When Looking in the Mirror, What Do You See?

15 comments
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Peter Pan Collar Dress: Forever21.
Purse, Heels: Thrifted.
Black Beret: Target

For as long as I can remember I've loathed my thighs. It all started when I was a young girl and I was at a swim meet. Me and three other girls were waiting behind the starting blocks for our race and we were just chatting to pass the time. One of the girls though, who was naturally thin as a rail, turned to me and the other girls and said " if your thighs touch each other when you're standing straight, it means you're too fat." Of course, me and all of the other girls looked down at our thighs to examine them. I was dismayed to find that my thighs did in fact touch, and the girl smirked at me as to say, "See? I'm skinny and you're fat." I've never forgotten this incident.

So, throughout the years I've tried everything to tone my thighs. Running. Squats. Jumps. But none of that ever helped me become satisfied with my thighs. The words of that girl always rang through my head. Yesterday when choosing my outfit, I picked out a new pair of black shorts that I bought from Old Navy a few weeks ago. I tried them on and looked at myself in my full length mirror to see myself. All I saw was huge, thunderous thighs. That instant thought that came into my head was "Lauren, you're too big to wear shorts like that." I thought about changing out of the shorts because I was so horrified of my appearance, but I decided against it because I rather liked the outfit.

Yesterday while taking outfit pictures I was very insecure about my body. I kept trying to position my legs in a more flattering way, and if I thought my legs looked too big in a picture I would delete it. When walking, all I could think about was how my thighs would jiggle when I walked and I was sickened. Then, when I went out into the public after my pictures, I couldn't help but be self-conscious and wonder every time a person passed me if they thought my legs looked huge.

It's sad, isn't it? The way I, and millions of other woman feel about our bodies. The negative, skewered view that we have of ourselves. I know in my heart that my thighs aren't really that big, but my eyes and mind make me think something differently. In today's society that's how we all react. We see something different in the mirror than what is really there. We see the imperfections, the flaws, and all of the other things that we think are unattractive about ourselves. But what is really there when you look back into that mirror? I can tell you it's a beautiful, real, woman. A woman who's body is gorgeous no matter what her shape or size is. It doesn't matter if your thighs touch or your stomach sticks out. It doesn't matter if your arms jiggle or your butt doesn't fit in a size zero pant. You're beautiful.

After taking a rejuvenating and thoughtful walk today I came to the realization of all of this. That what I'm thinking and saying to myself about my body is just wrong. So many other woman fall into the same trap that I do, too. Very often on my blog and other blogs I will read comments that say, "I would never be able to pull this off like you because me (insert body part) is too big." I do this exact same thing and I'm definitely not proud. It's not right to compare ourselves to someone else because we are all wonderfully beautiful in our own unique ways. I'm going to take the stand to start loving my body the way I should instead of bashing it. Will you?

For my junior paper this year I wrote it on how the media affects women's body image negatively, and I ended up getting the highest score in my class with a 98%. If you all would be interested, I would be more than happy to post it all for you to read. Of course, don't be too harsh on my writing. Remember, I'm only a junior. NO I mean, senior now, hehe.
With much love, Lauren.

P.S. If you would like to read another post about my personal issues with body image, here it is.
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15 lovely little notes:

Brenna said...

Okay, since you're confessing, it's time for some comment comfessions!
You have been a tremendous encouragement and inspiration to me when it comes to body image. You're lovely and in your pictures you show such confidence and truly let your beauty shine at its best. This has helped me not just because you're a lovely girl loving herself, but also because on a technical level, I have a very similar body type, and it's so encouraging to know that before I even realized that, I knew you were beautiful and that anybody who sees you must realize it. Sometimes you'll put together outfits that I've discarded as possibilities for my body type, thinking I can't wear things because I have hips or the "thunderous thighs" as you so aptly put the thought - then I see you wearing high-waisted shorts or a bikini or whatever it is, and think, "Oh. I've been wrong. She looks stunning and I think that maybe... I could too."
I love that you feel so strongly about this cause, I love your thoughts and your lingo, and I love you! I don't comment much but I'm always most excited when a new post from Someone Like You comes up on my blog feed. =)

Another thing I love is this outfit! Eep! I"m glad I'm not the only one out there wearing berets in the spring! ^.^

I hope the rest of your day is marvelous, Lauren. =)

Miranda said...

Lauren, you voice on your blog what every girl struggles with, and you're not scared to. You're such an inspiration. That's one of my favorite parts about bloggers; we all try to understand each other and support each other. You really are beautiful, and the fact that you're brave enough to write about your insecurities just makes you that much more beautiful. I always enjoy reading your posts - you're a very good writer. I'd love to see your paper!
Anywho, very cute outfit! I love the little socks and the beret :)

April said...

Oh, baby. I was miserable with my body in high school, then I lost about 20 pounds my freshman year of college, only to gain it all back from stress last year. Blegh. But I'm not miserable anymore. I work with what I've got.

AC/DC would love your 'thunder thighs' - you'd shake them all night long. ;) "Knockin' me out with those American thighs"

Sara said...

i love your outfit! and dont worry about your legs, your beautiful!

http://sarassweetstyle.blogspot.com/

Rachel Emma (Daydream Frenzy) said...

The pigtails add a very lovely touch to the beret, so cute :)

And I too have hated my thighs since the beginning of time! That's why I always wear shorts at the beach. I need to get over my body issues :/ but you my dear are gorgeous!

xx

The Daily Fashionista said...

Everybody has different types of thighs. Mine have touched my whole life! Even in high school when I was 100 pounds. The worst part was in high school I was so self conscious about them that I would do squats everyday and then I ended up with manly thighs!! haha!! They're just more muscular then thin, with a hint of flab. We all have certain things about our body's that we wished we different, but I applaud you on realizing that your body is just the way it is and your brain may be playing tricks with what you see in the mirror.

awishisarainbow said...

It is so true...everyone has something they don't like, and yet other people can never understand why! So, I think it's great that you have come to love your body as it is :) I would be interested in reading your paper...I totally agree that the media is partly to blame!

Also....love this outfit :)

Lynzy said...

I absolutely adore your blog, bot only because you have adorable style (loving your hats!) but because you are a great source of inspiration. Combining your outfit pictures with how you feel in words is difficult to do and you do it beautifully. Fall in love with who you are and the rest will follow ;)

xo Lynzy
www.sparklingfootsteps.com

Jen said...

I love this post Lauren!!! You are so right!!! Jeez those girls sound mean!!!

Usually Comatose said...

Ugh, bitchy little girls mean nothing but their words always seem to be so etched into our minds, even more so than the words of those we love :( It's so horrible, even if you know it doesn't mean anything in the long run.

Who has the right to judge another human being's body and announce that, in their opinion, they're abnormal? Nobody. The only person who can judge is you yourself, and if you like that outfit then you've really already decided that it's suitable for you to wear :)

Also your dress is so beautiful, especially the lace collar <3 and "thunderous thighs"? No way in hell are your thighs thunderous :)

Amy xx

Mila said...

Thank you for addressing this issue! I think every girl has struggled with body image at some point, especially athletes and models. It's hard to be around other girls and not compare yourself to them, checking who's in better shape. There's so much pressure in the media to be thin and gorgeous, and it obviously affects teenage girls, with eating disorders and body image issues. Being a swimmer myself, I'm surrounded with other very fit athletes, and although it's hard not to compare sizes with them, you must focus on what your body can do. When your having trouble appreciating a part of your body, focus on the good of it. I find that thinking of all my body can do and has done for me, like carrying me through long workouts, hikes, and sickness. It definitely helps to think about the strengths!:)

xoxo

ps. You look absolutely gorgeous in these photos!

V' Gonçalves said...

Love the dress, so cute!! :)

Kezzie said...

I've felt exactly the same about my thighs since I was about 8! I disliked the way they got bigger at the top and seemed enormous.

However, I accepted (even aged 8) that that is my body shape and I am healthy and well- not over, not under weight, so I have always tried to just be happy with my thighs! And I alays rememebr a friend of mine saw some photos of me in a bikini and sent me an e-mail saying, 'Hmmm, you look good in a bikini!' when I was around 21, as this is not the type of thing he usually does, I have always remembered that and he said that, based on me being post-Bali size, i.e. being larger than I am now! You always look stunning!

kate gabrielle said...

What an amazing post! I've felt the same way about my own thighs since I was a kid, too.. I remember sitting in the car with my friends and noticing how my thighs seemed to spread out too much when I was sitting, while theirs still looked skinny. It made me want to cover them up and I couldn't have been more than 8 or 9.

I'd love to read your essay! I'm so glad I found your blog today :)

LyddieGal said...

I know just how you feel, I spent years and years hating the way I looked in shorts, cursing my butt, my thighs, my curves.
It is not helping women to be raised to believe that stick straight and rail thin is the only good way to look -- and that having curves automatically makes you a sex symbol or something to be objectified like a kardashian or victoria's secret model. Somehow it is okay for them to let it all hang out, but real women mustn't.

But the shorts. the short shorts. they are cruel. and i am thankful that fuller shorts are trendier now and my thunderous thighs can hide in them a little better than in those skin tight cut offs.

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