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The day I realized that if you’re tall you’re supposed to look shorter, and if you’re short you’re supposed to look taller, and if you’re fat you’re supposed to look thinner, and if you’re thin you’re supposed to look more voluptuous, and that whatever body type you had you were supposed to make it look different? The day I realized that every woman is insecure about her looks … including the ones we’re supposed to idolize? The day I realized that, no matter what I did, no matter how hard I worked, I would always, always, always be a failure as a woman? That was the day I quit worrying about it. ~Greta Christina
I recently read this in an article by Greta Christina on The Good Men Project. The article discusses the pressures society places on us to achieve an impossible ‘ideal’; however, Greta explains that the impossible nature of this ‘ideal’ is actually a good thing.
See, the problem is that we often don’t view the expectations regarding how we should look as impossible, instead we see them as just being really, really hard. If something is just ‘extremely difficult’ then of course we will try to achieve it – and will most likely take large risks and/or make huge sacrifices all along the way. However, when we know something is impossible, we won’t even try. For example, I know I can’t fly and so I’m not going to leap off a cliff just to see how far I make it because I know that in the end I will never be able to achieve that goal.
The same should go with body image and dealing with the pressures that are put on us by our society – we can’t be perfect. It’s impossible. Heck, even super models can’t live up to the ‘ideals’ of the front covers they are on (as is proven by the rapidly growing ‘art’ of photoshopping). Cindy Crawford herself once said: “I wish I looked like Cindy Crawford.”
We need to realize that the pressures to fit into some ‘mold’ are impossible, and, therefore, there’s no need to even try.
I will leave you with these last words from Greta Christina’s article:
The world is giving you an impossible task. It’s not just a stupid task; it’s not just a pointless task; it’s not just a needlessly confining task; it’s not just a task that will make you miserable. It is, quite literally, unattainable….Be who you are. That’s actually an attainable goal. And it’s a hell of a lot more fun.
Read Greta Christina’s article: “There’s No Such Thing as a Real Man”
Lauren is the Founder and Editor of Libero. She started Libero in April 2010, when she shared her story about her struggles with an eating disorder and depression. Now Lauren uses her writing and videos to advocate mental health and body positivity. In her spare time, she enjoys makeup artistry, playing Nintendo, and taking selfies with her furbaby, Zoey.
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