miss_s_b: Vince Cable's happy face (Politics: Vince - happy face)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
I have seen this campaign referred to in very sniffy and dismissive terms by various MSM outlets. And yet, over the last few days the number of friends and lovers I have spoken to with totally unjustified anxieties over their physical appearance has gone far beyond what I am comfortable with. Let me give you a flavour:
  • "Who's going to fancy a fat balding little hobbit like me?" - this guy has a beautiful expressive face, and his smile lights up a room like a sunrise.

  • "I did it with [new boyfriend] with the lights on! And SOBER!" - a girl with a chest I would cheerfully kill for, and those of you who have met me know I am not exactly lacking in that department ;)

  • "I'm too fat" - a guy with an arse that rivals Nightwing's

  • "I couldn't be seen out without my Fat Burqua!" - a lady who has the kind of figure that would make Rubens bite through his paintbrush in his frustration at his utter inability to capture it's beauty

  • *bursts into disbelieving laughter when I tell him he has good skin* - I've held newborn babes with coarser skin than this guy. The skin of his torso resembles nothing so much in it's smooth tactile translucency as polished marble. And don't even get me started on his eyes...
Now I'm no stranger to beating myself up about percieved physical flaws. But something I have noticed over the years is that whatever I percieve to be a flaw someone will find incredibly attactive. For instance, I detest my belly. I'd really love a six pack. And yet one of my partners loves it so deeply, with it's kneadable layer of fat and stretchmarks and operation scar, that since I have been losing weight he has been actively mourning it's passing.

We all have things we dislike about our physical selves, and society and the media encourage that, mainly to sell us shit we don't need. We all think we have something that's too fat/thin/bald/hairy/big/small/etc. But whatever that thing is that we feel that way about, somebody we know worships it. Now, I'm not saying that if you dislike a part of yourself you're wrong, and if you want to engage in some self improvement that will make you feel better then you knock yourself out. But don't ever, ever think that anybody else will judge you as harshly for it as you do yourself.

I'm reasonably sure that several of the people in the list above with have accepted what I said to them, but also mentally added "but it's just Jennie saying that, and she's mad." We are so conditioned to look only on our own flaws that we don't compliment each other in case someone looks too closely at us in return and spots our flaws. And that's sad because we all then end up in our own self-reinforcing miserable cycle of paranoia.

The Lib Dem Campaign for Body Confidence is important, as far as I am concerned, because if it makes people I love worry less about piffling flaws with thier physical appearance, then they will have more spoons to sweat the more important stuff, and THEN we can get on with making the world a better place. And the rest of us can help with it, too. Try not to condemn yourself for your imperfections. But also if you have a friend or partner with a physical feature that you love, tell them. If we can all compliment each other a bit more maybe I'll get less disbelieving reactions next time I tell someone I think some part of them is beautiful.

Date: Thursday, November 7th, 2013 04:24 pm (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile] andrewhickey.info
As a man who can think of literally not one physically attractive thing about himself, I *definitely* endorse this message...

Date: Thursday, November 7th, 2013 04:27 pm (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile] andrewhickey.info
I think of that more as "strategic lower-face covering"...

Date: Thursday, November 7th, 2013 05:59 pm (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile] andrewhickey.info
Yes. But just to be clear, I wasn't fishing, and nor was I being self-deprecating (I've promised Holly I'll try not to insult my own appearance as much). Just agreeing with your post and how necessary both the campaign and your post are.

Date: Thursday, November 7th, 2013 04:42 pm (UTC)
innerbrat: (thank you)
From: [personal profile] innerbrat
Say something nice about my body and I will post a picture of my favourite bruise. (Now or a week ago, your choice.)

Date: Thursday, November 7th, 2013 04:53 pm (UTC)
innerbrat: (thank you)
From: [personal profile] innerbrat
Wait, didn't you see this?

Anyway, here's the bruise last week:. Now it looks more like that school experiment with the filter paper and the ink.
Edited (oops html) Date: Thursday, November 7th, 2013 04:54 pm (UTC)

Date: Friday, November 8th, 2013 12:37 am (UTC)
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
From: [personal profile] hollymath
You're the best, Jennie.

campaign meetings sniffy too!

Date: Friday, November 8th, 2013 10:28 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] bubbalou
It's not just the MSM who doesn't appreciate the Body Confidence campaign - I once brought up highlighting the Body Confidence campaign as a way of appealing to women voters, and a mostly male campaign meeting laughed at me and put me down, saying women wouldn't be interested in that sort of thing.

Re: campaign meetings sniffy too!

Date: Friday, November 8th, 2013 03:08 pm (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile] andrewhickey.info
Well, how would *you* know what a woman would be interested in?! Be reasonable!

Flaws Are Fun

Date: Monday, November 11th, 2013 04:11 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I went to my local Body Shop recently; they offered me scrap value.

Seriously, perfection is boring. I don't have a six-pack, it's more a drop tank, but I am not crying into my gin about it. What right have we to be judgemental about others' appearance unless we are above criticism, which, incidentally, is a never-happen? Nobody is perfect, so why worry?

Re: Flaws Are Fun

Date: Monday, November 11th, 2013 07:57 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Too right.

I weigh a tun!

Flaws Are Fun

Date: Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 11:14 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Don't be bitter.

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