Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Beauty and the Truth

I was going to do Kate Hart's Two for Tuesday this week, but then this amazing post by Kristin Otts came up, so I changed my mind. She said at the end of her post:

So, lovely readers, I have a challenge for you. I challenge you to help me start a wave of positive body image - a celebration of pimples and glasses and freckles and curves.

Post a picture of yourself - sans makeup, fashionable clothing, or a fancy-schmancy hairstyle. A picture of yourself in your PJs, hugging your teddy bear, making a stupid face. A picture of YOU.

It won't be perfect, but that's the beautiful truth about people. None of us are.

And I am in love with this idea. I also am incapable of just posting pictures and shutting up, so here I go:

I'm a size three. I weigh less than 110 lbs. Sometimes I get the impression I'm supposed to be ashamed about this, but I'm not. This is the size I'm supposed to be, and even though I don't like every little piece, I've come to a place in my life where I like how I look.

People--women in particular, let's not lie to ourselves, girls--can be harsh. Can be judgmental. Can decide things about you from one little glance. A lot of it is insecurity, and it has to stop. We would all feel so much more beautiful if we stopped comparing and judging and tearing down those we are not like. A lot is said about the terrible things that are said/done to bigger girls, but words hurt people of all sizes and shapes and looks. People throw around phrases like "skinny bitches" to describe all thin people, as though your size automatically makes you a bad person. There's a facebook group called "curvy girls are better than skinny girls". I'm sure there are more like it, and probably some that go the reverse, too. Personally, I get a lot of questions about whether I eat, how much I eat, demands that I eat more. This rolls off me now, on a personal level, but it is something that digs at my soul. No one of any size should have to sit there at lunch in the cafeteria and wonder if they're eating too much/too little, or whether they can go to the bathroom alone, or if that will make their friends think they're puking out what they just ate.

Even the prettiest girls don't always feel pretty. No one should be made to feel too fat/too skinny/too perfect/too ugly. Everyone has the right to feel how they feel, and no one will be able to feel free of the weight of judgment until we all stop hating each other for stupid, stupid reasons.

There are men in the world who are so attracted to slender girls. There are also men who are so attracted to curvy girls. Whatever size your body is, whatever shaped nose you have, however weird you might think your toes are, own it.

It starts with one thing. Do you love your shoulders? Your nose? Your eyes? Focus on how great that one feature is, instead of focusing on what you hate about your other features. Eventually you'll start to love more and more things. Even if it's stupid things. I'm pretty sure my boyfriend has never given a second thought to what my elbows look like, but I like them, and that makes me feel good.

Everyone is unique. Own your uniqueness. Love it. Love yourself. That's where it all begins.

And here's me, in all my unmakeuped glory. I actually never wear makeup, so this is not unusual. But this was also pre-shower, so my hair is good and frightening. I took two, because I kind of look unhappy in the first one. (It's harder than I thought to take a picture of myself!)

Ooh! And look--two pictures of me=TWO FOR TUESDAY. In all seriousness, though, it is so important to a) respect yourself and b) respect others. Don't just assume your words won't hurt someone because according to your version of the universe, they have nothing to be hurt about. And don't let anyone tell you what you're supposed to look like. You need to make yourself happy. No one else.


V.M.Pettingill said...

That's written so well. Maybe I'll do a post about it too. (If I have the guts)

Tahereh said...


sing it LOUD, love!

sing it PROUD.


Kate Hart said...


Chanelley said...

I'm so glad this is being posted because I agree that everyone needs to just learn to accept who they are and love themselves for it!

Michelle Schusterman said...

Hooray, Two Pretty Pictures of Kaitlin for Tuesday! :D

Phoebe said...

This is great. Love it, and posted about it.

Anonymous said...

ACK! I'm so glad you did this with me, Kaitlin! Wonderful, wonderful post. :D

Emilia Plater said...

You are gorgeous. <33 Wonderful post!

Raven said...

"Everyone is unique. Own your uniqueness. Love it. Love yourself. That's where it all begins."

That is so true! I wish I could put that on a t-shirt or something.

LOVE it. <3

houndrat said...

OMG, Kristin srsly read my mind. I was just pondering doing a post on body image. I am SO. IN.

Awesome photos! :D Awesomer post. :D

Jess said...

You are amazing and beautiful. Thank you for making us all feel the same way. :)

Annie McElfresh said...

Awesome Post Kaitlin!! I heart you! :D

J.S. Wood said...

Awesome Kaitlin! Another "skinny" person who sometimes gets looks and questions for being small.

You rock!

Kathy Bradey said...

That is all.

Rachele Alpine said...

I love it! I told Kristin that I'm going to post a picture on my blog tomorrow. So cool and positive!

Bee said...

You have no idea how much I can identify with your post. I'm superskinny out of complusion (genes) not choice and I get asked if I'm starving myself or not, so much, it gets to the point where I just want to throttle them. Sometimes people just don't get that you just get abody andyou don't always get to choose it.

ZM_Dreamer said...

I, too, agree with your post. I'm genetically super skinny. It doesn't matter what I eat or anything else, I'll always be this way. I'm 35, and I still get called "Stick","Skeleton", or any other pole sized joke names. I think the name that bothered me most was "Bird Legs".

It's ok though. It doesn't bother me a heck of a lot anymore because I know that God made me who I am. A lot of folks don't realize that skinny people get picked on just as much as bigger people do. Basically, most people get picked at no matter what size we are, what we wear, or how we talk.

Thanks for posting this blog!