Tag Archives: Self Image

The Photo That Facebook Deleted

Early yesterday, I posted this photo on the Enchanted Zaftig Facebook page. My intent was to encourage a conversation about it ~ what do you see? what do you think? how do you feel? Occasionally, I post photos of social importance to stimulate responses from the Enchanted Zaftig community and to help us grow and learn as a society.

This particular photo received what was quite possibly the highest number of  responses I have yet to see on the Facebook profile. Approximately 11 new people joined the page yesterday, adding comments of sadness, disbelief, confusion, even positive reinforcement about how beautiful they think this woman really is.

Yes, it’s a simple photo ~ black and white, some words scribbled on the subject’s torso ~ and yet the symbolism is profound. She’s thanking someone, the world perhaps, for hating her body, for making her feel inferior, for causing her emotional pain. You can see it clearly in her eyes. In the heaviness of her shoulders. Across her forehead should be written: “Low self-esteem”.  

This photo drips with sarcasm and sorrow.

At some point in the night, Facebook decided that it needed to be deleted, due to violation of their Rights and Responsibilities code (*gasp* there are nipples showing!) Although I respect and understand Facebook’s policy, I wish that it could be focused more upon pornographic nudity rather than on such a poignant portrayal of one woman’s self-loathing that sadly mirrors a large majority of our population.

It is a photo meant to inspire a conversation, not masturbation.

So here I am… posting it on the Enchanted Zaftig blog, where it will (hopefully) not be censored or removed.

Please feel free to share your comments below:

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Filed under A Touch of Inspiration, Musings and Thoughts

Covering The Curves

For the majority of my formative years, and for quite a long time beyond that, I went through life a shy, self-conscious girl – frequently frowning upon my appearance, glancing at my reflection with contempt, tugging at my clothing to keep it from revealing too much. I couldn’t bear to see the slightest inclination of excess body fat on my figure. A ripple here, a roll there, made me feel awkward and unattractive.  

According to my mother, when I was quite young my pediatrician informed her that she should probably avoid feeding me “too many potatoes.” It was as though I had been born with some unknown propensity to become overweight, despite the fact that no one in my family was obese. Someone, somewhere, must have carried the gene and passed it on to me. To this day, I’m still not sure who that culprit is… 

Needless to say, as I entered into puberty (at an absurdly early age – which requires an entirely separate blog posting to properly describe) I became self-conscious about my physical development: my weight, my bosom, my child-bearing hips. I attempted to hide the female body that had been bestowed upon me by dressing in loose-fitting shirts that not only hid any signs of cleavage but also covered up any evidence of having hips. My entire mid-section became an embarrassment to me; covering it up helped to maintain some semblance of  self-esteem, although not completely, and certainly not for prolonged periods of time.

What was I thinking… ?

There I was, a vibrant, beautiful young woman with a winning smile and really great assets. And yet, when I looked at myself in the mirror, I simply couldn’t see beyond that extra, unwanted flesh. 

The sad part, the tragedy of it all, is that it took me 30 years to overcome such inclinations to hide myself.  Looking back on these photos from younger days, I’m amazed and saddened at my insistence to cover the curves. I was thinner back then than I am now! And yet, for decades, I couldn’t find the capacity to appreciate my ultra-feminine body.  

Now, I shall forever proclaim, “Peel away the layers of cloaking fabric and be liberated!”

Having come to that pivotal midway-point in life that everyone eventually reaches, I find myself  at a crossroads where I can either A.) embrace myself where I’m at or B.) invest in belly tucks and face-lifts. Personally, I choose to embrace myself where I’m at ~ curves, bosom, hips et al.

After all… rhinoplasty is really quite out of my budget…

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Filed under Musings and Thoughts

What makes a woman beautiful…?

… her femininity? her prowess? the color of her eyes? the style of her clothing?

What makes a woman beautiful?

… her accomplishments? the way she walks? the sound of her laughter? the content of her mind?

What makes a woman beautiful?

… her nurturing spirit? her inner strength? the way she smiles? the scent of her skin?

What makes a woman beautiful?

… her confidence? her sensuality? the size of her figure? the texture of her hair?

What makes a woman beautiful?

It is a question that resides, just behind the eyes, when we look out at our surroundings and see a profusion of corporations attempting to establish and dictate a code of acceptable beauty. 

It is a question that pokes and prods and insists upon attention until we find ourselves peeking at our reflections and fretting over what is presented there: “…am I beautiful…?”

The uncertainty emerges in waves – arriving and departing at will, rising buoyantly to the surface at times we least expect it. It is then that we feel paralyzed –  imprisoned and incapable – quick to dismiss our attributes as things which are ugly and worthless.

But they are not ugly. Nor worthless.

They are extraordinary.

So what really makes a woman beautiful…? 

E* V* E* R* Y* T* H* I* N* G*

All that she has to offer.  

Her heart, her soul, her desires, her fears, her accomplishments, her failures.

Everything, inside and out.

Not what is falsely dictated or insinuated or anticipated, but rather what is true: the beauty which lies in the unique spirit she possesses, exuding from within her like sweet, sun-touched gold.  

Color Me Mardi Gras ~ Valerie Aune

©2011 Enchanted Zaftig

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Filed under A Touch of Inspiration, Musings and Thoughts, Poetry and Prose