I apparently have something called "underarm cellulite". Which, by the way, I never would have thought of if I hadn’t recently been served an Instagram ad informing me that not only my butt but also my armpits can be afflicted with cellulite and I absolutely must do something about it, because otherwise my life not at all would be worth living. Okay, at this point I may exaggerate very slightly, but you know what I mean. Hmph. This kind of negative stuff, which is supposed to make us women feel so bad with more and more abstruse supposed flaws, until we find the solution to all our problems in the conveniently immediately offered healing product, goads me personally and quickly a photo with the happiness-stealing said flaw was found. So here it is, everyone look closely.
I don’t think I’m ugly or unhappy in the photo or in any other way. How dare I, despite underarm cellulite and co. To feel comfortable in my skin.
I’ll tell you: I haven’t read those stupid women’s magazines for a long time, the ones that keep telling us what’s wrong with us (and not asking us). I would only watch a format like GNTM if they threatened me with chocolate deprivation. And wherever I can, I avoid looking at commercials. Why? Because it does me no good. I feel so much better without this lying negative stuff. Because you know what me on these photos here see? A very happy woman who has finally arrived in her body. Who doesn’t give a shit about something as absurd as "underarm cellulite". Who practices yoga almost daily, loves to hike and ride her bike like a pessimist, because she loves it, not to fight their own body. who indulges in chocolate and ice cream without remorse because she allows herself to live enjoy. Who likes her body just the way it is – even though by some standards it would have to be much thinner, more muscular, free of wrinkles and cellulite – and whatnot – to be liked.
But these standards are not my standards. My body is strong. It has not only carried me reliably through life, but has already borne, nourished and given birth to two human children. I won’t let some stupid magazine or that Klum woman talk me out of this power. My message to you is: you are strong, beautiful HAMMAwomen. Each in their own way. Drop all this bodyshaming crap, make peace with your unique bodies and get happy. Life is much too short not to enjoy it!
How do I do it? (Waaas? But I love my women’s magazines!)
First hot tip: grab all the women’s magazines you can find at home and throw them in the garbage can. Without hesitation and without turning you around again. Because think about it: Have you ever closed one of these magazines after reading it and thought: "Hey, I’m pretty super!!"? "I feel perfect the way I am and I’m totally happy with my life!"? Or did you rather feel bad every time and frantically think how you can finally get thinner, how you can finally get rid of that goddamn cellulite or thought that you absolutely have to try this new diet?
Do you know what I think about it? These magazines are poison for our minds and for our self-confidence. When we constantly surround ourselves with artificial photoshopped superduper bodies, we lose our sense of what is truly beautiful. Namely the variety of bodies that nature has given us.
And on top: did you know that when we buy these magazines, we actually pay for them?. Yes, really true! Because there is so much advertising in the relevant women’s magazines that we even end up paying cash money to be allowed to look at advertising for the most part. WTF. This is crazy. Point.
Honestly, between you and me, I understand the attraction that these glossy magazines can have on us women. I used to buy them myself by the ton and would spend entire afternoons immersed in the worlds of perfect outfits and bodies. But one thing we should be aware of: this world is a big lie. One that makes us feel bad when we compare ourselves or our lives to it. So get rid of it!
Television too? Is the gaga?
No, I’m serious about this too, and I’ve been testing it myself for years. Pick up a good book on Thursday nights or call a friend and chat& laugh until your belly hurts. Never mind What you remember, please keep your hands off the remote control and a certain casting show. Don’t give away your smart and valuable voice to this hollow crap. You are the woman you are and a human being with a healthy mind. Don’t waste your time watching grown people judge young women (and half children) purely on their appearance, treating them with no dignity and being the worst possible example of humanity to them. You should know better and so should we.
By the way, this also applies to many other programs and advertising in general. I’ve only been watching series and movies on streaming services for over six years now and keep your hands off television and its toxic commercials and other programs. So I am spared a lot of garbage. I must have seen my last commercial a long time ago. And you know what? I feel great with it. Honestly.
What skills do I actually have?
Relax. Take your time. Not (only) for make-up, shaving or the next shopping trip. But simply for you. Do something that makes you fun and happy. Knitting, writing or running a round, whatever. Learn to appreciate your abilities again. They are what make you as a person – not your looks. To feel beautiful does not mean to always refer only to appearances. For example, I always feel a bit more beautiful when I have created something new with my own hands and made a beautiful idea come true. I create beautiful things, it reflects on me as a person. Give it a try.
But now she is crazy!
Tell yourself every day how beautiful you think you are. That sounds stupid to you? I can understand, I thought so too. But I tried it and I can assure you: it works. What’s behind it? This simple truth: Words shape consciousness. Just as pictures influence our perception, so do words. I’m not a psychologist, but I just used this little psychological trick for a while and: it works. Positive thoughts, words and (pre)images shape our image of the world and of ourselves. If you find a routine in telling yourself briefly every day how beautiful you are, in time you will believe it yourself. You are your standard, no one else.
Bock on more Bodypositivity?
I had a very interesting conversation about bodypositivity with Alice and Maxi from the podcast Fire& Bread belongs. They wonder who actually decides "which weight is the best, healthiest, most desirable" and what would happen if we all learned to love ourselves as we are. Above all, they talk about the terrific episode "Tell Me I’M Fat" of the podcast "This American Life", which is absolutely worth listening to. In issue #14 titled "THIN = Beautiful and Healthy? About Fatactivism, Bodypositivity, "Embrace" and Body Madness" you can hear more about this:
Edit: Following the comment of a reader, I would like to recommend another terrific text by Caroline Kebekus: "Dear Brigitte, I hate you! Maybe not you personally… Let’s say I hate your guild: women’s magazines. Flawless women with flawless faces beaming at me from your front pages. Next to them are your topics. The boldest print is always either the diet tips, or the fitness tips that trigger my basest instincts and always start with the word "finally. "Finally… a flat belly…. finally… the bikini figure… finally slim. And already I know again: I am too fat. Of course I know that I am not. But somehow not again. Constantly, though, I’m forced to ponder whether it might not be. How much of my life I have wasted thinking about my butt. Because it was you who first made me realize that cellulite looks like shit."
I personally also find the topic of bodypositivity very important in terms of being a role model for my children, especially my little girl. Two very beautiful texts to it has Berlinmittemom Anna wrote. In "I feel beautiful for my kids – Self-love exemplify and pass on" she writes very honestly about her own ambivalent feelings towards her own body, her efforts to accept herself as she is and asks herself: "Is the amount of self-love I have for my outer appearance enough to be a role model for my children in liking, accepting and finding themselves beautiful?? I hope so. I wish that my children never see their supposed deficits when looking in the mirror (…)"
In the follow-up text "Thick or thin? Body Positivity and the healthy body image in children" Anna writes confidently: "I don’t want to be the eternally dieting dissatisfied mother who tells her daughters that they are never good enough. I want to be the one dancing around the joint with them, no matter what that looks like. I am responsible for how their self-esteem develops and how good they feel in their skin and will feel in the future. The healthy body feeling of children also depends on how healthy their mothers’ feeling for their own body is. And whether they witness that their mother accepts, can love herself and even finds herself beautiful."
Well, if that’s all..
The way we finally become beautiful is not paved with diets, fitness programs or even more make up. It’s the little fork in the road that is peppered with abandonment of things that are not good for us and our self-image. How artificial dogmas of beauty, for example. Let’s exchange this for things that benefit us, like positive thinking and experience, enjoyment, a new perspective and a lot of happiness. If we think we’re too fat, too ugly, or unlovable, no amount of dieting, makeup, or cosmetic surgery in the world will change it. The key to beauty lies solely in ourselves. In our thoughts and in our attitude towards ourselves. I’m convinced of that after a long ordeal.
How you finally become beautiful? By feeling beautiful yourself. This is not always necessary in every minute of your life and on every single part of your body. It would not be human and is okay. But all in all the key to beauty and inner peace is: I am the way I am and I’m okay like this. Even more than okay.
I myself am a woman approaching my late 30s and a dress size 46 fills out well. I have many wrinkles, a little cellulite, a belly – like many other women. I do not correspond to the prevailing ideal of beauty and – I do not care at all. I have made peace with my body and found happiness. Since I feel attractive, I radiate that and am attractive. At least in my eyes. And that is enough. That’s the whole trick of the matter.
Would you like to try this as well?? I would be very very happy! That is and remains simply the most beautiful thing for me. To inspire someone and help them a little bit to be happy with their own way or to be happy with their own way. to be.