Monday, June 3, 2013

The Pros and Cons of Internet Body Images

Recently I viewed a post on my Facebook page revealing a picture of a shapely woman in a form-fitting dress with grey hair. The post read, “Is this lady dressed age appropriately?" I enlarged the picture and looked at it more closely. The lady had a fabulous body and I imagined the results of hard work as opposed to enhancements and surgery. I was inspired by her appearance, not inspired to look like the lady, who I now know as Shellie Bo Talley, a 55 year old mom of 4 and grandmother from Georgia, but inspired to be a better me and shape up. I knew if Shellie could do it, so could I!

As for addressing the question concerning the matter of Shellie being dressed age appropriately, I prescribe to the late author Zora Neal Hurston’s famous quote, “Those that don’t got it, can’t show it. Those that got it, can’t hide it.” Even so, I do believe we should use discretion regardless of age, which so many women need to be mindful of. Shellie was not trying to be a video vixen or porn star. She was fully dressed and obliviously proud of the results of fitness training and healthy eating habits. Additionally, her grey hair was an indication she was not trying to hide her age.

Some online body images can be an inspiration, but far too often posting nude and partially clad body images has given rise to “false hopes” about our bodies and what we should look like. In some instances, women (particularly young women) believe this is the only way they will get attention from men and many have resorted to getting surgical enhancements at a very young age. Additionally, this quest to become “bootylicious” has created bogus treatments from people who claim to provide shots and pills that allow women to look like the images they see in videos and the Internet. This has proven harmful and even deadly in some cases. Unfortunately, we can become inspired for all the wrong reasons. Our first love should be our own bodies and being the best we can be through creating a healthy outlook on life, adopting a fitness routine and eating healthy. This is self-love!

But wait, one more thing! Men see these women in videos and online and believe it is 100% the truth. I have heard stories where men are insisting that their wives or girlfriends can look like these women, often going so far as to make cruel comments and request unreasonable demands or else. Admittedly, some of these women are the truth, but men should be mindful that many are getting paid (or want to get paid) and maintain their appearances with enhancements that include tummy tucks, liposuction, booty shots, facelifts, computer imaging and more. My good friend once told me you can buy yourself to look anyway you want to. My point is, I agree you should want your lady to look good, but don’t be conformed to what you see on online and in videos as a guide to what you believe your mate should look like.  Remember, you may not look your best either. Try working and working out together. That’s real love!

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