The discussion around the “perfect body” is often in the air in a boudoir studio like ours. Just today we were chatting with a lovely client, who at a certain point said: “I can’t stand my boobs, they are too big!“. If they could have seen her, many of our clients would have seriously thought that she had the perfect body. Alas, the idea of the perfect body is linked to our perception of ourselves, and for what regards women, there are layers over layers over layers of lies that cover the truth about the “perfect body“.
It happens to today’s client as it happens to million of women around the western world. You are being told that you are not enough. If you are skinny, you are too skinny. If you are curvy, it is because you are excessively curvy. If you have a large breasts, you got too much boobs and so on. The perfect body is a lie, or to be more precise, what we are told that the perfect body should be is the real lie.
The beautiful thing is that you can stop and change things. You just need to think to what a perfect body is and who decide what it should be.
The perfect body is in the eye of the beholder
The perfect body does not exist. It is a generalisation that depends on the observer, and it is not a sharable definition. Even worse, our ability -on inability- of seeing ourselves is distorted, very much so that we will never see the perfect body in the mirror. One of the two issues in defining a perfect body is comparison. We look at another woman and we think that “she actually has the perfect body“. We do a surgical comparison between the three dimensional woman in front of us, and the two dimensional we see reflected in the mirror. I really hope you got the irony.
As long as we compare ourselves with someone else, we can’t win. A model we shoot no more than a week ago admitted that to get her flat stomach, she spends a couple of hours every day exercising. Are you demonstrating the same passion for planking yourself? Because if you are not, it would be like comparing apples with bananas.
The perfect body is a battleground for marketers
When is the last time you got in a cosmetic store and you were told that your skin was so good that you didn’t need any cream? Let me guess… never! Of course that never happened, because your insecurities about your body, your illusions that you do not have the perfect body, are what sells. The anti-wrinkle cream that makes you look younger, the anti-cellulite treatment that will make you skinnier and more beautiful. If you had to acknowledge the fact that you already have a perfect body, you would not be the beauty marketers’ client. And they need clients. So we have become ugly, our bodies undesirable because there is the need to sell more. Our wrinkles are a sign of loss more than a sign of experience; our skin defective, not unique.
The most worrying thing is that every battleground has its own losses, and in this war the only one who can lose are women, who will see her confidence crumbling.
The donkey’s carrot and the perfect body
What is the perfect body? The iconic carrot dangling in front of a donkey’s mouth. For how much it will try to reach it, the distance between the carrot and the mouth will always be the same. With your body, the research of perfection is the same. No matter what you will do, no matter how you will try, there will always be something that will prevent you from reaching that perfect body everybody aspires so much to achieve.
The leverage of comparison and false standard of a perfect body is the killer equation with which our confidence is destroyed. Take a beautiful woman, photoshop her to no end, make her skinnier, younger, curvier in the right places and push this image in front of your eyes with the subtle message:
“Do you really think you are like her? You are not, but you can be”
How many lies can you spot? But of course there is a solution to this!
What can you do?
Luckily, there is a way of stepping away from the perfect body illusion, from the war that is raging on our skins. You have to stop listening to others, and start forming your own judgement on yourself. Comparison is the root of many negative feelings, and trying to please others is another. Let’s stop being what other expect us to be and let’s avoid comparing ourselves with other people. I am sure that if I told you that the way you use technology is not good enough and that it makes you a lesser woman, you would not even listen to the end of my sentence. So why if someone hints that your body is not good and you should do something about it, we all so prone to listen to them, marginalising our own thoughts?
The truth is that the more we stop the criticism of those who win in our lack of self confidence, the more we will be able to hear our own voice. We may hear the voice that tells us that healthy is more important than skinny, that shape is not everything.
Let’s try, for one day, to avoid listening to the media that tell us that we are not enough, and focus on the loving words we can spare for ourselves.
I will tell you what I told my client and that I can tell you: there are countless people who will kill to have your body.
Your body actually is the perfect body and it deserves your unconditional love.