Monday, April 26, 2010

Beauty Through My Eyes (For All You Women)

This video stirred something within me that I didn't realize I've been feeling for some time.

What I read on your blogs and conversations I have with you guys often drives what I choose to write about. It's the raw honesty of revealing your deepest insecurities that stays with me the longest after I've left your pages. Because of what I've been reading lately I want to talk about self-image, specifically body image.

Some of you whom I read regularly have been fighting weight issues. I've seen the effects it can have, as my wife Sandy has faced this for years (she's okay with me mentioning this). The cycle is usually inversely proportionate; as weight increases self-confidence decreases. The media doesn't help either. By continually bombarding society with images of the 'ideal' body type, advertisers would have us believe a woman is somehow less feminine, less attractive and therefore less desirable in the eyes of others if she's overweight. Yes some men do feel this way, but the media doesn't speak for all of us. Am I attracted to women with the typical 'supermodel' figure? Sure. But beauty goes far beyond that and it's not talked about nearly enough.

There's a fine line between actively trying to improve the appearance of your body vs. accepting how you look; I think the answer lies in wanting to make the change but still feeling good about yourself in the process. It starts with your mind and the way you see yourself; if you don't project your own beauty on the inside, you can't expect others to see it on the outside. A woman who believes in herself and shows that to others is undeniably fierce; there's nothing sexier than a woman who loves who she is, not narcissistically but confidently.

I appreciate that women want to look better and feel better about themselves but I'm sometimes disturbed by the lengths that some will go to just to achieve it. This is what the video sparked in me. It bothers me that eating disorders are common in our society, and becoming increasingly more prevalent amongst adolescent girls. I'm bothered by the number of women who feel the need to seek cosmetic surgery and Botox injections, and by the amount of surgeons who are willing to perform these procedures knowing damn well they're not necessary. I'm bothered by the number of 50+ women I've seen who I think are hella sexy and don't realize it.

I've read references about your weight from some of you in your posts.  It's a bit disheartening, because I think often you're not
hearing other viewpoints and therefore not getting the full picture. There are often times I want to reply with how I feel, but I'm not usually comfortable saying these things as they can be easily misconstrued. (It's very difficult for a man to honestly compliment a woman these days). But just because I don't say it doesn't mean I'm not thinking it.

Regardless of how old you are, what your background is, your height, weight or skin colour, you're beautiful.

Never forget that.


  1. this is such a great post barry and so true.
    ... but as you said it really starts from the inside because when I was much, MUCH thinner than I am now, I was still insecure and critical of myself. It truly is finding your own beauty and embrasing your "flaws"... then before you know it when you look at yourself in the mirror all you see is the beautiful woman you are... i beleive this and yet it is easier said then done.

  2. Most of my life my weight has been an issue. Unfortunately it was mostly my mom who made it an issue for me. The media wasn't my problem ... my own mother was. I tried to explain to her that she was only making it worse. Too bad mothers don't listen. I hear it so often. As much as I wanted to make her proud, her pushing drove me further and further into fatness. As soon as she died, I was able to pick up the pieces and start living for me again ... to get control of my eating, my activity level. And I started to feel good about myself again ... finally. I wish I hadn't wasted so many years. It wasn't all her fault ... ultimately I'm the one who allowed this to happen. And the better I felt about myself, the better I dressed, the better I looked, the better I felt, the more confident I was, the happier I was. I so admire women who, regardless of their weight, can feel good in their skin, who accept themselves and love themselves for who they are....where they are.
    For a while there, despite being plus sized, I felt sexy, I felt confidence, and it showed. Things have slid lately but I'm on my way back.
    Thank you Barry for loving me always and never making me feel like a failure.
    Ladies, and gents, take the time the realize that you are special, you are worth it, and despite what anyone, even our loved ones, say, your worth is not based on your appearance ... it's based on who you are.

  3. I suffered from body dysmorphic disorder, which was odd considering I've never had an eating disorder (thank goodness). I still struggle with this because being 6 ft tall people ALWAYS expect me to look "model" thin. Unfortunately, my job doesn't help... and there's nothing like a stroll down Lincoln Road in South Beach to solidify your fat-fears. Someone should remind these people that food is actually yummy. Eat bitches! Cucumber soup and water with no lemon does NOT a meal make!

    Family is tough too since they feel the need to remind you every time your weight shifts one way or the other. If I'm too skinny in their eyes, God help me I should eat and I'm probably anemic by now and should see a doctor. If I'm a little heavier one month they go pinching my sides, giggling and telling me I can't "waste" my figure away. I've learned to tune it out but it's not easy!!!! Like I said... I still struggle with it.

  4. I think this is in important post...right around this time of year a lot of women panic because it's almost bathing suit time. I think it, just like anything, is magnified on the blogs. Thanks for the reminder that skin and bones is not always sexy :)

    Hope you're well B! XO

  5. This is a topic close to my own heart as a guy
    that's struggled with his own weight (personally I've lost about 15-20kgs over 3 years... due to motivating factors about how I was perceived by people) and in a way spurred on by the pressures of the environment and media. But it is a difficult line to draw in the sand as to what is acceptable - and I do think a lot of the pressure on people is very over the top.

  6. This is all so true and sad. It is not even about being overweight now, also underweight and this and that, I wish all girls would be nicer to themselves but also each other. I mean seriously girls are so mean to each other about their looks instead of leaning on each other to help overcome this massive low self esteem we suffer, we try to climb on top of one another to get higher. I think it is very sad, thank you for the beautiful post :)