March 14th, 2005

strong

photography and body image and weight and curves

I worked on my photography page of my website -- it looks so much better now that I've added a few hours of work to it. And it made me think.

I keep trying to get a body shape that I can accept as beautiful. And that's wrong. Because something would happen, and I'd lose or gain a few pounds, and I'd hate my body because it wasn't my 'perfect' form. I need to accept my body as beautiful no matter what form it is, and that's so hard. PMS can ruin my week because I'm somewhat bloated -- and that's not healthy.

How do I get there? I've come a long way, thanks to counseling and modeling and watching misscurvaceous (realizing that curviness can be beautiful, and there are other people who agree on that!). But now I am deliberately changing my body through bellydance -- a healthy, lovely change, but I don't want to get so attached to my 'new' toned form that my self-image hinges on it. I need to find myself beautiful no matter what my shape. I hope this was the right time to do this. It seems to be the right time for alariya, so probably it is the right time for me, but it worries me.

At the last photoshoot I did, I was, according to height/weight/age ratios, overweight by about 10-15 pounds (not taking bone structure into consideration). That's a big deal for me, I had always said to myself, "well, you may not have a flat belly, but according to the chart in the doctor's office, you are just fine." Yet I felt more comfortable in my skin than ever before. Before, I didn't stop worrying about how my belly looked for even a second during the whole shoot -- this time, I thought about it only occasionally, and never with panic for the photos where my belly may have been relaxed. I accepted my body more than ever before. And I love how my hips look, I really really do. I don't want to lose any hip width, I think my hips look incredibly sexy right now. I even wish they were a little wider.

I've planned a photoshoot for a week or two after the sixth week of bellydance -- I'm wondering how my body and self-image will have changed by then. I want to love my body -- but I don't want it to be temporary and based on a very specific form.