What's amazing about biking is that I can go for 2 hours and feel great afterwards. Run for 2 hours and I feel like I just got beat up by a bear. Many of you bloggers (and lurkers? I love that I have no idea who reads this thing) run LONG distances regularly. So if you run 10+ miles on a weekly or more basis, please let me know how you escape feeling...un-mauled.
I also killed some time watching Good Morning America yesterday morning. They did a segment on a website that is becoming very popular: My Body Gallery.com. The concept is that you can can see pictures that "real women" posted of themselves and and view by body type, height and weight, etc. It's meant to show "real women" instead of fashion models.
What is a "real woman"?
Our perception of beauty has changed over time:
Sure, both women are thin and gorgeous, but I'd say one looks pretty attainable and one not so much (ahem, Miranda...stop makin' me look bad).
So then sites like My Body Gallery pop up to combat this emphasis on ulta-thinness. Or the Dove campaign. Remember that?
Apparently the Dove campaign was ultra successful, and I'm glad it was. While I'm pretty sure these women were still airbrushed, it's nice that really pretty, normal looking women were featured.
So why haven't we see more of this? Why is there the trend to feature skinny models with big boobs and with major airbrushing in their features?
Since I can't believe that the entire fashion and fitness industry WANTS women to feel bad about their bodies, I think the answer is that skinny sells. The industry serves us these pictures because we women see them, and want to look like models, and purchase accordingly. Hard to know what came first, the Chicken or the Egg, but we're in a vicious cycle now.
So we're doomed to an eternity of 13 year olds with crappy self esteem huh?
Kinda...but I think there's something we CAN do. I'm not a mom, but I know that if I have a daughter, I plan on de-emphasizing appearance as much as possible. Sure, it's hard in a world of Disney Princesses and fashion magazines, but I hope by emphasizing her worth in intelligence, sports, music, and eventual career prospects, I can help her to aspire to be so much more than being like that Miranda Kerr picture.
Way easier said than done? I'm sure.
But I'm hoping if I do my job right, she'll prioritize her achievements over wanting to be skinny. And hopefully Disney will come out with a Princess who is not all that cute and works as a lawyer or scientist or something in the meantime. Although unfortunately, that movie probably wouldn't sell.