When I saw the photo below online I felt I needed to share it with you. Why? I feel most of us women (including myself) have unrealistic expectations of our bodies especially as we begin to age and are on journeys seeking greater health and a normal body weight.
Cindy Crawford without question is one of the most beautiful women and seemingly ageless women of my generation. But, even she isn’t flawless as we have seen her portrayed in magazines; she is a real women. I do not know if she allowed the picture to surface but if she did, I want to applaud her for her confidence. I hope she did want this pictures seen, as it gives some realism to millions of women and young girls. Intellectually, I have known for years that pictures were air-brushed and touched up to create the illusion of perfection, but it isn’t until I see a picture like this does it really compute in my thick hard head.
I think we have all admired the glamorous women portrayed in the movies, magazines and media throughout our lives. I recall thinking “If I could only be like them!” (beautiful, thin, rich, famous, etc.) I thought my life was missing something because I wasn’t beautiful, thin, rich or famous. I was just plain me, plain chubby me from Indiana. I didn’t live in New York, Paris, Los Angeles or Rome, I lived in a small town. The most glamorous thing in our town was the General Store’s Soda Machine’s sign glowing in the darkness. The movies and magazines were avenues of escape from the Midwest small town life. We ALL wanted to be Farrah Fawcett, Jacquelyn Smith, Kate Jackson, Marie Osmond, Twiggy, Ann Margaret, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Audrey Hepburn, Ursula Andress, Kim Novack, Marlo Thomas, Yvonne Craig, Tina Louise, Dawn Wells and countless other stars who epitomized perfection in the magazines and on the big and small screen. Yes, I am dating myself but that is ok, I like being that “certain age.”
I suspect many of us who have looked or attempted to look (at times we can’t bear to look) at our bodies in the mirrors and instantly thought of how much we need to change, how imperfect we are, and sadly how undeserving we are in life! For a very long time, I was not able to look at my own body in any mirror with our without clothes without total disgust. As I got older (over 50), I started feeling better about my body and was able to look in the mirror without cringing. When did this happen? It was not after I lost ten pounds, 50 pounds or even 100 pounds, it was before I started living a healthy lifestyle. I do feel that change in attitude of acceptance and gratefulness is what prepared my mind and enabled me to make healthy changes in my life. I started accepting my body how it was and kept telling myself no I am not “perfect” (and no one is!). I was grateful for the body I had been given. At least I had both arms, both legs, all my fingers and toes and I could walk, talk and think as there are many who do not have all their fingers, toes, legs arms and some who have cognitive limitations. After coming to peace with my own imperfections, I realized I COULD change some things about myself and I HAD to change things about myself! I physically felt so bad at the end of 2012/beginning of 2013, I couldn’t even without stopping walk up one flight of stairs. Internally I knew I HAD to change or face becoming a very limited disabled future or possibly no future at all, maybe face an early death.
After having lost over the excess weight, I look at my sagging skin and the stretch marks and sometimes find myself thinking I am not “good enough” or I am “flawed” but this picture helps me realize that I am not perfect but I am “real” and not nearly as bad my thoughts have led me to believe. This picture gives me “hope” and “assurance” that I am more “normal” than I have ever realized! We are all supermodels! (sans the agent, the money, the stylist and the artist to photo-shop our pictures) Thank you Cindy Crawford for being a “normal” gorgeous women who is aging with style and grace! You are awesome! (even if you do have the agent, money, stylist and the artist to air-brush away “media-labeled” imperfections!)