Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

You may have heard that Jennifer Love Hewitt was vacationing with her boyfriend and the paparazzi nailed her in a swimsuit. It was all over the news, much like the pics of Tyra Banks in a swimsuit a while back. They took unflattering close-ups of body parts that weren’t perfect. Bloggers had a field day calling Jennifer fat. Yet she’s a size 4! HELLO!

For you guys who question why women are so insecure about their bodies, listen up! There are good reasons why many of us are self-conscious about our imperfections.

If someone who wears a size 4 gets ridiculed for being fat, how does that make the rest of us women feel!!? Pretty lousy to a woman who isn’t secure to begin with. Me, my self-love is too strong now to let it rattle my over size 4 butt. But too many women suffer the residuals of these absurd digs at imperfect, AKA normal bodies! I trust that the karma these folks give out will come back to hit them in their big fat sorry butts.

Perfection is impossible. Some, and these days many, folks run to plastic surgeons to remake themselves. Women in particular are treating themselves like a car that needs bodywork. Suck out some cellulite; remove excess skin; pick someone’s chin, nose, cheekbones, etc. and order it from the doc; have cosmetic surgery. The numbers of bulimic and anorexic women keeps rising. Redoing who you are makes you forget how to be true to you, and to love who you are—all in the name of “looking good.”

And at what cost? While a majority of surgeries and procedures go well, those that fail have serious repercussions, including making you look much worse, distorted, ill, and even DEATH!

Kanye West’s mother, Donda, God rest her soul, didn’t listen to one surgeon’s warnings about her potential for heart problems during surgery and sadly, his concerns proved true. So she died, for a tummy tuck and breast reduction! Olivia Goldsmith, author of the book, First Wives Club, passed away almost five years ago after complications from anesthesia for a simple chin tuck, considered minor surgery. The surgery itself wasn’t the problem, but anesthesia can be dangerous. Yet she risked having it just to improve her chin!

Chasing that elusive perfect body can make you do things that aren’t in your best interest.

Men ask me what would make a woman so concerned about her looks that she’d risk her health, or life. Watch the media. We look at airbrushed women in magazines and strive to be like them. Even the women who get airbrushed feel insecure about it, knowing their bodies aren’t good enough to be seen the way they are!

FACT: Cellulite is hereditary. Even thin women have it. Starving doesn’t get rid of it. Only airbrushing does. Or the perfect lighting, wardrobe and makeup used on TV sets and in movies.

FACT: Our bodies change as we get older. We can do what we can to offset it with exercise and healthy nutrition. But ya probably won’t look like a nubile 20-year old when you’re 50, 40 or even 30. Get over the need to look perfect or risk your health making unnatural changes.

Most people who aren’t happy without alterations, don’t stay happy when they get them. You may temporarily smile over the new you. But soon you’ll find other things to bring you down. Cellulite returns. Skin gets stretched to the max after too many facelifts. I see many women with a line-free but typical pulled face look. Their faces have a mutant look to me. It’s obvious and not real.

Body bashing becomes contagious as women accept the phony standards for what they should look like.

We’ve become a society obsessed with having a perfect body. While a woman’s body is much more in the spotlight, men feel the pressure of body image too, in different ways. There are comparisons at the gym; a need to take control of how they look. I had a boyfriend who was a gym rat. While relaxing on a Sunday morning, a week of getting intimate, he asked why someone like me, who teaches how to develop good self-esteem, didn’t work out more to make her body better. He acknowledged that he loved my body, but I should work harder to make it perfect.

I pointed to the door and said if he wasn’t happy with me right now, he should leave and not come back. He stayed, but I knew it wouldn’t last.

He strived for perfection in himself too. To me his body was perfect. Yet he ran to the gym every day. One day he called, sounding very upset. “I have water in my stomach and I’m worried.” As I imagined him having some disease, he went on the explain that after his shower, a little water rested in a fold of his belly skin, which meant he wasn’t flat enough! It didn’t matter that I LOVED his body. Without perfection, he was always down. He said that good self-esteem meant striving for perfection.

Wrong! Good self-esteem means accepting yourself as you are, imperfections and all! I lost 170 pounds when I cut him loose!

Body perception can change if you CHOOSE to allow it! When women say no more to unrealistic standards, they won’t have the impact they have now. When women begin to love their bodies, imperfections and cellulite, there will be many more secure and happy women. When the media stops pushing perfection down our throats as what we should look like, we’ll be happier with our typical, less perfect bodies.

Look around you in a gym locker room and see how many perfect bodies you see. Most of us have more flab than shows with clothing on. I do! ?

Several years ago Jamie Lee Curtis pioneered awareness of the unnatural images in magazines when she posed for More magazine in her underwear, with no makeup or airbrushing. She wanted other women to see how she looks without the help of computers. She was still beautiful, but looked more like a real woman than a perfect picture. I applauded her then and continue to see her as an amazing role model.

Nobody makes you insecure. You make yourself that way when you allow what others say to become your TRUTH.

Just because someone says you’re fat, doesn’t mean you are, unless you see yourself as fat because of it. Jamie Lee, Tyra and now Jennifer refuse to accept the media perception. I stood up and applauded Jennifer Love Hewitt’s response to the bloggers and others who made a big fuss over close-ups of her upper thighs and butt. As they slung crap, she flung it right back! No matter what was said, she CHOSE to not accept it. She’s NOT fat, no matter wha
t they say. She’s a woman who knows who she is and accepts herself in her own skin.

Tyra Banks kicked back hard too. This beautiful, shapely modeled was “outed” by cameras with a close-up of her upper thigh. PU-LEASE! Any man who can’t accept the beauty of these women needs a brain transplant!

Aren’t there much more important things to publicize than a bit of cellulite captured at a bad angle by a camera?

Change your body perception and learn to laugh at the messages in the media. I confess. I’m not perfectly thin and never have been. When I was a DoorMat, I always saw myself as fat because many girls were thinner than me. It fueled my insecurity. I excessively pleased everyone to make up for my fat body. Yes, I thought I needed to try harder or no one would want to be around a fat girl. Yet I wasn’t fat. Thinking I was held me back with meeting guys. Now that I LOVE me, I know that my curves are sexy, not fat. And, I meet a lot more guys who openly appreciate my body too.

When my abovementioned ex-boyfriend criticized my bod, I saw it as HIS problem, not mine.

MEN—start accepting that most women have cellulite and that sometimes it’s hard to lose weight no matter what we do. Are you perfect? Women accept so much more, or less, in men than is accepted in us. Appreciate women for who they are, not just what they look like.

WOMEN—show your body love! It’s yours. Walk around naked and get more comfortable with it. Feel your soft lovely curves. Look at paintings by Rubens and see how badly we’ve skewed off course from appreciating a true womanly body. Changing yours with starving, surgery or unhealthy procedures won’t bring true happiness if you don’t love yourself.

Women like Jamie Lee Curtis, Tyra Banks and Jennifer Love Hewitt are truly pioneers for a new women’s movement, one that’s slowly guiding us to be more realistic about what a normal body looks like. Get on board! Focus on being healthy, not thin or perfect.

Instead of fighting fat, fight the stereotypes that make almost every woman’s body unacceptable. Put your energy into loving yourself more and self-acceptance will follow! This former DoorMat can attest to that!

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