Monday, March 12, 2012

Inspiration and Acceptance

I think I'm not alone in feeling inadequate and not beautiful on an almost daily basis. It's not constantly at the front of my mind, just there in the hair is too flat or too frizzy, this outfit makes me look fat, I just look weird today and I can't figure out why. As much as we try to avoid the media and celebrity "perfection", it can't help but seep into our minds, telling us that we are not good enough...but if we lost a bit of weight or had the right body shape we could be beautiful.

This year I "resolved" to lose the rest of the weight I needed to get down to my "ideal weight". After losing a bit and then fighting to get past this certain number since mid-January, I finally realized that the "ideal weight" isn't my ideal. I'm built like my Dad, which means thin shoulders, big thighs, and dense bones. But the true realization was that it's OK! <<Gasp>> I started thinking about my good features...the classic hour-glass figure and the bottom my Grandma is forever complimenting me on, not to mention my make-up application. Put all of this together with who I actually am and the balance seems to be in favor of the good qualities.  Who knew?! 

John and I have traveled quite a lot to different places and one thing that always stands out to us is the depiction of women in art.

Bathing Venus at Hearst Castle

The Birth of Venus by Botticelli
They are not the too-thin wraiths we see today. They are curvaceous, fleshy, and shockingly not ashamed of themselves. They seem even more beautiful because of their "imperfections". Maybe the men who sculpted and painted this art are trying to tell us something?

I recently purchased Fit for Real People in an attempt to boost my sewing skills and figure out how to adjust clothing patterns to better fit me. This particular page had me mesmerized for days. Look at the changes in the "ideal" over the course of one century! Not to mention the undergarments required to achieve these looks. As John likes to say, "That's a first world problem". I'll bet that not many women in Uganda are so concerned with fashion ideals or their body shape.

So I guess my point is that my resolution has changed. I am choosing to accept that I am beautiful in my own unique way and that comparing myself to anyone or anything else is ridiculous. The above book really shed some light on this for me, but the thing that really hit me is the possibility of passing these unhealthy ideals on to my daughters. What kind of example will I be when they hear me say I am fat or always stop in front of a mirror to make sure nothing has come out of place? We are hoping to adopt soon and if we do get girls I am determined to pass on to them a healthy understanding of their beauty, both inside and out, and the skills to help them make the most of what they have to work with.

I am hoping this blog will help me to do that and give me a place to share all my creations. Follow along as I sew, quilt, crochet, knit... remembering that this is not about perfection, but about the joy of creating with the abilities that God has given me.

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