While I've always sort of known in the back of my mind that this Love It project is deeply personal and beneficial to me as well as to people (mostly young girls) I'm trying to reach with my work...it hit me today that I can no longer just interview and photograph others. I need to include myself and divulge personal information that I'm not necessarily comfortable having other people know. How else am I supposed to get my message out? So here are the questions I've been asking, and my answers.
1. What does body image mean to you?
1. Body image is how you feel about your body. It’s how you present your body to the rest of the world, and how they then view it and perceive it. How you feel and how others think you feel about your body can be two entirely different things, depending on how good of an actor you are.2. Are you influenced by the media when it comes to how you feel about your body?
The media influences me whether I like it or not. When I was younger I looked at the girls/women on tv and wished my body was like theirs. I still find myself comparing the size of my legs to those of the women on tv but now it’s more of a “oh good, I’m not alone,” rather than “I wish my legs were that skinny.”3. How do you feel about your body?
I hate my body when it comes to all of the things that are medically wrong with it. In terms of appearance…occasionally I look in the mirror and like what I see, but sometimes I still pick myself apart and get worked up over what I see as imperfections. I feel good when I’m kickboxing.
4. What needs to change in order for you to feel better about your body?
I need to go to the gym more and be more active otherwise I feel like a lazy fat lump and I need to eat better. I hate having flabby sides, I’m no longer used to it so I feel bad about myself when it starts to come back. I’d like the media to be more inclusive to all body types and start using models and actors with more average body types. There’s a lot that needs to change. People need to stop being overly critical of others.
5. What do you think is the "ideal" body type?
I think any body that is well proportioned to a person’s height is ideal. There are a variety of body types for women that I think look good, it all depends on the person. If you are smaller, rock it, if you are bigger, show it off. If it looks good and you feel good and are happy and comfortable then that is your ideal.
6. Who do you think has the ideal body?
Again, there are many people that I think have an “ideal” body, but that is for each individual. For my body to be “ideal” in my eyes would be for me to have more toned arms, sides that aren’t jiggly, more definition in my stomach, and smaller hips and butt for sure. Can you tell I’m a mess?
7. Do you love your body?
It’s okay. It’s better than it has been, but that’s a whole other can of worms. I can say that I was quite happy with it when I was 15 or 16 and in the last year or so I’ve gotten a bit lazier so I feel like I need to work harder. I’m starting to accept that my legs will never be smaller, so I’m learning to like them (it helps when I get the occasional ego boost from discovering that some size 2 jeans fit me). The day I can wear a bikini without shorts is the day that I can say I love my body.
So that is me and where I stand on this. To be completely honest, if someone else were doing this project instead of me, I don't think I'd be able to model for them. So thank you, my brave and lovely models, for bearing with me and showing me exactly what I'm trying to show the rest of the world.