The Inevitable Body Image Post

I don’t have too much to share, just yet, as I’m working on some unselfish-type sewing, but I read a really interesting post by Maddie on Friday, about self-image. She mentions that what she sees in the mirror doesn’t match up with what she sees in photographs, which obviously leads me to think of this:



I, too, have a problem reconciling what I see (in mirrors OR photographs) with what I feel. See, I’ve always been a tomboy, and to me, that meant jeans and t-shirts and a sporty, athletic (slim) build. In my mind, this is what I look like:



In reality, this is what I look like:

03Sat 01

Just because you act a certain way, doesn’t mean you automatically look a certain way. Which is incredibly obvious anytime you’re talking about it, but internalizing that has actually been surprisingly difficult.

In theory, I know that I’m “curvy” (in addition to being overweight; the two aren’t synonymous, people). I have boobs that ain’t ever goin’ away, and hips that are definitely “womanly”. This article resonates SO strongly with me, and perfectly says what I could never quite articulate.

In practice, it’s still hard to come to grips with this. Which, for the record, is sort of dumb. Never in my life was I built like Mary Kate Olsen, guys. Even when I was, like, five, when I was a somewhat skinny little kid just by virtue of it being hard for anyone to be obese at five, I still had what my mom (affectionately?) refers to as “big ole legs”.

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For some reason, when I look in mirrors, my mind is able to gloss over everything, so that all I see is Reggie from Rocket Power (doing the math here will totally out me for watching cartoons at twelve-going-on-thirteen, y’all. OMG SO UNCOOL, haha!). In pictures, though, it becomes pretty damn obvious that I’m more Joan than Betty (paraphrased from above-referenced article).


Prior to sewing, though, I never had a reason to take a full-body picture; I didn’t even own a full-length mirror. I damn sure wasn’t interested in looking at what I was wearing. (Truth: I’m still not as interested as I probably seem. I sew for the making, and while I enjoy the wearing, it’s not really the end-goal.) Even now, I’m just not interested in looking in a mirror or staring at myself (although I did buy a full-length mirror from Walmart, finally).


Does anyone else have problems with this? Sometimes it seems that the norm is to think you’re fatter than you are. Am I truly weird to feel the reverse? And is it conceited to admit what an amazingly cute kid I was?

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About Kristi

My theme song is *crickets*.
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3 Responses to The Inevitable Body Image Post

  1. Lynn says:

    I too have a problem with this. When I try on a new garment that I’ve just finished making I look in the mirror and I’m usually pleased with what I see, though I’m not blind to the fact that I’m 55, pear shaped and 20 pounds overweight. But when I look at the picture of me in the same outfit I’m always disappointed and can’t believe I really look like that and I’m embarrassed to post the pictures. The mirror is my friend, the camera is my enemy. The camera hates me.

    • kristiellkay says:

      I almost think that with all the photoshopped magazines & advertisements in print, we’re sort of trained to be hypercritical of anything we seen in print, whereas with our real life day-to-day, we’re interacting with people, finding common ground and easily dismissing any “flaws” they might have. Maybe we do the same with mirrors?

  2. Lynn says:

    Yeah, that could be it. Maybe it’s easier to see only what we want to see when looking in a mirror.

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