Sunday 25 April 2021

Body image

 Angela from Tracing Rainbows has written a post that's prompted me to write something too - thanks Angela!  Her post is entitled 'You're Beautiful' and is about perceptions of beauty - how the world in general sees us (women) and how we see ourselves.

For many years I was a personal secretary to a building surveyor, we had clients come into the office so I had to be presentable all the time - that meant dressing smartly, having neat hair and nails and wearing makeup.  Which is so not me - even as a teenager, I was never particularly bothered about plastering on the makeup to go out, although I did always wear some (mascara and occasionally eyeshadow and blusher), as it was kind of expected, I felt like I was letting my girlfriends down if I didn't make an effort.

Once we moved down here to the country, that was it, I just stopped wearing makeup altogether.  Our neighbouring cows and sheep don't care what you look like, and it turns out people don't much either!  I have very occasionally been asked if I'm tired (usually because I am and it shows on my face!), but nobody's ever asked why I'm not wearing any eyeshadow or lipstick.  Do they even notice?  I guess some, mostly young, women would.  Men, by and large, wouldn't.  So presumably wearing makeup is something we ourselves feel obliged to do, mainly because the media, magazines, beauty editors, beauty counter assistants etc etc make us feel that it's our duty to present a good image, and that means a full face of slap.  Well, bollocks to that (sorry, that was my lovely Mum's favourite word and it makes me smile every time I use it 😁).  I'm not one for being told what to do, I make my own mind (and not my face!!) up.

The other thing that women are concerned about is our bodies.  All women, even supermodels, have bits of their bodies they don't like, we all look in the mirror at our bodies and see things we dislike, whereas others might not even notice.  But we know they're there, and again our fears and perceptions are fuelled by what society sees as a woman's ideal body - size 10, but with curves in all the right places.  But the curvy bits must be firm, but soft and rounded at the same time!  And the pressure on women to get back to an 'acceptable' size 3 weeks after having a baby is utterly ridiculous, made so much worse by all these minor celebs flaunting their flat stomachs in a bikini when they've only just had their baby a few weeks previously.  And what's with Liz Hurley?  She's always bombarding the papers with photos of her in her latest bikini - does she not actually own any clothes?  So she's getting on a bit (erm, somewhere in her 50s I think) - well bully for her, she's got pots of money and no real purpose in life so needs to do something to while away her time, I suppose.

But then if I had a figure like hers, maybe I'd want to show it off too.  My figure, however, is nowhere near hers, I'd make two of her.  My consultant last week said that I was 'carrying a little bit of weight' - very good of him a) to be so understated about it!, and b) to point out something I'm already very well aware of.  My body image tends to fluctuate - I'm under no illusions about all my wobbly bits (very wobbly in some areas) and I'm well practised at wearing things that disguise them quite well.  So most of the time I feel....well, not at ease with my body, I'm never that, but alright about it.  But when I'm feeling low, I hate my body.  And there's definitely more of my wobbly bits following a year of lockdown.  Funnily enough, I read something in the paper this morning about women's fears about their bodies when in bed with a man - we tend to be very self conscious about all our 'problem' areas - what WE see as problem areas, that is.  Whereas a man just thinks 'Wow, I'm in bed with a naked woman!!'.

I guess what I'm trying to say, in my usual long winded way, is that we really ought to stop feeling pressured to conform to society's ideal of what our bodies or our faces should look like, and just be ourselves.  Easier said than done though, when it's been ingrained in us for decades (well, centuries).


  1. I'm with you 100% on this one Sooze! Like you, I used to wear eye shadow, mascara and blusher. Then I realised the mascara was irritating my eyes, and I didn't feel like paying ££'s for hypoallergenic stuff. I haven't worn make up now for years. As for my body, well, I (mostly) eat sensibly, keep reasonably active (I'm definitely NOT a gym person) and if I've got a few extra pounds and bits that are headed south, so what. I look at my face and body and think, I've lived for 66 years, given birth to and breast-fed 2 children, and it shows. I wouldn't have it any other way. My hubby likes my body just the way it is, which is just as well, 'cos I'm not going to torture myself to get the "perfect" body! xx

  2. I don't wear make up except occasionally blusher as some days, I look and feel washed out. However with face masks, currently don't need to! I have put weight on recently and need to shift some simply because I want and need to, nothing to do with others perception, I really don't care.

  3. Personally every time I see Liz Hurley and especially her son I winch. She needs to grow up, she has to be insecure to show her body the way she does. I was only small at birth, under 6 lbs. My mom wanted to make me eat and unfortunately I listened.😂

  4. I've never worn make up.
    They like me for who I am or they don't. :)
    I like me just how I am...except when something hurts.;)

  5. I do wear makeup virtually everyday, even to walk the dog. I have very dark skin under my eyes due to Asian Gene's. So I tend to apply concealer so I don't look tired. The rest of my makeup is light and natural. And I wear lipstick even when I know I going to put a mask on!!!Crazy I know.

  6. I always wear mascara because I'm very fair and look like I don't have any eyelashes if I don't but don't bother with anything else especially when we are wearing masks all the time. I was so skinny when I was in my 20's but now, nearly 50 years later it's a different story! I have to have knee surgery and the specialist, very diplomatically, told me that every pound of weight put 4 pounds of pressure on my knee. He suggested intermittent fasting and so since Valentines day I have done 16-8. So nothing to eat from after supper until about 10:00 the next day. WE (DH still is) were big snackers in the evening and my big downfall is chocolate. No chocolate for 70 days-not counting or anything, lol Lost 9 lb. in the first month and then nothing since-very frustrating!! I'll keep trying if it helps my knee especially as with covid I probably won't get the surgery for over a year.

  7. A brilliant post Sooze.

    Yep, I am me and you can like it or lump it, and like my lumps and bumps too as they are all mine. I do occasionally look in the mirror and think bleurgh but not too often, life is too short. As long as I can get in the same sized jeans and t-shirts every day I am happy with my weight ... although they must have all stretched a bit as I have put on 8lbs during lockdown ... lol :-)

    I don't wear make-up except maybe a touch of clear mascara, concealer and powder to stop me shining if we go out ... but we don't go out anymore do we!! I do try and keep my hair neat and short and usually coloured lighter as it seems to have gone SO dark over the last few years, even my hairdresser said such dark hair doesn't really suit me.


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