A Note On Body Image

A Note On Body ImageWhen was the last time you looked in the mirror and were a 100% happy with everything you saw. Can’t remember? Yeah…me neither. In fact, I don’t think it ever happened. But it’s ok. Even super models have a hard time making peace with their own bodies, so why would it be any easier for us ordinary people?

The trick is to realize that we all have flaws, some seeming bigger, some smaller, and chances are that other people don’t even notice them, unless we specifically point them out of course. One day I hate my thighs, the next day it’s my nose…depending on whether I looked at pictures of Iza Goulart or Angelina Jolie before I inspected my own mirror image.

It’s difficult to keep in mind that we are exposed to thousands of photoshopped pictures every day and to remember that a lot of what we see isn’t in fact real or only part of reality. Social media create a great platform for people to share snippets of their lives with the rest of the world. What they share is up to them. So what we see on Instagram and co. is usually just an idealised image of the world somebody actually lives in…pictures are staged and by far not all moments genuine or shared. Even #nomakeup and #nofilter selfies never tell the whole truth….trust me, I’m talking from experience 😉

Speaking of selfies. A while back I posted the above selfie on Instagram. I used an app called Facetune to smooth out my skin and enlarge my eyes a little. As you can see my face is glowing, and my skin looks absolutely flawless. My caption indicated the trickery I was exposing my followers to, but not everyone read it or knew what Facetune was. I got a lot of surprising comments about my flawless beauty that I had neither anticipated nor wished for…I just wanted others to see how easy it was to create false beauty, but I guess my picture didn’t have the intended effect. It seems like we, especially us women, find it much easier to accept other people’s beauty and reject our own than to scrutinize the images we are exposed to.

In addition, thousands of personal trainers on Instagram tell us that we have to look a certain way or strive for a certain body image to be beautiful and healthy, when actually taking obsessive control over our own bodies isn’t always so healthy, and can be a sign or lead to very low self-esteem.

Until about a year ago I wouldn’t let anybody take my picture. I literally thought I was the least photogenic person on this planet. My blog, however, has taught me to actually love my pictures and find them surprisingly beautiful. Not all of them of course – some angles work better than others – but it’s incredible how much easier I now find it to accept my flaws and see the beauty hidden behind them. So I guess what I want to say is that it can be tough accepting your body the way it is (especially after comparing it with that of super models – not that any woman should do that in the first place), but it is totally worth it to stay critical of the seemingly perfect pictures you are exposed to on a daily basis and realise how much more beautiful our little flaws actually make us.

  • http://www.fashionoverreason.com/ Fashion Over Reason

    You’re such an inspiration, Jasmine. Thanks for always bringing up sensitive topics and for being so honest about things all the time. Your candor and authenticity is what makes me come back time and time again to your lovely blog. You’re seriously so stunning, I can’t even comprehend how you could have ever thought that you were not photogenic!

    xx Hélène
    http://www.FashionOverReason.com

    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      Haha…you’re welcome! I always try to stay true to myself and talk about things that move me…Although I’d never touch on politics and the like 😉 I’m glad you’re enjoying my heartfelt posts. I always fear I might be a little too honest and scare my readers away, but the feedback I’ve received so far has been consistently positive! And about me not being photogenic….I guess it’s all about the angle and I definitely didn’t know my angles before I started blogging 😉 xx

  • http://www.theavantguardian.com/ the|avantguardian

    I recognise myself in this. I only started posting photos of myself on my blog no more than half a year ago. I was too self-aware of my own body and look. Nowadays, I feel much more comfortable in my own skin (and why shouldn’t we?)! You are as good as you look on the outside as you are on the inside ;)!

    http://www.theavantguardian.com

    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      Awe sweetie! That’s so kind of you! It’s amazing how much confidence blogging has given us, isn’t it?? It has definitely changed me in more than just one way :) xx

  • Lucia Gallego

    I loved this post dear, your words have a lot of truth! :)
    Thanks for making us think about it!

    http://www.luciagallegoblog.com

    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      Thanks for taking the time to comment! I’m glad you enjoyed reading the post :) xx

  • Nina

    Such a great post. Love your selfie, dear. xx

    http://ninasstyleblog.blogspot.com

    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      Thank you Nina :) xx

  • antonela verković

    so inspirational post! love it, you are amazing! It made me realize we don’t have to be perfect to fit in this world and be worth enough :) confidence is the key! your post motivated me!

    I would be thankful if you visit my blog, I am new here
    http://neellzzstyle.blogspot.com/

    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      Awe Antonela! Your kind words make me so happy! I’m very glad you enjoyed the post and feel motivated :) xx

  • http://365hangers.com/blog/ 365hangers

    So beautiful. We love that your blog has helped bring light to how absolutely gorgeous you are and love these heart felt moments!!

    xx 365Hangers

    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      Thank you! I really appreciate it :) xx

  • #byLily

    Beautiful words and I couldn’t agree with you more. I think you are such a gorgeous woman from the in and outside. And this article shows that once again. I am 100% positive that even without the app this photo would have turned out beautifully! You just can’t help it girl 😉

    x Lily
    http://www.hashtagbylily.com

    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      Awe Lily! Aren’t you the sweetest person on the planet! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Your kind words mean so much to me :) xx

  • borka gamero

    beautiful girl and mind <3
    Kisses from Miami,
    Borka
    http://www.chicfashionworld.com

    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      You’re too kind Borka :) xx

  • http://www.ontheleaf.net Michael

    Nice thoughts, I wish lot of us stop and think about it more..

    Have a nice start of the week,
    Michael
    http://www.ontheleaf.net & giveaway

    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      Thank you Michael! I hope you had a lovely weekend :) xx

  • Rafaela
    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      Thanks Rafaela :) xx

  • Rosa Mimmino

    So, habe einmal zum Ausprobieren die gratis-Version heruntergeladen, werden ja sehen ob ich ab sofort mehr Selfies posten kann :lol.
    Danke!!

    Rosa
    Styleyourselfinstyle.blogspot.com

    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      Haha! Ich bin mir sicher, dass du das gar nicht nötig hast 😉 xx

  • Rosa Mimmino

    Also das Facetune suche ich sofort, hoffentlich existiert es für i-phone ;-)))))

    Noch einen schönen Sonntag!!
    Rosa
    Styleyourselfinstyle.blogspot.com

  • http://Bloggersboyfriend.com/ Bloggers_Boyfriend

    You are toooo pretty!!

    http://BloggersBoyfriend.com

    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      Thank you :) xx

  • valentina coco
    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      Thank you Valentina :) xx

  • http://moje-kreacje.blogspot.com/ Paulina Piotrowska

    Beautiful hair pretty ! nice.

    http://moje-kreacje.blogspot.com/

    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      Thank you so much Paulina :) xx

  • http://www.laurajaneatelier.com Laura Jane Atelier

    Thanks for sharing this, I totally agree

    xo

    http://www.laurajaneatelier.com

    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      Thanks for reading :) xx

  • http://www.felinecreatures.com/ Feline Creatures

    What a great candid post Jasmin! I totally agree that our little flaws make us “us” and we should embrace them. Though easier said than done, it is something I’m striving to achieve and your post really inspires me to keep moving forward with that endeavor! Have a great weekend hun! :) xo~ Lena

    http://www.felinecreatures.com

    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      I’m so glad it does! It’s definitely a journey, but I’m sure you’ll be successful :) All the best of luck in your edeavour! xx

  • http://melodyjacob1.blogspot.com/ melody

    thank you so much for this note…

    http://melodyjacob1.blogspot.com/

    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      You’re very welcome Melody! I’m super glad you enjoyed reading it :) xx

  • http://www.reveriesanctuary.com/ shanaz@ReverieSanctuary

    Thank you for writing about this! It’s such an important topic especially now that everyone can be a mini celebrity on social media by just looking ‘pretty’. With the ladies, especially those in the still-developing age bracket, the images strewn on Instagram/fashion blogs are often what they place next to theirs to harshly compare.

    Having experienced a state of body-loathing while I was growing up, I know that it’s much tougher now especially since the young are glued 24/7 to screens looking at tweaked (or non-tweaked) photos of others and beating themselves up because they wish they look like the idealized idea of beauty they have in their minds.

    PS: I am happy you are feeling much better! *hugs* xx =)

    Shanaz | Fashionista NOW

    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      You made a good point here about youngsters growing up with all that exposure to tweaked pictures. Even girls as young as 10 (or even younger?) worry about their appearance. This wasn’t the case when we were young…we “only” had the pictures in magazines and on TV to worry about. Things have changed a lot over the last few years!

      Thanks for sharing your personal story and all your love :-* xx

  • http://www.rebecca-jacobs.com/wanderdust Rebecca Jacobs

    I remember that picture! I had no idea what facetune was or that you were indicating it had been edited. And you know what, I feel no different about it knowing that you used this editing app. It just looks like a confident yet vulnerable intimate you. And beautiful.

    It’s so funny—I have the exact same back story. In fact, I had even accepted I wasn’t photogenic and thought I was totally cool with it and way happier to be behind the camera anyway! It didn’t make me feel any less beautiful “in real life” but being in photos just wasn’t gunna be my thing—and definitely how I wanted strangers to see me for the first time! A year later and, well you know. I agree that I’m able to find beauty in pictures of myself without the thoughts of “my nose looks big in this shot” or “my arms look fat” etc. But I think what you see in pictures all comes from your perspective.

    I feel like I ramble on a lot in your blog comments!

    —Rebecca
    wanderdust.co

    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      Haha…noooo! Not at all! I love your elaborate blog comments, and I love hearing about other people’s experiences with the topics I’m discussing on my blog. It’s funny how a lot of fashion bloggers have experienced exactly the same thing. Thanks so much for sharing babe :) xx

  • http://myclosetlife.com/ Kaley

    I love this post! It is such a sick, sad photoshopped world we live in. It’s hard to remember that’s all it is – I feel the same way. I had my site up and running for a year and a half before I actually had the courage to be photographed for it. So sad! BUT now that i do it, it ain’t no thang! I don’t event think about having my photo taken anymore.

    You are beautiful and I love your blog!

    xoxo

    Kaley

    My Closet Life Blog

    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      That’s great! I’m glad your blog has given you such a great confidence boost :) xx

  • http://elineous.blogspot.nl/ Eline

    Interesting article! It was a great read in between studying. I’m still waiting for the day that models look less flawless in magazines.. But unfortunately I can probably wait a long time for that. Okay short answer on this post because I need to go back to studying (haha), but it really was a great read!!

    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      Haha…yeah! I think you might be right 😉 Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment in between studying! xx

  • Ivana Džidić

    A while back I wrote an article on my blog about the way fitness industry sometimes stresses people by trying to convince everyone they need to work out hard on daily basis. I do work out on daily basis because I have a severe back deformation (double scoliosis 40 degrees). This kind of deformation is really serious, not to mention painful and the latter is what probably kept me on my track over the years but there is no need for an ordinary person to work out like crazy, it can in fact even be harmful. A person can actually ruin her or his health by trying to achieve that what is considered healthy. Abs are not necessarily healthy. For some people they come naturally, while others will have to literally enslave themselves to a particular lifestyle to get them and that is just crazy.

    I’ll be honest and say I do feel perfectly comfortable with what I see in the mirror on everyday basis. It is not that I consider myself a babe or particularly beautiful but I’m comfortable with the way I look and I think that shows. I’ve been able to accept myself during times I really looked like the living dead (because of some serious health problems), during times my face was completely red and covered in acne (because of the steroid treatment I was under) … and if I was able to look in the mirror and not hate myself than so I can know when I look more or less how nature has intended me to look.

    I’ve had an honest talk with a girlfriend few weeks ago and she said how she turned everything that could be to her disadvantage in her advantage…including rather extravagant cup size that she said helped her never to pay a ticket in her life. The first thing that people notice about something is their energy level…and no fitness can help you there. People should do fitness in a matter that is suitable to their lifestyle, the hours they work and their health. For some people 15 minutes of stretching is perfectly acceptable.

    • http://melodyjacob1.blogspot.com/ melody
    • http://whatdefinesus.com/ Jasmin

      You’re truly beautiful inside and out! Thank you soo soo much for sharing your personal story with us. It is very touching and inspiring to know that you have never lost your positive attitude towards life despite everything you’ve already gone in your young life. At the same time, I’m incredibly sorry to read that you have to deal with so much physical pain. I’m super glad you’re staying so strong, though, and are fighting your disease with a daily exercise regime! You’re a fantastic role model for every girl and boy out there!!

      • Ivana Džidić

        thank you but I don’t feel like a role model…I think we all must deal with what life has in store for us and it seems to me that everyone has a challenge of some sort to work out.