To Be…

Vegan.  I’m kinda liking this vegan things for a week.  I feel a lot “lighter”…like my stomach doesn’t feel so heavy and my body lethargic after I eat.  This is a good thing.  And it’s stopped the mindless eating.  Woohoo!  But I miss my real chocolate…cause I hate carob.  And my chocolate has milk something or other in it…boo…

Day 3 complete!  All with all reheated things from the first two days!  Sorry!  Tomorrow will be a new start to vegan meals/foods!

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I know, so exciting right?  I think you’ll find the following book exert more interesting anyhow…

[[Side Note: Celebrity Body Loathing

As my Muffin’d Love post confirmed, I’m a bit nervous about having to wear my bikini when I got Kauai in May.  But along with simple insecurities I’m being bombarded with things like Victoria Secret’s Catalogs with these models plastered all over them…showing off bodies that I secretly wish I had.

I’m in the mist of rereading several of Geneen Roth’s book but also another book that I found that I loved from the day I picked it up: Life Doesn’t Begin 5 Pounds from Now by Jessica Weiner.  I think I’ve written about her once before but can’t recall.  Alas, her book talks about the behind the meanings of fat talk.  I love how she divides the book by different quotes we might use and what they mean.

One in particular caught my eye and has stuck with me the past few days, and as I went to counseling today (much needed too!), “I’d be so happy if I looked like a celebrity!”  I wanted to share an exert from that chapter that I think is very important…it reminds me of the Dove Transformation commercial.

She Doesn’t Even Look Like Her!

Until about ten years ago I always thought “the media” was some giant dark force out there that just miraculously delivered the images I saw.  The notion that we are all responsible for the media was born when I was a guest at a celebrity photo shoot for a brand-new women’s magazine.  It was here that my veils of ignorance were lifted.

The woman gracing the cover was famous for her body and the tune she could carry.  In that order.  I had seen her body on the cover of so many magazines and blown up on billboards that when I saw her in person I hardly recognized her.  She was much shorter than I had imagined.  The first veil was lifted: When you view someone fifty feet above ground on a billboard or blown up on a movie screen, they appear so much larger than in real life.

Duh, makes sense.

I watched her as she went to hair and makeup.  She had four people working on her at one time: Two for hair, two for makeup.  Then I watched as the photographer directed his crew to hang lights.  Ten people were on hand to set the lighting up so that you would think the glow across her cheeks was just a natural sparkle.  I walked over to wardrobe and eyed the pair of shorts she was going to wear.  A pair of leather shorts had been made for her, cut and sewn specifically to her measurements.  Veil number two: the clothing that we see on models and actors in magazines is almost always designed for them or tailored to fit their bodies perfectly.

Our cover model came out of hair and makeup and already looked like a goddess, and a very different version of the woman who had walked in the door a few hours earlier.  Veil number three: The right hair and makeup can be much better than plastic surgery!

She changed into those shrunken leather shorts, which was when we encountered our first tragedy of the day.  The shorts didn’t fit.  Apparently our model had eaten something in between the time time of her fitting and her shoot. Some genius assistant had an idea to cut open a slit in the back of her shorts so her rear end could hang out a bit and the shorts could be moved over her hips.  Veil number four: Humiliating things happen even to gorgeous celebrities.

Once the shorts were snugly in place over her hips, the photographer gave her his first set of directions: “Suck in your stomach, tight, tight, tighter.”  Veil number five: It doesn’t matter that you are an already slim celebrity – you will still be ordered to suck in your stomach.

The photographers still wasn’t happy, so he ordered another two assistants to go and tape her back with duct tape.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Two men used duct tape to tape the “back fat” (I call it skin) that she supposedly had, so that it would create a deeper indent around her waist when he shot her head-on.  “I want you to look superb,” he announced.  Veil number six: Sometimes celebrities don’t have the power to call all the shots.

So that makes four people who did her makeup and hair, one who cut the slit in her shorts, two who taped her “back fat” together, ten who hung the lights, one photographer and three assistants – a grand total of twenty-one people who put this look together.  And you plop down $4.95 for the magazine and wonder why you don’t look like her?  She doesn’t even look like her!  Veil number seven: What you purchase on the cover of magazines are manufactured images.  Not real.

Once those veils were gone, it allowed me to feel more empowered with my decisions about what I purchase, and most important, about how I let the things I purchase affect me.  I was a willing partner in that transaction. So are you.  You can choose to give your power away to everything you see, or you can choose to really see the truth behind the imagery.

What do you think? Crazy huh?

Makes me second guess that ad I wanted to secretly look like… ]]

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19 Responses to To Be…

  1. otherwisehealthy says:

    Great post! Thanks for sharing that great excerpt. I have been reading Geneen Roth's "Women, Food, and God" lately, really trying to do the work to heal. I just booked my warm weather holiday, too, and am feeling the "bathing suit" pressure also. But, at least we're not avoiding going on these trips altogether, right? :)

  2. Mama Pea says:

    I'm so glad you are enjoying your vegan adventures! And you will be a stunna in your bikini(s). Have no fear!

  3. Jenn (eating bender) says:

    Such a great post! Totally true about the truth behind the imagery and I think that's such an important message to share. I remember showing that Dove video Bobby in college and he was amazed/had no idea that kind of stuff even happened. Sad reality but at least their are campaigns like this out there helping to show people.

    Glad you are enjoying your vegan experiment so far!

  4. Jenn (eating bender) says:

    Terrible grammar in that last comment. I can't help myself…

    *Dove video to Bobby

    **at least there are

    Ok. I feel better now. :)

  5. Magdalena says:

    On the theme of models, there's an interesting documentary that I watched a few weeks ago about models, and specifically about one, Sara Ziff (it was filmed by her and her boyfriend who was a film major). It's called 'Picture Me: A Model's Diary' and is really a fascinating look at the world of high fashion. It's a candid, funny, straight-shooting film.

  6. greensk8r says:

    You know what is the tried and true truth? ACT confident in your bikini and people will spend more time on your personality not the way you look…even though you will undoubtedly be some super hot stuff ;)
    Glad you're liking vegan! I am thinking about trying it…
    Follow me!

  7. Natalie says:

    sad that so many people DON'T know that that's the story behind the magazine. props to you for sharing it!

  8. Gabriela says:

    I'm really, really glad you posted that. Something I like to do when I'm feeling bad about myself because of magazines is ask myself how many women I know who look that flawless in real life. And though I know some very naturally attractive women, even they don't look like movie stars unless they spend time on their hair and makeup. There's such a disconnect between what I call a beautiful woman and a celebrity, it's sickening. I kind of love when magazines post celebs without makeup, because even though they're still pretty, it's a reminder that they don't roll out of bed looing perfect!

  9. Rebecca says:

    I think I could be vegan if I didn't love frozen yogurt so so much!

    I think real beauty comes from genuine confidence. If you love you, others will love you.

  10. ELC says:

    I'm a vegan and the biggest difference I've noticed is that I don't feel as groggy in the mornings. It's a great feelings. Thanks for lifting that veil–WOW.

  11. The Hungry Runner Girl says:

    Girl, I NEEDED TO READ THAT TODAY and I am so getting that book!! Seriously, if everyone had all the make-up people, photoshop, personal trainers etc….everyone would like celebrities!!
    YAY for Vegan for a week…you are such an inspiration to me!
    You are going to look HOT in those bikinis!!r

  12. Joanna says:

    Our culture's obsession with beauty and the perfect "look" really makes me, not only irritated, but insecure. Thanks for this post because it reminds me that I'm not alone. It's so disheartening though, to know that even when we are at our healthiest, sometimes the media's attention on beauty really can get the best of us.

  13. mynaturallife says:

    This is a great post. Check out some of the videos on You Tube about how they Photo Shop women in magazines into oblivion. It's amazing and so deceptive. A couple of years ago I stopped looking at magazines altogether and my life has just become so much better. (Well, I subscribe to Natural Health, but that's actually a good one.)

  14. Christine (The Raw Project) says:

    That's great about vegan, that's exactly how I felt after I cut dairy out. For the reheated foods – that's me too, most of my lunches are leftovers from dinner. Eh, cheap, easy and healthy. :-)

    Aw, stop worrying about a bikini, you'll totally rock it! :-) And great post, anyone can look like a model when they have a huge staff to transform them and that really does make the media seem evil.

  15. Kaitlin With Honey says:

    That was a really interesting excerpt… thank you for sharing it!

    I think it's important for us all to remember that nobody is perfect… not even celebrities that look perfect with all of the help they get. I wish this was a more widespread notion.

  16. Anne says:

    Here's a list of some of the many vegan chocolate options:

    In theory, all chocolate would be vegan because chocolate is made from cacao tree.

    And here's a list of "accidentally" vegan candies and ingredients to look out for:

  17. mymarblerye says:

    A bunch of models were on Oprah the other day and said that the industry is not what it use to be years ago: where REAL beauty was needed to be a model. They all said that everything is photoshopped now. EVERYTHING. Hold your head up gorgeous.

  18. Tori says:

    I don't know why, but reading that excerpt made me feel 10x better than I did. I think I was meant to find this post :)

    It's just reasuring to know that there's a great deal that has to happen before someone (anyone) can look as good as the do sometimes. I wake up and feel gross some days, but with a lot of smoke and mirrors and I could look just as perfect!

  19. fittingitallin says:

    Doesn't eating super clean feel so great! It's kind of addicting.
    And really great info on'll ROCK that bikini :)

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