When we talk about body image and female perfection, nothing quite fits the picture like Barbie. She has been the ideal for decades within little girl circles. Her hair, her clothes, her car and even her guy are perfect. Except her feet. Those are just weird.
Barbie is marketed as the be-all image for girls and I am not here to bash Barbie or jump on any anti-high-heeled feet campaign. Barbie is awesome and so are her toys. The downside of the imagery of a skinny, Caucasian, blonde girl as being perfect is obviously the fact that not all girls look like her. Does that make them less than perfect? We all know that the vast majority of women struggle with a positive body image. Never feeling quite right is the norm for most women I know and Barbie doesn’t help the situation.
One of the many complaints about Barbie are her measurements; that her body is abnormally shaped and does not reflect most grown women. Little girls who have grown up believing Barbie to be the ideal image of a woman will be faced later on down the road with the reality that Barbie’s measurements are not typical. Girls who become women will need to reconcile what it means to have a “perfect” body; after they have held Barbie out as the ideal throughout their formative childhood years.
As women we get to the point where we know that Barbie’s waist is freakish small and ours will never look like that, so what are we to do in order to re-set our subconscious thinking regarding female perfection? We do what we can with what we have to work with. We break bad habits like regularly eating at McDonalds (or some other fast food chain), not exercising and lugging around 25lb, 50lb or more pounds in excess weight. These habits are simply not good for anyone. I know what I am speaking about and if you don’t believe me, take a look at this post, 112lbs and going. Yeah, I understand the love of fast food. I actually frequented Burger King so often they came to recognize my voice over the drive-thru speaker. Seriously. Like, for reals. The day I realized this was a turning point for me. But that’s another story for another blog post though.
We will most likely never be shaped like Barbie and let’s just get over that fact. Instead, let us take care of the bodies we do have and make as good of choices as we are willing to do. I say willing because that’s what it all boils down to; willpower. I am not willing to give up having donuts sometimes but I do eat a lot more broccoli than donuts. I am a vegetarian (except when the craving for In N Out hits, so I guess I am more craving driven in my vegetarianism). I work out a few times a week and yes I could go to the gym more but I am not willing. It’s all about finding the balance between willingness and desired level of health. Please do not complain about your health and fitness level if you’re not willing to do something about it. I know. That sounds harsh but it’s just true and everyone gets tired of hearing complaints with no action following. If you find yourself really stuck regarding weight, consider meeting with a counselor. It certainly doesn’t have to be me, but someone who can help you sort through the self-sabotaging behaviors that keep you from reaching your goals.
What are you willing to do to make yourself a little bit healthier today than you were yesterday? Perfection can’t be the goal anymore but finding a balance between donuts and broccoli is achievable.