Keeping It Real

19 Mar

I’ve seen a lot of posts on Facebook and magazine articles and blogging news about body image and the phrase “keeping it real”.

I don’t usually concern myself with tyring to lose weight or build muscle or have a gap between my thighs but every now and then when I look at pictures is sports magazines or advertisements and I see a really nicely toned and buffed woman I think “damn she looks good” followed by “wish I could look like that” followed closely by “never going to happen“. I know the amount of hard work it would take for me to ever look anything like those unrealistic photos and I simply don’t have enough hours in the day to achieve that (or the money or the willpower for that matter). But why are we always so hard on ourselves, always wanting to look like someone else, always striving for what we don’t have, and never being satisfied with what we do have?

This is exactly what people have been posting/blogging/writing about recently and last week my inbox surprised me with a Runner’s World update that I actually wanted to read (truth be told I usually just delete them!). The title “Female Runners Keep It Real” was instantly attractive – I guess all the hype and activity on this topic helped in obtaining my attention – and the synopsis “Pro runner Lauren Fleshman challenged runners to post unflattering photos of themselves in an effort to “keep it real” and redefine the meaning of beauty” made me click the link to read more. The link directed me to a stream of selfies posted by runners of varying shapes and sizes and they were all beautifully “normal” looking people. It reassured me that THIS is what normal is and not the fantasy, fake tanned, photoshopped, not eaten in 3 days photos of women we see everywhere else.

I don’t have a picture perfect body and I certainly don’t like most of my running photos – tight pants and ill-fitted tops – but you know what, I’m ok with that because that’s me and I’m happy with how I look (most of the time) and I can shrug off those photos and suggestions that say I should look otherwise. Sure I’m jealous of the girl next to me on race day at the start line in just a sports bra and shorts and looking all fine but she either won the lottery in the genes department or has 10 hours a day to kill at the gym. However there are many women who still believe in the media and the image they portray which saddens me but which is also why I am so grateful for the many women out there who are actively trying to redefine beauty and say what is REAL.

It doesn’t need to be said since all my running photos are pretty horrible but I will continue to post unflattering photos of myself here on my blog and I won’t apologise if that causes anyone any offence.

Here’s to keeping it real.

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