my interview with glamour magazine
about body image in the march 2011 issue.
the following is the transcript for the entire interview
& some stunning women i admire.
& some stunning women i admire.
q: you mentioned in your survey that you are thankful to finally have a realistic view of your body--but that you still have issues comparing yourself to others. what changed for you? how did you manage to achieve that "realistic view" of your body?
a: i guess i started to realize my view of myself was warped. when i was younger, it seemed all the pretty popular girls had perfectly straight blonde hair with dark tans & baywatch bodies. meanwhile, i'm this irish girl with a thin frame, pale skin, & long, wavy red hair. i stood out. i got called names. one day a bunch of girls even held me as the leader slammed my head against the brick wall. i wanted to change. i wanted to vanish & fit in. then, in some middle school nightmare scenario, i (the nerd) was forced to room with some of the gorgeous popular girls on an overnight field trip. while getting ready, i tried to lay low & silenced the room with my blowdryer (at least this way, i wouldn't be able to hear the insults) trying to force my hair into submission. then i looked over & they were all staring at me. i braced for the impact & then one of them said, "that's what your hair naturally looks like??? you should leave it like that!" then, they all chimed in with their own jealousies & self hatreds. at that moment, i began to realize none of us REALLY see ourselves.
the final nail in the coffin was my engagement photoshoot. the photographer (andrew kung) is amazing & i really respected his work. i knew his work would reflect me & i was going to use that as the most accurate mirror i'd ever looked in. i honestly wanted to see what others saw. it was really very shocking to me b/c the image i saw in my head didn't match the image in the photos; it matched the girl in my brain- happy, confident, a little quirky.
|our engagement photoshoot with andrew kung|
q: also, how do you stop yourself when you find yourself comparing yourself to others?
a: i remind myself what i have control over. if there is something i truly admire about another woman (ie: her style, her composure) i can adopt & adapt those things to myself. we should try to be more inspired by others. both the iphone & the french fry are loved, but how successful would the iphone be if apple dressed it up like a fry & sold it in a greasy paper bag? it wouldn't!
q: if negative thoughts about your body do pop into your head, how do you shut them out? is there something you tell yourself or remind yourself of, for example?
a: that none of us have accurate perceptions of ourselves.
q: So many women, as you know, struggle with body image and think truly cruel thoughts about their bodies. I'm curious (because I know a lot of readers will be, too!) what your secret is in general?
a: ownership of your power & your nature.
you own your power. this means accepting that your choices affect you. you can't control the fact that we all age, but you can put on sunblock everyday. you can't control that things get a little softer as you age, but you can feed your body healthy food & stay active. you can't make your curly hair straight no matter how many irons you take to it, but you can have your stylist show you how to rock your natural texture. i read a study recently about some rats in a maze. when they took away the ability for the rats to solve the maze, they became depressed & completely stopped trying to find the food. i've heard too many women give up control to some vague outside force (turning 20, turning 30, 40, etc; getting married; having kids), but none of those things means you have to become some automaton dancing to the beat of lower metabolism & busier lives. taking ownership of your choices gives you power.
you own your nature. i'm never going to look in the mirror & see a blond surfer girl, but neither is christina hendricks, zooey deschanel, or janelle monáe. those are all stunning women & they stand out because they aren't trying to alter their nature.