I completely love my body and perhaps in five years when I hit 40, I will but I am starting to appreciate my body and what it can do. Would I like to be thinner (note, I did not say skinny)...sure. But as I see it, I haven't done much to change that and therefore I should accept what I have to work with. I will say that when I look in the mirror I am happy with my blue eyes, naturally straight hair, semi-full lips, high cheek bones and overall cute, if not pretty, face. I can be happy with my natural D-cup and my cute "chicklet" toes. I too have been guilty of saying "she needs a cheeseburger" but you are right...how would I feel if someone said to me "you don't need that cheeseburger"?? I would be crushed. If more people had this attitude, the world would be a better place! Thank you again!

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