talking Body Image With Annalise Clark
What first comes to mind when you think of body image?
Negative inclinations, like stress, anxiety and a longing for a different body than my own.
How has the fashion industry had put unrealistic body standard on girls?
Yes for sure, there is so much use of photoshop in media, which sets unrealistic standard for girls. The fashion industry feels like such an exclusive place, in which long legged, thigh gapped people thrive. I do see movement towards more self love in fashion, taking note from models like Ashley graham, and Paloma Elsesser but its not enough. I still feel like there is a divide between “real people” and “models” that portray societies views of what the perfect body should look like, and even then its photoshopped.
Talk about the term “perfect body” ?
I used to want the “perfect Victoria secret body” which in my mind was ribs showing, with abs, ex. Discovering that genetically, I will never have that body was tough, I had to redefine my standards and understand that the idea of “the perfect body” is not something you should compare or strive for. At this point it means being healthy, not starving myself, giving my body the nutrients it needs to be happy.
Can you talk about your person experience with body shaming?
I came out go the wound as the Michelin man, I was a chunky girl. When I was young I hit puberty way before the other kids. I always felt out of place growing up, and then grade 4 came, my mom wasn’t around, and I found food as a coping mechanism for stress and anxiety. At school there was this guy who commented about my body every single day, it was relentless, and resulted in self harm. I was always so worried about pleasing boys, and fitting in which portably stemmed out of a fear of rejection. I would throw out my lunch at school because looking at food made me sick. I used working out as a punishment for having the body I had, or getting a bad mark in school. It got to the point where I felt like I deserved what I was doing to myself.
What do you have to say to body shamers?
Just Leave. No, but seriously its not your place or responsibility to say anything. Understand that your words have consecusences. Now looking back, I honesty feel more emethetical towards them, if they felt like the need to push people down like that, wow, they must be in such a dark vaunrable place, and need help.
Any final notes of wisdom?
Surround yourself with people who love and support you. Know that your individuality is special. When I wake up in the morning, I look in the mirror and say “dam baby who is you”, and I will probably continue to do this for the rest of my life as I learn to love every inch of who I am.