Average or Beautiful?

Average or Beautiful?

April 13,2015
I was scrolling through Facebook one evening when a headline from Refinery29 caught my eye.  “What Too-Tight Clothes Really Do To Your Body” sounded like a fun read – maybe some science or random fun facts I could share with friends.  Instead, I was quickly presented with images of skin.  Humans with marks, abrasions, and indentations all from too-tight clothes.  As I read on, I learned of a photographer named Justin Bartels who was inspired to create a photo series that spoke to beauty, society, and the ways in which we bind our bodies to impress others.
The photos are a powerful representation of the impact, literally, that our clothing can have on us.  We see so many images of perfect female bodies that are smooth and proportioned just right.  We are presented with flawless silhouettes to emulate and strive for.  We often forget the struggle those bodies, and people, are going through to provide that perfect look.  Even separate from what the “ideal” body is, I connect with these images when I think of the number associated with the clothes I wear.  There’s shame associate with certain sizes of clothing.  Jumping a number higher to be more comfortable seems like an easy choice, but there’s judgement and stereotype connected to those numbers.  Sometimes, it’s easier to handle being a little uncomfortable to maintain that perfect size.
When I saw these pictures, I realized how thankful I was for a body willing to take this kind of stress and discomfort, just so I can feel more comfortable.  I imagine we could all think of that pair of jeans, those high heels, or that high waisted, tummy taming pair of pantyhose that causes us grief, but we wear them anyway.  How might you dress if you thought about the impact on your body, instead of the impact on others?
How might you start a thank you note to your body for the strength and patience it has?