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Getting Called Out on My Bias |Sacramento Boudoir Photographer

San Jose Boudoir Photographer | Get a Mirror

If you followed my last few blog posts about the swinging pendulum of the standards of beauty, you’ll remember I showed Marilyn, Christina and Sofia as examples of classic, glamorous beauty.

One of my commentors brought up the point that we should all just be more accepting and that these body types were, growing up, the exact opposite of what her body type is. It was quite a revelation to me, since I had no idea I have that blind spot.

See, I grew up in the time that “perfect” was long, lean, slim, flat, graceful in a musical way—Peggy Fleming, Dorothy Hammil, the Charlie’s Angels (even though a few had fuller chests).

Peggy Fleming

I was compared to my family members that matched that description, over and over and over again.  It got quite nauseating.  I was the shortest at 5’7  (!!!) and curvy at a very young age. Instead of just accepting that I was a different body type, I was told I was fat fat fat.  Example: my grandmother was a nurse for years, so she had a bias against anyone who had a few pounds on them, since she couldn’t see the difference between a little pre-adolescent pudge and morbid obesity.  She constantly pointed out people who were a little over weight or curvy and said how disgusted she was by them. Fun.

Can you imagine being the voluptuous one in this group?  Broad shoulders, a boobalanche by fourth grade, pulled in waist that accented hips and soft-er thighs.  A kid living in a woman’s body. I was at a loss for a role model of my shape, adrift in people with long, lean muscles, tiny hips and more boyish shape overall.

Thank the goddess I was introduced to Marilyn Monroe at the height of my insecurity.  While it didn’t help 100%, at least I had a familiar shape to identify with.

So when Pat, in the comments section, mentioned the similarity of our upbringing (on opposite sides of the spectrum—how ironic) I was shocked, surprised, and quite grateful for the call out.  I am grateful for the opportunity to look deeper and finding my differences as well as similarities with other women.  xo

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  • Rosalinda November 20, 2011  

    How to shake a childhood image of yourself…you had the desire to do so, but what about the many women who just go on believing it.  You are doing life changing work.  Almost like therapy.  If women only knew that they are sexy and desirable as they say they are…

  • Pat Zahn November 20, 2011  

    Ah Jillian, wasn’t so much calling you out as dealing with my own insecurities and prejudices. Funny, I don’t know how old you are, but I think we are not that far apart and my experience is opposite – I have a mother with bodacious tatas and I just assumed I would eventually get them…finally, at about age 21, I realized it wasn’t going to happen 😉 Horrible thing is that we were both beautiful and perfect as we were and we couldn’t enjoy it fully.

  • Jillian Todd November 20, 2011  

    Oh, Pat, I totally understand. I am so grateful that you wrote exactly what you felt and observed. 🙂  It was FABULOUS that you wrote what you did. 

    Isn’t it true that we want what we don’t have?  My cousins all had this beautiful, curly thick hair. Mine was pin straight. Then I hit 26 and suddenly my hair was curly–WTF? Had no idea how to deal with it.  Wanted my straight hair back–crazy, right!  I’m 29+44 quarters. 

    Yes, we just don’t love what we have and realize that we are truly beautiful and perfect the way we are.  

    Oh, boy. “Chatting” with you pings lots of blog posts in my brain. I feel another one coming on!  You’re keeping me busy! xoxo

  • Jillian Todd November 20, 2011  

    Thank you Rosalinda!  Too many women go on believing without thinking they can change it. I think my best tagline came to me the other day at Sassy–Transformation from the Outside In.  I think women try so hard to do they “love yourself” route and just can’t get past the image they hold of themselves from the OUTSIDE. If we can get past that, there is love both for the inside and out. xoxo

  • Rowena Starling November 20, 2011  

    Seems like the young guys in your life would have assured you that all is well…  Maybe that’s just my culture.  You needed to be hangin’ in my neighborhood.

  • Fiona Stolze November 20, 2011  

    Ah, this made me smile. Yes, we are all divinely perfect just exactly the way we are. And yet, it’s taken me a life-time to get to that realisation. I grew up feeling skinny and lacking when compared to more sexy, curvy women . No curves, no bosom, no sensuality…that took a long time to get over. The benefit was that menopause came and my body walked through it and stayed the same. It’s so important for us to recognise our own innate beauty, this wonderful gift we’ve received. 🙂

  • Imogen Ragone November 20, 2011  

    It’s interesting how we make everything personal. Growing up I matured much earlier than other girls at my school and was very embarrassed by it. But then I stopped, and I was pretty much the height I am now at age thirteen. Later many girl friends overtook me in many ways. So I’ve experienced being “womanly” where all the girls around me were skinny and boyish, and then the opposite later in my teens and from then on. I’ve always desperately wanted to fit in, but always, from my internal perception, missed the mark – both in looks and other areas. Learning to accept who I am, AND that my own perception of myself may not match that of others, has been a very important lesson for me. I agree – let’s enjoy our differences and similarities!

  • Kirk Zacharda November 21, 2011  

    Wow I loved Charlies Angels even had the poster of Faraha on my wall. Judgement is a brutal weapon we wield and dont even realize it. As a parent I do my best to practice non judgement however it does come through sometimes.  Its cool that you are aware of what you say and open to finding differences and accepting its ok.  I guess that comes with maturity for most.  By the way I loved that look and shape when I was younger and still do. 

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