Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Photoshop Changed My Mind

     I don't want the flabby arms but I have them and I work hard to strengthen them. It's okay that I don't love my arms, their mine and I'm the one that has to live with them.  It's another emotion when someone points them out as a flaw, throws out insulting comments about how big they are, then Photoshops them to their standard of beauty.  I knew my arms were big but since when does that make them wrong? I was offended by someone thinking I wasn't beautiful the way I am.  I was offended that they thought they were doing me a favor. In that moment of mentally defending my arms, I discovered a seed of self love and pride.

     I stared at this photo of myself imagining those sticks were my arms. I couldn't make the image match. I come with big arms. They're big, not because they're fat, they're big because I USED to be 300 pounds! They are my badge of honor. This extra skin that waves along with me, I worked HARD for that.  I'm not a celebrity and I don't want to be treated like one, meaning, leave my "flaws" alone. This is not the cover of a magazine, these are personal photos that my family will hold onto and cherish for many years. I'm guessing someone might notice, out of all my pictures, this one I look different.  

     I don't wish to lie to myself. I do not want to look at photos that have altered my body. Blend out the zit, stain on my shirt, or even a wrinkle or two, but my body is what it is and it is beautiful.  My flab, rolls, stretch marks, and cellulite are mine. If I can learn to accept them so can the people around me.  I was so offended by the Photoshopping and someone thinking they were doing me a favor that I embraced my arms, mentally hugging them and telling them that it's ok, I see them as beautiful. 
     The Photoshopper who gave me those sticks taught me a valuable lesson. Without that image I may never had made peace with myself, with my "flaws". I do not see my arms as a flaw anymore. My body is not wrong; society is wrong for subjecting women to a beauty standard that isn't real. Celebrities and models are Photoshopped on everything. I could transform my body into the best it can be and it still would not be considered perfect. I need to see myself as perfect now because regardless of what I do to it, someone will find something wrong. 

    As for the photo that started it all, it lives under my bed (it's a large canvas photo). I can't look at it because it makes me sad. I hold on to it for several reasons - the most important being the lesson that came from it. This is the first summer I am not subjecting myself to cardigans in 100 and something degree heat to hide my arms. I show my arms with pride now, they have become my middle finger to unrealistic beauty standards. This is me, I am beautiful  and no one can make me ashamed of my body. 


  1. Love this post!!! You are an amazing inspiration!!! :-)

  2. I found your blog through a friend of a friend on fb and just started to read it. As a 36 year old woman who went through gastric bypass surgery, once weighed 435 lbs and is still struggling to find the "perfect" weight.. I must say I am THRILLED I have found your blog. I haven't read the entire thing yet, as I am at work, but I can't stop myself from reading bits and pieces whenever I have a free moment to click my mouse over the tab I have open. Keep up the good work, positive energy and know you are a true inspiration! P.s. I love the scale idea with positive messages on it. I am going to do this at home tonight!! Have a blessed day. Namaste.

  3. This is the only thing I ever wanted for my blog, to help women embrace their bodies. You absolutely made my day!!! <3 Keep going!! Be proud of yourself and if I can help in any way please let me know!!! <3

  4. This is a very interesting article, now I think and feel differently about Photoshop, I have posted your article to my weight loss page and hopefully the fans that are following me will find it interesting and helpful as well. ����

    1. Thank you so much for your feedback and for sharing my post! <3 <3

  5. I love this and that you embrace yourself. Fabulous.