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Body Image – Perfection is Overrated

April 25, 2012

One of the many things that I try to achieve here on my blog, is to remind women that it doesn’t matter what size you are, so long as your are comfortable with what you’ve got. Now while of course when I review underwear, I can only give my own personal opinions from how it fits and suits me –  someone of my shape and size – that doesn’t stop it being a useful starting point for others to lead on from.

Dove Campaign

In light of this, I’ll tell you a little bit about me. So whether you are similar or not, you know where I’m coming from, and hopefully you can relate, even if you are the other end of the spectrum.

I fluctuate between being a bra size 30GG and 32G, and currently 32G is the closest fit this month. My bone structure indicates my shape is possibly hourglass, but I have a big bottom and big thighs, so to me I have always felt slightly pear-shaped. I can fit into clothing anywhere between a size 10 and a size 16, so I have no real clothing size that I stick to, it varies too much between brands. I have only really started to have confidence in my body in the last few years which has been a very trying process, but worth it.
I would say that the majority of the time I am quite comfortable just the way I am. You’re always going to have the occasional body insecurity, but that’s just life, and we are only human. When I see others striving so hard to look like something or someone they’re not, I no longer get irritated, I just feel really sad that they can’t love themselves enough for who they are. All I want to do is say “look in the mirror, you are great, you don’t need to be anything other than you”.

That may sound cheesy and obvious, but when I was younger, no one ever said that to me. I never had anyone tell me I was great the way I was, or that I didn’t need to change, and without that, you can end up developing some fairly damaging body issues.
My grandmother, much as I love her, wasn’t so great with the words. She used to tell me “hold you bottom in, it’s sticking out, you know you didn’t get that big bottom from me!” which is actually the same thing she told my mother, who also consequentially developed her own body issues. Once this sort of thinking is passed down through generations, it’s really quite difficult to get rid of. You have to try quite hard to accept what you were born with, which, when faced with a parental figure giving their contradictory opinion, is not at all easy. We live in an age where the media subjects us to an enormous amount of scrutiny, and it becomes a serious challenge to say “no, I wouldn’t change a thing about myself”.

Oh the media has it so good don’t they? I like to think of the media the same way I think about Big Brother from 1984. It’s as if there’s an evil person hiding back there controlling it all, a person no one has ever seen, brainwashing an entire nation.
Why is it that we shouldn’t have spots? stretch marks? scars? cellulite? be a little overweight? a little underweight? have big breasts? or small breasts? have big bottoms? or small bottoms? have porcelain skin? or very tanned skin? or be ourselves AT ALL? Why are companies trashed for using slim models, then trashed for using ‘plus size’ models, then most likely trashed for daring to use models in the first place?
Oh what a world it could be if we all embraced every shape and every size. I once had a discussion with some of my fellow bloggers about what should really be embraced, and we decided upon health and happiness; a great combination.

Ultimo Campaign

I’m baring my inner most thoughts to your girls (and possibly guys) right now, because that is the point of my blog – discussing underwear actually plays a fundamental role in helping women feel better about themselves.
I want you realise you are not the only ones out there to question the media or the word ‘perfect’, and why such a word should ever matter to us. That word should not even be used in conjunction with human beings! We are the least perfect creatures, whoever made that word acceptable in relation to body types needs a good slap in the face.

May I just say, perfection is BORING!

Yes, you heard me, I said it’s boring. Too many people strive for this unattainable thing, and the reality is, humans would be incredibly boring if they actually were perfect.

So from one woman to another, I ask you, please, don’t try to change the way you look; just love yourself the way you are.

Love

Sophia xxx


Images from
Dove and Ultimo real beauty campaigns.

30 comments

  1. Perfection is not only crazy is just plain unattainable. Now most magazines and ad use 2-4 different women to make one single image. How can even regular models compete with that, let alone normal women. Thanks to the real belly project, 007b.com and few other sites a lot of women are realizing their flaws aren’t quite as bad as they think they are.


    • Yes, I really think flaws should be embraced – they make us unique!


  2. Great post, so true!


  3. I totally agree. We see so many images of airbrushed, seemingly perfect bodies, that we criticize ourselves for not looking the same. Though, in reality, there’s beauty in all our imperfections.
    Thank you for this post, and I’m glad you’ve been able to accept yourself as you are, despite the obstacles.


    • I’m glad you agree. I think so many women think the same way, but don’t realise that we all do, really.


  4. Perfection is a myth. Beauty is alive and well, not just in the way we look but where it counts inside and by our actions. It’s not just women some guys are the same Sophia about there bodies. We all have parts we wished we could probably change but these are the parts that make us the works of art we are. Like your blog here it’s great to see a real woman not just in looks and you look great by the way. But passionate about something. I can’t stumbled across your page as I was doing some research on the lingerie industry for college assignment. For a guy researching on women’s underwear bras and such can be new and interesting, plus guys probably just enjoy the look of a woman in the underwear haha. But I’ve enjoyed the research I’ve learned some interesting things plus like your page great to actually get a real woman’s view on things x


    • Hi Terence,
      Yes you’re quite right, it’s not just a problem for women. Of course there are men with similar insecurities, unfortunately the media does target women more than men so I focussed on them a bit more, but I know what you’re saying. I’m very pleased to get your perspective on it; I get more feedback from women rather than men, so it’s interesting to hear, thank you. x


      • Hi Sophia glad to offer my feedback because as you can imagine a guy doing research on lingerie industry can be taunting, because if you were to ask me anything about bras I probably would have said how good they look on a woman ha. But great to find a site thats really interesting. The research has being interesting for me, it would’nt be an industry I would be completely familiar with. You would probably know a brand name quicker because it’s advertised in a major way or some business have enlisted a celebrity to be the face of the product. It’s interesting to see how many women are wearing the wrong sized bra and that there are so many businesses and stores that actually offer fitting services and provide that extra service to assist women in their purchase. Another thing that interested me too was that I noticed that some places charged more for the bigger the bra. So it was if your an average size you could browse the stores catalog and purchase a cheap bra, but if you were big breasted it was like you were penalised for this. It really is all interesting compare to just a normal high street shop the lingerie bra industry.


      • Yes you’re right, there was a point where some companies charged more for a bigger bra. Famously that’s what M&S did, and Becky over at the site Busts for Justice campaigned against them to have it removed. Eventually they did, with an apology saying “we boobed”. 80% of women wear the wrong size, and because of this larger cups and smaller bands aren’t as widely available as they should be – too many women think they are a certain size so they only buy those sizes. Vicious circle really.


      • From what you have seen and from your own experience, are most women prone to purchasing a bra that doesn’t fit but because it’s fashionable and in style or are women interested in comfort and the right size. For example would you purchase a different size bra that is not your bra size because it’s a style you would be interested in and a recognised bra brand?


      • I find that the most common reason for wearing the wrong bra size, is the stigma attached to the letters. Have you ever seen that awful cartoon video where they mark A- almost boobs, B – barely boobs, and so on until you get to D – dang, and things like F – fake and G – get a reduction etc? It’s this terrible misconception that makes women think that D is a size, when really a 28D is fairly small, and a 40D is fairly big – the letter means nothing without the band number, but so many women have no idea. They think that going beyond DD is extreme and makes them abnormal, because the media makes us feel that way. In reality statistics show that something like a 32F is one of the most common sizes, but I have friends that will swear that they’re not an F or even close because “that’s huge!”
        There is of course another factor which is that lots of lingerie companies do not cater to larger sizes, and some women who are not so concerned with comfort will just settle. High street shops are the worst, they rarely go beyond and C cup, and usually their smallest band size starts at 32.


      • That’s what I’ve seen during my time on this. Some women get a measurement and are supposed to be a DD for example, and from that they automatically fall in to a category. And exactly what you said it goes by that cartoon of size, even from a guys feedback a woman says she’s a certain cup size it filters into the celebrity or glamour figure who maybe that size of bust. Which I think then effects some women’s perspective on what bra size there supposed to be rather than the size they are probably wearing. Plus i believe most bra retailers that display a celebrity are just illustrating an image of the product but not how it suits to the wearers needs also most sights just display a picture and review and women are expected to purchase on their bra size but in my research a woman could be a 36B and buy a bra in that size but that doesn’t mean she will be comfortable in it. Hope you don’t mind me wrecking your head with all these questions and such.


      • Not at all, it’s good to talk about. This is why I wrote the posts about celebrities being bad bra role models, and the fact that there is so much controversy surrounding Christina Hendricks bra size. Even some bra fitters (like in M&S and la senza) don’t know how to properly measure a woman for a bra. I’ve been fitted incorrectly countless times. This is why things like curvy kate’s star in a bra competiton and brastop’s model of the month competition are so great – then we see how the bras fit on women of different shapes and and different sizes, which is much more realistic.


      • Thank you. On most of the sites I visited, I was impressed by yours. Its great to see someone passionate about it and It’s remarkable how you offer your advice to women. What was interesting compared to other sites was, you weren’t afraid to model the products. First of all impressive figure 🙂 but this would have being beneficial to most women in their search for the right bra as a real woman was displaying it and provided her experience of it also.


      • Thank you, I do try to be of use! 🙂


      • Would you have an email address I can wreck you head even more with feedback & questions ha


      • If you’re on twitter, I can send you a DM that way. @sophjenner


      • @Terryberry49


  5. Hi there Sophia, you’re journalistic blogs are going from strength to strength I have to say! I totally agree with your comments and I continue to believe like you that the media still over emphasise how women and to some extent men look in order to promote their product. I feel that we need more people like you out there who are spreading the word that’s ok to love your natural shape and not pander to an idyll that doesn’t exist except in an editor’s head.
    Keep up the gerat work, yours, Ru.


    • Thanks Rupert! Yes, I was just saying earlier that it’s nice to get a male perspective, so thank you very much for your thoughts. Of course this sort of pressue isn’t isolated to women, men of course struggle with it too, although I can only give a female perspective 🙂


      • A lot of valid comments and opinions on here Sophia and thank you for not pointing out my incorrect use of you’re as opposed to your! Keep up the great work, yours, Ru.


      • Spelling errors just show that you mean what you say – the words come out fast, that always happens to me!


  6. I feel a bit like you 30ff currently (well til I get into bravissimo on monday) and wear anything between a 10 and 14 and just come back from travelling and had to get rid of loads of clothes cus they just cant accomodate my own body. mums treating me to more clothes as my birthday but I know its going to be more of a chore then anything!


  7. Beauty is in the eyes of beholder. It is not a set standard because is subjective to ones opinion which means some people may consider you not so attractive while other will find you very attractive and that is how mother nature intended. I think a lot of women do get a feeling that there is something wrong with them because sadly our fashion industry mostly caters to standard (whatever that is) size people so if you are a little bit shorter, taller, curvier or thinner shopping is not going to be fun for you, actually it is going to be mission impossible of running around town and looking for chupacabra (that mystical creature that doesn’t really exist) and coming home empty and in tears. After couple marathons of this even the most self confident and intelligent women will start to think that there must be something wrong with them…


    • Thanks for your thoughts Emily, I agree, shopping can be such a horrible experience at times! Often it’s just so much cheaper for clothing companies to cut in straight lines than make room for hips and curves, I think that’s another reason why so many women feel that high street clothes are not designed for them.


  8. I need to remember what you say! I am not sure I should post this, but I used to struggle with anorexia. I fight a war with my body every day. I am naturally a large boned woman, strong and voluptuous. I keep getting sucked into the media portrayal of being skinny. I keep thinking that I am not attractive etc. Reading this reminds me that I am! I wish I could remember this every day! My fiance introduced me to your blog and it has really opened my eyes! I am trying to limit my contact with magazines etc as they just reinforce my insecurities. Its not easy, but I think I will be better off! Thank you very much for giving us a voice!


    • Most women suffer from body dysmorphia of some sort or another, and sometimes it can be more extreme, as it has been with you.
      Thank you for posting your comment, it’s very brave because I know how difficult it is to talk about body issues. Well done you for powering through and coming out the other side. I think you’re right about the magazines. I used to buy them all the time, but I don’t these days – they usually do more harm than good. I know it’s easier said than done (and you probably know this already), but when you look in the mirror, try to focus on the things you do like about yourself, rather than anything you don’t like. x


      • thank you for your words of wisdom! I am going to try to stop reading Cosmo, etc (unfortunatly I have a huge collection of them!) It DOES affect how you see yourself. I hope this time I can actually stop doing that! I also notice a lot of problems on the internet too. I am trying to ban myself from viewing certain women’s sites.


      • That sounds like a good idea 🙂


  9. Could you recommend any other blogs that are like yours? I love the confidence I am getting in being a curvy girl!



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