Feathers Flights // Sewing Blog: Body Image


Body Image

Sorry that I don't follow any of your workout boards on Pinterest. I love Pinterest, but lately I've been shocked with all the pins about fat and weight. Don't get me wrong, I love learning new or quick exercises. I also love learning about a new healthy recipe. What I don't like is how many pictures there are of skinny, toned girls with hardly any clothes on. For some of you, those pictures might inspire you to work harder. That's great! For me it doesn't help; it makes me feel depressed. I might look like I have the worlds "ideal" body type, but that's only because my clothes cover the saggy stretch-marked bits. (One of my favorite blog posts ever is when Jenna at Mom, the Intern talks about stretch marks.)

I once heard that women are half the world and are raising the other half. We have so much influence on those around us! I believe that women have the most special, God-given gift to bear children. So what would affect us the most? Feelings of not being pretty, not have the "ideal" body, and making women forget how amazing their body is and what they are capable of doing. I see this happening by all the degrading images of women in the media. Did you know that H&M uses computerized bodies with real human heads to model their clothing because they claim it models the clothing better. Then how, may I ask, is the clothing supposed to look good on regular people? And what's up with Kate Moss' quote, "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels." Really!? I talked to my law-school husband about this, and it reminded him of something Justice Antonin Scalia said during a case (not about body image). He said, "It is more like judging whether a particular line is longer than a particular rock is heavy." Besides not being able to compare tasting and feeling, I know I love the taste of my favorite food better than feeling hungry.

I know that for me in high school when I was dealing with my own form of an eating disorder, it didn't feel good to not eat. It was at a time when I was really, really busy. I had gotten to the point where my life was a little out of control. I was in lots of hard, stressful classes and very time-consuming extra-curricular activities. I was worried about college and life after high school, and I tried to have a social life and keep up with my family. Controlling my food intake made me feel like I had control, but my thoughts were so twisted and my view of myself so distorted. I have since gotten so much better, but every once in awhile if I'm grumpy, then my husband has to ask, "have you eaten something recently?"

Anyway, it's not good if I put myself down about not having everything the world demands to be the ideal, but I really need to more active. I haven't been great at being active since having Henry. Before Henry I would run or walk a lot, but now I just don't think it's going to happen. I did walk a lot after having Henry because I had a friend helping me get out of the house. Our schedules are different now, and it's a lot harder to get myself out and walking. I want to be be active, so I'm going to try a dance exercise game on the Wii. I love to dance so I'm hoping it'll be something I do a lot. Now that I've told you readers, I'm accountable to get moving! Let's all work on being happier with who we are, being happy with where we are in life, and finding a way we love to be active.


  1. So true! Love it! Here's another quote for ya, "We live in a society where looks count" - Joan Rivers (who btw has had 700+ plastic surgeries!)

  2. You are so great. Thanks for being so honest.

    I completely agree!

  3. Yes, I agree about those awful women-who-are-so-toned-they-look-like-a-man pins, they are so ridiculous. I think we all are getting over some form of eating disorder or unhealthy thinking to say the least, and for me, exercise has got to be something that feels good and makes me have energy and NOT just a means to skinniness, which I'll probably never reach! I love danciung too, let me know if you like the wii game--which is it?

    1. I'm trying the just dance-summer playlist. we'll see how it goes!

  4. I hate those pictures on pinterest too. I do have a goal to lose weight but sometimes it depresses me that I'll never have the body I want.

  5. I agree. Thank you for putting words to my thoughts.

  6. Thanks. I really needed this today.

  7. Thanks for sharing! I remember a moment in college when I realized girls who wore size 4 jeans or smaller might have body image issue too. Mind blowing at the time, since skinny legs meant (and many days still means) "ideal." It's helpful for me to know we all are working on something. Let me know how the dancing goes! I love to create a 20 min. play list and just dance like crazy with the kids.

  8. Thanks for this post, Heather. I have struggled to come to terms with my weight as an adult, but I too struggled with an eating disorder as a child. It was stress related too, and had a lot to do with nervous stomach aches and relating food to feeling sick. After going through that, I know how very unhealthy it can be to control your intake, so I feel that while I might not look the way I want, it is best to have good nutrition. And I agree about the pictures. Just because a select group of people are physically capable of committing to that much exercise and focus on their bodies doesn't mean the rest of us can. I think the most important focus should be on health and happiness.

  9. Mothers have a huge role to play in helping girls have positive body image and it starts with us. Not easy in a culture inundated with unrealistic and punishing beauty ideals. We have to tell the truth about these images and the way they make us feel as you do so beautifully here. The truth will set us free plain and simple.

  10. Such a great post! I so agree with you!
    I believe in moderation with everything. No overeating, but also no undereating, just the right amount. Same with exercising. Was this Onslaught Dove video ever big in the US? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zKfF40jeCA It's so good! I need to get moving as well :) I try to exercise 4x a week for 30-40min, it's not easy but I need it.
    Btw I took me a while before I saw that the picture is actually you, haha!

  11. Let me just say that I adore your blog very much. You're a smart, beautiful woman with so much creativity in her!
    I agree with your post. In our culture skinny is sexy and the only way to feel good, but let me tell you, I feel awful when I don't eat. My boyfriend is scared of me, when I'm hungry, cause I turn into a lunatic :D I am really skinny, but it's not because of diet, that's just the way I've been whole my life. But I've recently discovered a change in people's tastes, more and more people consider skinny to be ugly, to be unhealthy (well despite the whole fashion industry, but they're ruthless assholes). So there is a transition happening, it may take time, but it's happening. Don't feel bad for being who you are, you have a wonderful baby and you're awesome!! :P Just sayin :)


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