I think everyone who writes about body image has a blind spot or a subject that makes them feel a bit hypocritical. After all, most of us haven’t gotten the whole “Love your body exactly as it is 100 percent of the time no matter what” thing down yet, and although we might have a great understanding of all the concepts, and can easily explain them to others, we haven’t quite internalized them for ourselves.
For me, that hypocritical blind spot is comparing my body to others, and specifically to celebrities. This is actually really embarrassing for me to admit, because it seems like it should be such an easy thing to overcome. Unlike other body image issues that are steeped in complex emotions that may take years to unpack, the logic of comparing your body to celebrities can be debunked by a few simple facts. I’ve written about it before. I know that images in magazines are heavily edited. I know that celebrities have entire teams dedicated to making them look perfect. I know that articles about how to get Jessica Alba’s abs by doing specialized crunches are complete and utter bullshit. I know that our body shapes are determined almost entirely by genetics and that I could do 1000 crunches a day for 100 years and still never have Jessica Alba’s abs. Not to mention the fact that I’m sure Jessica Alba is very fond of her abs and would prefer to keep them for herself.
The reality of being a woman — by the numbers. Learn more