over50feeling40: Friend Friday: YUK...The Dreaded Body Image!!
Fashion and Lifestyle Blog for women over 50 to help achieve strength, confidence, joy, inspiration, and, of course, head-turning personal style!

Feb 18, 2011

Friend Friday: YUK...The Dreaded Body Image!!






1. Since you started blogging, has your image of yourself changed?



     I began this blog July 2010, because I was in a very healthy place with my body image. I had finally reached a point where I accepted my Size 18, curvy figure and had learned to dress it in a more flattering way. I believe any body type can be dressed stylish, fun, and confident…..and I wanted to send that message to women 50+ who are struggling with so many body changes. I would not be honest if I didn’t tell you that there are times I look at my pictures and still cringe a little at the way a particular outfit fits me….but I am cringing over the way the outfit maybe doesn’t flatter my figure the way it should. The way clothes FIT your body can have so much to do with how you feel about your body.  I started my new journey when I received a wake up call after I turned 50...my driver's license picture first shocked me into realizing that I had given up on life and had shut down.  That picture began a journey to where I am today....and it is way more fun!! 


2. Are you self conscious about any aspect of yourself? If so, do you go out of your way to avoid it, or do you post about it anyway?


Humility, Honesty, and Humor…..the three Hs of my blog!! I do not believe that the blog can be successful, and properly reach out to women 50+, unless I am willing to be real. I often discuss my body issues…for example, since I began a doctor supervised diet for health reasons (complete with hormone supplements)…I have blogged about it. (BTW….11 pounds down as of yesterday…WOO HOO!) Right now, I have a skunk running down the middle of my hair, because my sweet stylist is in Panama….waiting for her is ridiculously hard!! I do have some wrinkles forming around my mouth that are driving me crazy, but, an unavoidable evil of aging!  Acceptance of who we are...where we are has much to do with all of this....I can look great, but I cannot stop ageing...though many try!!






3. Based on how you are feeling now, what do you think the future holds in the evolution of your body image?


My main message has always been to encourage the 50+ woman to be strong, confident, and dignified in the life she is leading, where she is, right now. That message is about who we are on the inside as women. It is about the person underneath the wrinkles or belly fat. So, often I find that women who are wearing oversized, frumpy clothing are hiding from life. We can get so focused on the outside that we allow it to shut us down on the inside. When you hit 50, you also see flashing stop signs reminding us that LIFE IS SHORT….you are on the flip side. Instead of allowing our bodies to control us, it is time to get out there and have some fun. Taking time for you to learn how to dress will just enhance the fun!! What does my future hold in the evolution of body image…..to live a HEALTHY lifestyle and ENJOY life!


4. Do you photograph yourself for your blog? If so, how do you feel about the experience when you are having your picture taken? If you choose not to post pictures of yourself, what prompted that decision?


I began this blog with the intention of not revealing my true identity. In fact, my profile picture was a fun, Fiesta mask. I only did that because I was fearful of judgment from women in and around my work place. It did not take me long to realize that if the women I really wanted to speak to were going to take me seriously, that I had to reveal my complete self. Otherwise, it looked as though I did not believe what I preached. As the audience for the blog grew, those women became more important to me than caring about what others thought of me. The blog has empowered me in a way to be more confident of my message and if others are laughing or not agreeing, then so be it. The fact that the blog now runs on the local newspaper website, is evidence that I have ceased to care what others may think of what I am doing. The audience has become the most important aspect of the blog. Also, you only have to ask my students to know that just last year, I absolutely LOATHED having my picture taken. For the last ten years, I have not allowed my picture to be in the yearbook….one of the perks of being in charge of the book. (Honestly, those photos are sooo bad…it is the quality that makes the faculty pictures look so horrendous) But, the blog has helped me get over that. I have said good bye to looking at my pictures as an older, larger woman….but now looking at them as the joyful, confident women I am.


5. What would you want every person who struggles with body image to take to heart? It takes time to get over any struggles you have. Younger girls mostly struggle with weight issues, but, us seasoned ladies are struggling with head to toe issues and it is not something that goes away quickly. Begin today changing things that will make you feel better about you. I went shorter and darker with my hair. I learned the proper way to put on makeup to enhance my features. I began a regular regime to care for my complexion. Finally, I learned to dress and love my body right where it was. But, I had to make a conscious decision to stop hiding!


Before considering what will make you feel better on the outside, you must accept your strengths on the inside. Make a list today of everything that makes YOU SPECIAL. Then read that list to yourself while looking in the mirror. You are unique…like a snowflake…there is no one else in this world exactly like you. REJOICE IN THAT! Today, enter just one room with confidence and a smile on your face. Then get up tomorrow and do it again. BABY STEPS! Eventually, you will feel better and once you see clothes on your body that fit your body…you will want to see it again, and again, and again. Do not allow anyone else to have power over you to tell you what you should look like. Women so often allow family, men, and other women to control them and tell them how to feel about themselves. THIS IS ONLY ABOUT YOU! You need to strive to first please yourself and make a constant decision to not listen to negative voices around you. I know this is not easy for some. It is a daily effort to change how you feel and eventually the positive becomes a part of who you are. This is healthy thinking. Life is too short to live it shut down by the negative voices of others! You can do this! I know, because I did.

Now, for the FIRST Time ever, I will reveal what
picture it was at age 50 that woke me up and made
me realize it was time to change and to LIVE:



Seven Years Ago!!





Me:  Today!

Now, read more great answers at ModlyChichttp://www.modlychic.com/2011/02/730.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Modlychic+%28ModlyChic%29

16 comments:

  1. LOVE your answers...especially your willingness to be "real"....another reason I luv ya!

    Stop by and say Hello:)
    Enter my EL Vintage Giveaway!!♥

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  2. Very inspiring post, Pam. You are an amazing woman and a role model to many!

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  3. Thanks, Pam. You are an inspiration to all women. Not just women of a certain age. I think we have the responsibility of being confident so that younger women can see that it's fun and empowering to get older. You prove that every day. You are changing lives just by having the courage to be honest.

    And by the way, you look Mahhvelous!~

    xoxo,
    Tracy

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  4. Pam, I have to tell you...I almost don't even recognize you in this picture. The you that I see today is like the one that was hiding. How great though, that you answered the wake up call! You always look so lovely and have amazing style!! Don't you just love showing it off?!?! Congratulations on the weight loss! You can do this! Big Hug and Big Love from NC to TX! ~Serene

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  5. Oh my goodness, my jaw just dropped when I saw the infamous photo on the driver's license. I wouldn't have believed the picture was the same woman. You are absolutely correct that women our age realize that "life is short", too short to keep hiding out.

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  6. Although you are smiling in both pics, you shine now!

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  7. Thanks for the sweet comment! My mom actually gave me that jacket, and she sells a designer line of clothing called CABI. You would LOVE the clothes--they are actually tailored more toward women above their twenties, but I still love wearing their stuff too. If you're ever interested in checking them out, go here: http://robinurton.cabionline.com/. And no, I don't get commission. haha I just love the quality and I wear the stuff on my site all the time, so I figured I'd tell you a little about it! Have a good day!

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  8. So glad to hear of your journey, and thanks so much for the photo. Love to see the transformation and this should be on TV! So dramatic--its amazing what a little hair and makeup can do!

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  9. wow, great answers.. I love your authenticity!! and you dont even look that bad on your drivers license!!!! good thing you are really looking after your health well being now though, very important and its easy to tell that it has made a big difference for you already.. and congrats on the 11 pounds.. go girl!!!
    xox J

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  10. Wow, you look younger in the last photo :-) It is a wonderful thing that you are doing to encourage women to love the body they are in. I was always a skinny thing........and now I am not. Still trying to get use to it. Yes! We can look atractive at any size, I see it many of the blogs I follow. Thank you!

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  11. That's a big hair color change!

    That's interesting that you're a size 18. I read another blogger who was griping that size 18 is the worst size to try and fine. It seemed to her that the racks were full of larger sizes and smaller sizes but 18 always required going online.

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  12. Hi Pam, I so loved meeting you through this post! I loved the FF questions this week, as it really speaks to the heart of what my blog is about, accepting and loving ourselves. I am curvy too, and have struggled very much with my body image. My message and experience is the same as yours, accepting my self as I am.

    <3 Anika
    http://byanika.com
    @AnikaByAnika

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  13. Where was your make up in that picture honey??
    so glad you saw the light bulb go off and you are here with us!
    I love the darker hair and pretty make up and the self confidence you have now.
    Brett

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  14. You look great and I love your philosophy! Thanks to Frump Factor for pointing me to your blog.

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  15. What wise words! (inspirational, too!)

    I'm 41 however I can really relate to what you are saying. I too am experiencing a renaissance of sorts -- still in the early stages, but if feels great.

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  16. I'm so inspired. I'm 39 but can totally relate too (as the previous reader). I hope to look as young and full of energy when I'm over 50.
    xx
    maya

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Thanks so much for joining in our conversation today! I appreciate your time and love hearing from you!