Everyone has things about their body that they are less-than-in-love with. This is especially true when you have spent your entire adult life (and most of your adolescent life) overweight. Growing up there weren’t many overweight women in media, and those who were, were usually the butt of some joke.
In fact, I am currently watching Friends and they keep talking about fat Monica. All about how she would eat everything around her, how nobody ever liked her, how she would break chairs, etc…basically, it added up to how she was this sad and pathetic girl with no friends other than food. Then they have flashback episodes…she is definitely overweight, but there is no way she would break a chair, unless one of the legs had already been sawed into. She was probably what would be about a size 14 or 16… or an AVERAGE AMERICAN WOMAN!
When you look at magazines, tv, movies, etc and you don’t see yourself represented, it is really hard. Then you finally see a fat person who is the butt of the joke and she is thinner than you are. It is crushing!
There were/are certain parts of my body that I could deal with… and then there were others that I absolutely HATED. The main one being stretch marks. I have come to terms with my stretch marks for the most part, after all most people will get stretch marks at some point. However, there is one set of stretch marks that I have struggled with SO much – my shoulders! I have a set of 5 or 6 stretch marks on each shoulder, and for most of my life, it has absolutely killed me…especially when I would see other overweight women, who didn’t seem to have that problem. It has been a very long journey towards beginning to accept that part of myself, but that journey will be for another post. So imagine my surprise when I went onto Lane Bryant recently and saw this:
This is a model named Denise Bidot, she is a plus size model and has recently done swim wear shoots for many different brands. You see what she has there??? Stretch Marks! Big ones, too! You know what else, she is incredibly beautiful!
As if that wasn’t enough… I then saw this image:
I have no idea who this model is… but I don’t care! She is a model for Lane Bryant. Why is this a big deal to me? SHE HAS STRETCH MARKS ON HER SHOULDERS AND SHE IS A MODEL!!!!!! When I saw this image, I felt so moved! I wish there had been more images like these available to me growing up.
I think of adolescent and young women who are still trying to deal with body issues and who possibly have stretch marks that they feel so ashamed of, some of who will see these images, and all I can think is this:
THANK YOU, LANE BRYANT. THANK YOU!