body trends

Isn't it interesting how, as women, we have been reduced to two body parts: tits and ass.

I don't even like using the word titsb ecause it sounds like something a frat brother would say. In the past when I have complained about having small boobs, a lot of people have responded with this answer: 

"But you have a great ass. You don't need boobs." 

And while that is meant to be encouraging, it is also objectifying. What if I didn't have this body part that men want to grab and women squat/pay for? Would I still be ok? And what happens when it's not as perky as it once was. Or has cellulite. Does it then lose all value? What about someone without breasts or a booty? Are they any less of a woman? 

Over the years, I have gone through waves of playing into this idea of being an object. When I was a teeny tiny anorexic thing, I wanted nothing to do with a body. This was pre Kardashian and pre plus size on Sports Illustrated, a time where Mary Kate Olsen was the coolest. I wasn't starving myself for a man, because many told me that I was too skinny. But I always wanted boobs. And instead I got the opposite- a round ass. 

When I moved to LA at 17, things started to shift. While in New York it is way more socially acceptable to have an eating disorder, the trend in LA is to be in shape. Have giant boobs with a tiny waist. Muscle tone and yoga pants. Nowadays, it's all about the big ass and lips. We all see it everywhere and the age is getting younger and younger. If you live here or own technology, you know exactly what I'm talking about. 

So yes, I was following a body trend. But also, my body started rebelling against me. Even though I was thin, my butt kept growing. People complimented me on it all the time, both men and women. Reducing me to this body part that was slowly starting to become more desirable. But until my early 20s, I hated it. Hated how hard it was to find jeans that fit well. Hated men staring at me after I walked away. Hated that it made me feel womanly. 

I'll be honest- I am grateful for the Kardashians coming in and changing the way we view curves. I feel like when they first got on TV, they represented both a different body type and ethnicity. Obviously I am aware that currently there is also an altered look being pushed, causing young girls from all over the world to visit their nearest doctor. But I'm not into shaming them. I don't think it solves anything. I get wanting to look better. I get giving into trends. I understand what it's like to be surrounded by beautiful women and not feel like you measure up. Kim Kardashian's insecurities are no different than a lot of ours. She just happens to be famous. 

I think the key to getting away from the objectifying is to stop viewing ourselves like objects. I now enjoy parts of my body, which took a really long time to be able to say. And I won't lie- the world celebrating areas of me helped. But it was never the true answer. I had to cultivate that love and acceptance from within. I had and have to stop looking at myself in parts. I am a whole person, with a big soul and a big brain, and if I allow myself to play into these body trends, I am fucked. 

Receiving compliments on my physical form can feel good, but I strive to find self love and acceptance no matter what. Because all of this beauty and body will fade. If I can't love myself at at a higher weight than normal, then was my self love ever real anyway? I don't think so. As women, we are teachers. We are nurturers and the push behind the creative force. If we don't set the tone of how we wanted to be treated, then is it all men's fault when they break us apart? If that is what we are doing at home, in our mirrors, at the gym, surrounded by our equally dissatisfied girlfriends, then why do expect something different from the opposite sex? 

I'm not perfect at any of this. I feel the pressures like everyone else. And sometimes I cave into it and sometimes I can rise above. I have thought about getting fake boobs since I was a teen. But something in me wants to at least attempt a different route. It's certainly a process and a continual unlearning of all the subtle and not so subtle messages that swirl around our world. But maybe just for the day, we can remember that we are more than our bodies. More than the things that we have been told make us valuable, worthy and on trend. And maybe these small steps in little doses can help make big change. 

Photo: unknown

HealKenna Conway