I absolutely agree with Kirsten that we are responsible for our bodies. And I believe it takes time to learn this, learn how to treat them well and what to do with them outside the influence of magazines, television and peers. As someone who is having their own moment, finally, at almost thirty after year of disordered eating I know that life’s just not that simple. As a child, I was always larger than other girls. Almost my full adult height by 12 years of age I was a giant amongst pre-teen girls. I didn’t feel competition from magazines, tv or music to fit in, to be something, I felt the pressure hardest from my peers and their mothers.

Later I discovered magazines and perfect, air brushed images. Ad campaigns in particular intrigued me. Enthralled my want for glamor and adventure. I thought that I was smart enough to know that perfection was not real. To escape the pressure. I knew nobody was that perfect. I knew that people who smoked more often than not got cancer of some description. I knew that not eating enough food to sustain my body would lead to long-term health effects. And none of that made any difference. Perhaps magazines HAD brain washed me. Perhaps movies HAD integrated into my thoughts and reprogrammed me while I slept.

Perhaps it’s time to unravel some of these thought processes. Maybe the place I’m at is where I need to be now. I am tall. From a large family. I liken our family to Dr Phil and his brood. Tall and big-boned but athletic. No excuse for layers of fat. None. But I’m never going to be a tiny 5 foot something, delicate little flower. No amount of punishment or ruination of my body will make that happen. It took me time to get here. With a clear head and focus. Would my journey have been a shorter one without the perfection of the nineties supermodel?

What came first, the chicken or the egg?

  • Kim-Marie Williams

    I’m heading into my Big Four Oh My God era. 40. Next year. Everyone I know at this stage starts seeing a personal trainer, losing a little weight and getting muscled up. I get that. I do. But I have a slightly different approach. Maybe it’s the chronic illness I’ve had for seven years which has changed my perception? I’m quite happy being a curvy size 12. I’m not thin. I’m not fat. I’m kinda normal. I don’t need to have the body of a 25 year old (although I wish I’d appreciated it more when I had it!) to feel fulfilled.

    I’m still in recovery mode and am quite frankly amazed at what I can do (having experienced extremely limited ability in my body). Maybe if I hadn’t been sick, I would too be getting rock hard abs and Madonna arms?

    Like most girls, I feel 5kg less would be better. But I’m not putting my life on hold til I’m a curvaceous 10 rather than a curvaceous 12.

    I’ve shed my weight issues. Feels good!

    • Melissa Walker Horn

      Thanks so much for sharing this Kim-Marie.

      And yes, I think that an illness or similar reality check health moment definitely changes our view on health and fitness. Rock hard abs and Madonna arms take an awfully be commitment, you’ve got to want them baaaaaad. Trade a lot for them. Give up a lot more.

      Here’s to fab and forty. xox

  • Mrs BC

    The irony is that supermodels from the 90’s where amazons – taller that 5’8 or do not apply. Only actresses get to work if they are short. As if THAT makes any difference… I think you are right about looking within, health and self esteem come in any size.

    • Melissa Walker Horn

      Haha. True. Darn those super tall ladies who weren’t 85kg but instead 55kg. They did my head in even worse. Thanks for commenting. Self esteem really does come in any size and can take any length of time to discover {or rediscover as the case may be}.

  • Rae

    This is true. We are really the ones more responsibility for what we think of our bodies. Everybody gets as much chances for media exposure, but not everyone have the same level of self-esteem and confidence

    • Melissa Walker Horn

      We are and we must keep an eye on those who are yet to discover it for themselves.

  • river

    Did you ever study those airbrushed photos and find the spot where the airbrushing was done? like a nicely curved hip becoming an impossibly matched thin thigh? And so on. I did it all the time and laughed at those poor girls who weren’t allowed to be themselves.

    • Melissa Walker Horn

      I didn’t, it was just amazing to me that so much could be changed. Then I learnt to do some of the things myself and was a little less in awe and a little more annoyed for the girl I was.

      It’s madness I say!

      AND, you got your comment issue fixed! Yay. I’d emailed a nerdie friend for a little help. Seems you don’t need it.

  • Kristen Lea

    You’ve hit the nail on the head Melissa! We all know better, but when it’s constantly in our faces it’s kind of hard to get that niggling voice out of your head. When you only see nice clothes on ‘perfect’ women, when all the advertising features ‘perfect’ women, when almost every image in a magazine is of ‘perfect’ (or airbrushed) women, it’s pretty easy to think of yourself as less than perfect when you don’t look that way. It’s great to see the shift away from all that ‘perfect’ to appeal to all women not just the ones that are genetically blessed. Thanks for sharing xo