Hello lovely P31 Chicks!
I am super excited about this post! I hope it will shed some much-needed light in the “body image” department. Our society is so “image driven” that it is wreaking havoc on Women and girls daily. I see it all of the time in my profession. There was a time that I too, struggled with body image and loving myself. It is something that took years of work and diligence and determination and today I can honestly say, I LOVE myself and I am so blessed with my gifts and God-given body. I want this joyfulness, contentment with self and happiness to be yours as well. It is possible to love yourself!
One of the BIGGEST contributors to our global “body image” issues consists of media and magazines. Women and girls flip through the pages mindlessly pointing out what they “want” that they do not have. They compare themselves to the flawless bodies and faces plastered all over the television and magazines in search of what they desire while never feeling like they are enough. If this is you, I pray that this post will touch your heart and open up a door for you to love yourself.
So many Mothers struggle with their own body image issues and pass these on to their daughters. In school, girls do not eat in order to be “thin” and they look down on others who ARE eating. It is a vicious cycle that spreads like wildfire! It is time we come together P31 Chicks and love ourselves! While you pick yourself apart and cut down on yourself, God sheds tears. You may as well say, “God, what you created is not good enough.”
Instead of loving ourselves in all of our uniqueness and beauty, we critique ourselves (and others) and do whatever possible to keep up with the standards of society, media, magazines and everything else. We pick ourselves apart until there is nothing left to pick and we are left sad and searching instead of seeing the pure beauty and incredible talent that God blessed each of us with.
I hope to shed some light into this department in a very real and personal way. I started out my own journey at 208 pounds, overweight and with ZERO self-confidence. I went through a journey and process in my life (and with my health) that changed my body physically but I had to FIGHT to rebuild my personal outlook of myself. There was a time I remember rocking a 6 pack and still not being happy with myself. I had to TEACH myself to believe in my beauty and to thank God for what He created instead of critiquing His design.
After achieving my goals I began to compete in figure and bikini and to do more than my fair share of photo shoots. I learned that I loved being in front of the camera and I enjoyed taking pictures. I was blessed to always work with creative photographers that didn’t make me feel like a piece of meat. When you get into the Industry I am in today, this can be a common occurrence. Many of the photographers I worked with loved leaving my photos with natural flaws like the creases in my eyes (when I smile) and my flat chest. All things that society says are no good for the most part.
I worked with one photographer in particular years ago that photo shopped me so badly I did not even look like me! It bothered me so badly that I ended up never posting or sharing the pictures. He told me I would need “breasts” and added those even though I am flat as a board! He made my skin and face FLAWLESS and gave me CAT eyes. He shaped my chin differently and insisted I look “sexy” and that all of these things would make me sexy. REALLY!? It was really insane to me and I attribute my sensitivity to the Holy Spirit for knowing deep in my spirit that this was WRONG.
It was just the other day that I felt in my Spirit it was time to share these pictures with you, for a purpose and that purpose is to shed light on the fact that what you see in magazines and plastered all over TV and billboards is not the way it really is! Stop comparing yourself and start LOVING yourself!
I am sharing these pictures for the first time to show you what I really look like and what was created with a few tweaks here and there of photo shop. I want to prove a point and that point is simple: just because someone looks beautifully flawless does not mean they are and this is OK! Just stop comparing yourself to airbrushed images.
I am going to share a picture of me which was beautifully done and not touched up versus the picture of me which was edited in many ways. I will also include some “before” and “after” photos of real models and magazine covers to highlight my point.
I am not saying that if you are unhappy with your health or image to do nothing about it! If you are unhappy than make necessary changes but stop comparing and picking yourself apart! It is possible to love yourself but aim to reach goals and achieve health. In addition, a few tweaks here and there (tastefully done) can add a nice “glow” to beautiful pictures. I am not saying “no” to slight touch-ups but what I am saying is be educated on the real behind the scenes deal! These people have REAL flaws just like you!
The most important point of all is this: YOU are beautiful and you are unique. You were created in Gods image and God makes no mistakes. It literally breaks His heart when you hurt and compare yourself to others. Truly being at peace and loving yourself (and all of your little flaws) is FREEDOM!!
Let all that I am praise The Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my desires. Psalms 103:2-3.
The following pic was so beautifully done by my friend Mary, this is an unedited pic and one of my favorites. I like that you can still see my laugh lines and slight forehead creases because (for those who know me) I am ALWAYS making silly faces! HA! 🙂
The picture (BELOW) is the one I referred to in the post where I was so badly picked apart it did not even look like me. I had my eyes shaped like “Cat eyes” and he thinned my eyebrows. He made my legs flawless and smoothed out my chin (my chin protrudes a bit) He also gave me huge boobs and I am flat as a board. Point proven. LOL
The following picture is of a magazine cover before and after with the beautiful (both ways!) Faith Hill.
The picture below is of a model BEFORE and AFTER. Check out what they were able to do!
PLEASE HELP US BY FOLLOWING THE P31 Chick BLOG and sharing with your friends! Help us by sharing this post on FB and other social media outlets and spreading awareness! I can always be reached via my website as well at http://www.AshleyPoptodorov.com
God Bless ladies and remember, YOU are beautiful!