I for Image


woman looking at herself in the mirror

woman looking at herself in the mirror

Image: I am talking about the image one has of others and oneself.

The idea for this post came across when I saw beautiful palace pics on Sherry’s(Travel Spirit) post Palace Splendor. I commented that the pics took me to a different era, a time when the kings and queens reigned. She responded “Cool era…but I wouldn’t want to wear the whale bone corsets…ouch!”. Gosh! why would anyone wear such a thing, I thought. But lot of women did.

This is just one instance where women willingly go through pain to fit into the society’s image of a perfect female. This society image includes body image and as well as other behavioral image.Every culture and period of history has had its own standards of “an ideal female” and women from generations have fallen for it. Why even the modern “free” woman also wears painful heels in spite of their well-known ill effects. And anorexic models are the new role models.

While practices like foot binding and corsets are old and abandoned, others like breast ironing are very much alive. Around the same time as corsets, some women also got their ribs surgically removed to get a narrow waist. Fainting was a virtue, it showed a woman is delicate. In fact, I had read somewhere that there were also Charm classes which taught women to faint in a “lady-like” manner.

Sigh! I am so glad I am born in an era and in a culture where no such cruel practices exist( biases do exist but none so harmful/cruel). But at the same time it is also true that we live in an age with instant access to mass media. Hence we are constantly fed with ideas of modern ideal beauty and attitude. Never has history seen such a monumental rise of beauty products, surgical beauty treatments, personality development classes or self-help books. Add to it, technology has helped us to touch up these images to take them to a new unattainable level..

Humans are conditioned to believe ‘what is beautiful is good’. While it is a research proven fact that attractive people(which mostly means good-looking or the current idea of good-looking) have an advantage over the others in the society, why is it that women are more concerned about looks as compared to men. The reasons are again historic. Women had to compete to marry the most eligible man. A woman’s strength was(may be still is) her beauty. Women had no way of supporting themselves, and hence marrying the right man meant a lot. For a man his defining qualities may be good-looking, earning well, very strong or much more but a woman’s identity is tightly tied to her beauty/looks.

Well times have changed and women are more independent now and define their own rules. While both sexes are equal offenders, most guys I have met are pretty open to many ideas of beauty, it is us girls who judge themselves and other girls by these strict set of parameters. Time we stood up for ourselves and choose a happy and healthy life instead struggling to cope to somebody else’s standards. Let’s create an image where a healthy and happy woman is the ideal one. :)

Though I am posting it later, I am writing it on International Women’s Day and nothing better than one of my friend’s FB status to conclude the post, “You are sexy, strong and fearless and you know it!!! Happy Women’s Day all you lovely ladies!! ♥ ♥ keep rocking!!”

Join the ABC Wednesday challenge here .

31 Comments

  1. FABULOUS post! I think it may be inbred or something…our worry over our looks! Your photo says it all – we must learn to see ourselves as what/whom we are, beautiful and independent, strong and courageous, intelligent and wise! Here’s to all the beautiful women!!!

    Leslie
    abcw team

  2. This is a fabulous “I” post. I have had trouble with self image for a long time but I’ve been able to overcome a lot of it as I got older. Mine stemmed from hurtful things said about me that I overheard when I was in highschool.Oh young people can be so cruel. I have tried to instill in my children and grandchildren how harmful this is. Great post.

    • I know as young people looks mean so much to us. I remember my middle school teacher telling us once “You judge people by looks now but only when you grow up will you understand, there is so much more to a person than just looks”

      There is tendency among people to pass on whatever happened to them. Great to know you try and instill a good self image into your children grandchildren and not reinforce the old beliefs because it happened to you.

      Thanks for stopping by :)

  3. You said it beautifully: “Time we stood up for ourselves and choose a happy and healthy life instead struggling to cope to somebody else’s standards. Let’s create an image where a healthy and happy woman is the ideal one. :)”
    Thank you for this inspired look at women and self-image!
    HelenMac
    ABC Team

  4. You are a great cheerleader for womankind! I have to admit, from time to time, I’ve squeezed into “shapewear” to suffer through an event where I wanted to appear thinner than I actually was!

    • I am sure all of us are guilty of that one or the other time. Plus we had ads coming everyday reminding us that looking thin, looking fair, that spl corn flakes or that magic device is all that is missing in our life and holds the key to our successful happy life.

  5. Pingback: How Flirting, Feeling Sexy, and a Positive Self-Image is Healthy for Boomer Women

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