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So I Don't Look Like A Supermodel - I'm Okay With That....Mostly
Earlier this week, I came across an amazing TED talk from supermodel Cameron Russell, who shares with us what it's like to really be a model, and how winning the "genetic lottery" isn't necessarily going to make you happy. One of her points really resounded with me.
"I'm insecure because I have to think about what I look like every day. And if you ever are wondering, "If I have thinner thighs and shinier hair, will I be happier?" you just need to meet a group of models, because they have the thinnest thighs and the shiniest hair and the coolest clothes, and they're the most physically insecure women probably on the planet."
I think about this especially right now because I'm slowly getting back into shape. And by shape, of course, I mean thinner. Healthier, of course, but more toned and thinner and feeling like I'm looking more and more like my formerly hot twenty-something self. And I assure you, was a force to be reckoned with.
I was an actress and a dancer back then, and I was conscious of every single move my body made, every head that turned my way, every eye that shifted in my direction. I weighed 102 lbs and I was as self-conscous and insecure as I am today. And of course, I'm not twenty-something anymore and I'm not barely a hundred pounds, either. Can't do anything about the former, working on the latter, but the urge to see those heads turn, to feel like I'm a worthy human being just because somebody finds me attractive enough for their standards - it's still there. Still pervasive. Still making me feel "less than" sometimes.
As a mother of a very pretty daughter, I look at her and know she won that genetic lottery. But I also know I don't want her feeling "less than" just because she's makeup free and wearing sweatpants today. I want her to be judged for who she is and all she's done, not for those cheekbones or that long, shiny hair. Most of all I want her not to feel judged by herself, because she's the one whose opinion matters most. I try to reaffirm all this as much as possible, but she's being hit from all sides with countermessages.
What sort of things do you do to reinforce to yourself (and your daughters, if you have one) that you're so much more than the sum of your parts? I'd love to hear your perspectives.
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