Posts Tagged ‘self-esteem’

A Conversation About Women’s Bodies. Yeah, That’s Right. From a GUY.

October 15, 2014

I am not politically correct.  So life is easy for me: I am actually allowed to see and describe reality as it really is.

It wasn’t all that long ago that I first (inadvertently) tried on my first pair of “skinny jeans” and discovered that I couldn’t even get my CALVES through the thighs, let alone my thighs.

I was buying a new pair of jeans for the first time in a fair period of time – jeans being the sorts of things that generally last a while – and was frankly mystified by all the different styles that had popped out of nowhere while I was in fashion limbo.

I’m a weightlifter, and if that isn’t bad enough, I’ve just got naturally big legs.  So yeah, my solid legs didn’t go through the tiny little leg holes of the death camp pants very well.  I mean, what am I supposed to do, say, “Those lucky Jews in the 1940s…Good thing that nice man Adolf Hitler came along to help them get into those fashionable Brandy Melville clothes?”  I don’t think so.

So, with that experience in my mind, let me address this woman shopper’s experience.  And then let me talk about it after the article:

Teens Love Brandy Melville, A Fashion Brand That Sells Only One Tiny Size – Huffington Post
by admin | posted: October 15, 2014

Paytas described the experience in an email to Brandy Melville: “I didn’t get 10 seconds into the store when I was told ‘I would not fit anything’ and that I wasn’t allowed to try anything on because ‘I would stretch the clothes out.’” She added that many of her viewers have had similar experiences at Brandy Melville shops. Paytas declined an interview request for “legal reasons.”

“We can satisfy almost everybody, but not everybody,” said Longo. “The one-size-fits-most clothing might turn off somebody if they don’t walk into the store, but if you walk in you’ll find something even if it’s a bag.”

Whether fat-shamed directly or not, it’s evident that Brandy Melville customers feel the pressure, even by simply walking into a store. Take this sampling of customers lamenting their weight because of Brandy Melville:

NEW YORK — “Small,” reads the label dangling from the first tank top on the rack at the Brandy Melville store in SoHo. So does the one behind it. And the third, fourth, fifth — they’re all small. In fact, nearly every single piece of clothing in the store is either labeled “small” or “one-size.”

how to feel fat: brandy melville jeans

Typical Brandy Melville girls on Instagram.

brandy melvilleAt Brandy Melville, nearly all the clothes are small, though a medium will pop up here and there. To be able to shimmy into Brandy Melville’s only size of skinny jeans, a girl would need to have a 25-inch waist — that’s around a size 0 or 2, depending on the brand. Most skirts and shorts on the website are about the same size. Similar skinny jeans at teen fashion powerhouse Forever 21 span sizes from 24 to 30 inches. In the U.S., the average 16-year-old girl is approximately 5 feet 3inches tall, weighs about 138 pounds and has around a 31-inch waist, according to a 2012 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The battle to be thinnest could be dangerous. A 2013 study from researchers at Texas A&M found that girls feel the most pressure to be skinny when they compare themselves with their peers. More than half of teenage girls use “unhealthy weight control behaviors,” like skipping meals, fasting or vomiting, according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders.

Rachel Simmons, co-founder of the Girls Leadership Institute, a national nonprofit group, said Brandy Melville puts teen girls through the “paces of the popularity jungle,” recreating the challenge of having to be the best and coolest in school.

im too fat for brandy melville and it breaks my heart

Brandy Melville is gaining traction with teens. (Data: Piper Jaffray)

I would buy stuff from Brandy Melville but im too fat.

Whereas typically teenage girls need to come up with the money to buy the “cool clothes,” with Brandy Melville, cost isn’t a challenge. The clothes are relatively affordable. Skirts and dresses run from $20 to $40. Plenty of tops cost less than $30, and some halters cost as little as $11.

Since its arrival on the West Coast, Brandy Melville’s clothes have swept through high schools, attracting teen girls who want to be part of the waif club. Lani Renaldo, a freshman at the University of Southern California who graduated from a Santa Monica high school in the spring, said Brandy Melville clothes were unavoidable among teens in the area. They became necessities, she said.

— lauren (@fivesohs) August 9, 2014

“It was really uncommon to know somebody who didn’t have Brandy Melville,” Renaldo, who wrote a blog post earlier this year condemning Brandy Melville for leaving teens as outcasts, told HuffPost. “You had to own something from Brandy, and if you didn’t, it’s really weird.”

crying bc too fat to fit into brandy melville.. sigh

Welcome to the hottest teen clothing retailer in the U.S., where the garments are designed for just one body type: thin. Brandy Melville has stormed onto the teen fashion scene with its “one-size-fits-most” policy and whimsical California vibe. Despite its modest fleet of 18 stores in the U.S., mostly in California and around New York City, it’s one of the brands with the fastest-growing popularity among American teen girls, according to a semiannual survey from research firm Piper Jaffray.

Who is the Brandy Melville girl? One look at the brand’s website and Instagram account reveals her: young, white, skinny and long-legged.

With all the importance it places on teensy waists and thigh gaps, the Brandy Melville culture was bound to court controversy.

Brandy Melville makes me feel fat.

In 2012, YouTube star Trisha Paytas said she’d been shamed at a Brandy Melville store in California. In a video uploaded to her YouTube account, Paytas alleged that a store employee wouldn’t even let her try on clothes because of her size. She said she took down the video after receiving a letter from a lawyer representing Brandy Melville.

Regular teens aspire to one day be one of these Instagram girls, or at least look like them. Diehard fangirls treat the Brandy Melville girls like Internet celebrities, pinning Brandy Melville bags on their walls as decorations and Instagramming their caches of Brandy Melville clothes, explained Sharp. Teens will go to a Brandy Melville store just to take a selfie and share it, she said.

— layn (@yunglaynr) September 27, 2014

Brandy Melville did not respond to requests for comment from HuffPost. But in an interview with USA Today earlier this year, Jessy Longo, an executive at Brandy Melville, addressed the one-size policy, saying that if customers can’t fit in the clothes, at least they can buy an accessory.

Well, certainly most death camp inmates, anyway.

It literally pains me to read this experience of girls and young women: “I’m too fat.”  But they’re not saying it because they are actually “too fat,” but rather because they can’t fit into some stupid clothing label that markets to walking pencils.

I think of the young girls I know and I wish I could grab them and start shaking them until they understand that there are marketers who are trying to profit by catering to “cool kids” and there are “cool kids” who get to be “cool” for incredibly stupid reasons and probably feel as much pressure to stay “cool” as the girls who don’t feel “cool” but want to feel to become “cool.”

It’s a vicious cycle.  And it’s like global terrorism is an easier dilemma to solve.

Women look at a lot of things men do and conclude “How stupid.”  And of course they’re right; we’re flat-out nuts in many ways, aren’t we?  Well, here, the shoe is on the other foot.  And yes, women, don’t tell me you didn’t imagine a beautiful style of “shoe” when I used that expression.  When it comes to your body image, you girls are completely nuts.

Quit being conformed by fashion perverts and start being YOU.

I am a man who DELIBERATELY made my legs to big to fit into “skinny jeans.”  Because “skinny” is NOT what I as a man want to be, nor do I care what that hollow-eyed, scrawny androgynous male model in the ad looks like.  I want to be strong and muscular.  And if “skinny men” want to tell me I’m uncool, well, I will stare at them incredulously with a look of part astonishment and part pure contempt.  Because, no, I DON’T want to look like you, you weak, pathetic little twerp.

This isn’t about me, but here’s a picture of me so you can see the type of body that I have:

Untitled (2)

Please don’t send me “skinny clothes” for my birthday.  They’ll end up in my rag bag.  With the tags still on them.

And rest assured, I couldn’t get my ARMS through those Brandy Melville pants.  And I take that as a badge of personal honor.

I went through my own struggle with “self-image” that reverses many people’s experience.  When I was young, I was naturally lean and naturally athletic.  Never had any “I’m too fat” or “I’m too skinny” problems growing up.  As a young teen, I emulated my older brother and got into weightlifting.  And being bigger and stronger than the other boys never hurt my feelings.

But I got out of the Army with injuries.  In military infantry doctrine, you are what your body can do.  If you’re busted and can’t perform at a high level, you’re worthless.  If you can’t perform, then you’re simply not a man.  And I’d imbibed that without even thinking about it.  And so I hypercompensated when I got out of the Army by training too hard and gave myself new injuries on top of the ones from the Army.  And I gave up.  And I gained weight that was just fat.  And yeah, my body image suffered.  And my self-esteem suffered as a result.

I never wanted to just lose weight because I had never in my life seen myself as a “skinny guy.”

In my soul, I saw myself as fit and muscular.  That was always my vision of myself.

When I returned to that ideal of myself and began to work to make it happen, I was able to succeed in losing weight where I had been failing before.  Because what I really wanted to do was transform myself into my ideal for myself.  I had physical limitations because of my injuries.  But I discovered if I was realistic I could work around them and still advance toward my goals and actualize my vision of myself.  And I found that my body literally WANTED to return to the fitness I’d had as a young man.  It’s called “muscle memory.”  And praise God for being fearfully and wonderfully made according to Psalms.

You can do it if you want to and if you have a plan and have the resolve to make that plan happen.  It’s just a matter of time.  And anything that truly matters takes time and effort.

I never wanted to be like the “cool kids.”  I had higher standards for myself that frankly didn’t involve them.

If I want to sit at the “cool kids” table now, I’ll sit there and command the skinny little weasels in their skinny pants to get lost.

I tell my story to try to explain to girls why the opinion of the “cool people” shouldn’t matter.  Think outside the box!!!

I wish more girls could have that same attitude if their body-types are different from the death camp inmate girls who think they’re so damn “cool.”

As a weight lifter, I really can’t say I’m in touch with how “handsome” I am.  I’ve never been that in touch with that and what can I frankly do about it one way or the other?  But I do know that I’m what I call “spectacular.”  I invariably see a lot of heads turn when I walk into a room.  I know that there are women who find me attractive because of my physique and I also know that there are women who won’t waste a second glance at me.  I’m admittedly on the extreme side: there are those women who are “turned off” by a big body-builder-type guy; and there are women who are turned ON.

And may God abundantly bless the women who are turned on by a big, strong man’s body.

Now, if you truly prefer the body of Justin Bieber, that’s fine with me.  I won’t even laugh at you (well, okay, I won’t laugh at you much).  Fortunately, this world is big enough for all of us.

Enough about me and my story.

I gave my story just to point out something that it is just a fact of life, girls.  YOU CAN’T PLEASE EVERYBODY.  Which is what too many women too often try to do too much.  You are frankly a fool for trying.  So be who you are, please yourself and your God and your family who love you the most.  And if you do that, you will find that you will be very pleasing to the people who matter most in this world, I promise you that.   If you focus on being the best “you” you can be, rather than try to force-fit yourself into an artificial mold, somebody is going to seriously dig the best “you” you can be.

I gave my story to point out that it’s coming from a man who never wanted to be like everybody else, to fit into the mold of some marketing gimmick like Brandy Melville.  Don’t be a lemming who wants to look like all the other lemmings.  BE YOURSELF.

And I gave my story – as a GUY – to maybe get some woman somewhere to think outside of her “girl box” and consider a different way to look at herself and at her body.

I have come to learn that I don’t have an “ideal woman” when it comes to beauty.  And that’s because I understand that you discover beauty and appreciate it for what it is, you don’t invent it.  I can’t even describe it; I just know it immediately when I see it.

There are slender women I’m sure could wear those Brandy Melville clothes whom I find attractive.  But hot dang, some of the women I find the MOST attractive would NEVER be able to wiggle those magnificently voluptuous hips of theirs through any pair of skinny jeans.

I note that Brandy Melville’s concept of “beauty” means being “white” as well as “skinny” and “long-legged.”  If I may, the most beautiful women I’m seeing in my neck of the woods are Hispanic.  Damn, there are a lot of gorgeous Hispanic girls.  Anybody who thinks that the most beautiful women are European is an idiot whose concept of “beauty” can be casually round-filed.  There are beautiful women all over God’s earth.

You can be Asian, you can be black, you can probably be blue and be beautiful.  And the beautiful women from different cultures also have different body types from whatever the “white girl” ideal is.  What matters the most is that you are YOU.

It literally hurts me that some incredibly gorgeous women are struggling with their self-esteem because they don’t think they’re attractive according to the fashion Nazis.

How the hell did so many girls come to believe this stupid crap???

It’s like something out of “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”  It has absolutely no connection with reality.  It’s completely based on a warped perception of warped people who have anointed themselves as fashion gods.

And it’s only when you ignore them and even outright mock them that they will become irrelevant.

Truly beautiful women come in all shapes and sizes.  And I’m not being “spiritual” and talking about “souls” and I’m not being Disney and talking about “personalities.”  I’m just writing as a man who is appreciating a hot woman’s body here.

Like I said above, I as one guy truly don’t have a “type.”  Girls with big breasts, girls with small breasts, girls right in between, I’ve found some of all of you gorgeous.  Girls with slim figures, girls with full figures, some of you are hot and some of you are not.  If you think all men find all bone-skinny women attractive, you’re just wrong.

Some girls and women have a naturally slender body, but sometimes their bodies tend to lack a womanly shape.  Some girls and women discover that they have a naturally shapely and voluptuous body, but some of these find it harder to keep unattractive excess weight off.  Each body type has its plusses and its minuses.  Go with the flow.

There are three primary types of body for both males and females: ectomorphs who tend to be thin, mesomorphs who tend to be athletic and endomorphs who tend to be more shapely but heavier:

Rather than deceiving yourselves into believing that you should all fit into Brandy Melville clothes, try to realistically determine what kind of body you have and then work to make THAT body the most attractive that you can.

I assure you, endomorph girl, YOU CAN BE SO GORGEOUS IT IS BEYOND UNREAL.

But it starts with you being honest with yourself.  Don’t unrealistically try to force yourself to be something you’re not and then force yourself into clothes that you don’t fit into.

I found a site after a few seconds of searching that I found spot on: http://www.superskinnyme.com/endomorph-body-type.html

Here is the section that I want you girls to see and understand:

There is no way round this issue. Endomorphs will have a harder time losing weight. But lets be clear. No one is saying that endomorphs CAN’T lose weight, but that they will have to work harder to lose the weight. Endomorphs do not have to be overweight. They simply require more determination than perhaps a mesomorph would, to achieve the same goal. Endomorphs have to train hard and must eat healthily most of the time. Endomorphs gain fat quickly when eating the wrong types of foods because their metabolism can be unforgiving. They also find it difficult to lose weight through diet alone.

The good news is that endomorph women are often thought of as voluptuous and sensual because they go in at the waist, have large rounded breasts and have womanly curves in all the right places – when in shape, their curves create an allure likened to that of Jennifer Lopez, Sophia Loren and other celebrated and famous bodies. Some of the most beautiful women in show business today are endomorphs. In shape the female endomorph is unrivaled – toned and fit whilst being soft, sensuous and alluring. It’s a wonderful paradox only the female endomorph can fully achieve. And lets be clear, if you are a female endomorph trying to look like your polar opposite – an ectomorph (e.g. Kate Moss) – a body type that possesses little fat, little muscle and a small frame, producing a linear, narrow body shape. If you do manage to lose a lot weight (fat and muscle!) to somewhat resemble an ectomorph, it will never look as good on you as it will look on her. For her it is a natural state and she looks (and is) healthy, but you have beaten your body into submission, forcing your body to be >something it is not and you will most likely look (and feel and be) gaunt, ill and tired, instead of radiant and glowing. It just doesn’t work. Your goal should be to transform your body into the best it can be, not to reconstruct it into someone else’s body. You can be incredibly slim, lean and toned. You can even be petite. But you can’t be an ectomorph. Read more here about how much you can change yout body type.

Amen.

Please, girls, PLEASE.  Don’t let some ectomorph mafia brainwash you out of realizing your potential.  If you’re an endomorph female, you can literally soar above those most of those pencil girls.

And that isn’t to mock the ectomorph bodies.  If you can fit into those Brandy Melville clothes, goody for you.  Some of you girls look awesome.  And I drool over a fit mesomorph woman.

I take a little bit of personal credit for the woman who I believe became the most beautiful woman in my gym.  She was afraid lifting weights would make her “too big.”  I literally sat her down in the gym and gave her “the talk.”  I made her watch the men and watch them lift weights and tell me which ones were “big.”  And the point I wanted her to understand was that not very many men ARE “big” in the muscular sense.  My point is that it’s hard to put on pure muscle – even for men who have the male hormone testosterone.  It’s REALLY HARD for women to put on thick muscle.  Most women couldn’t do it if they tried.  Rather, weightlifting will sculpt a woman’s body, tighten it, hone it.  She’ll keep her softness where softness matters most on a woman, but her body will firm up in a glorious way.

Anyway, Jacqueline was a hybrid between an ectomorph and a mesomorph.  She was right between the two types.  And that woman started lifting weights with a basic routine I gave her.  And she just got more and more into it.  And she started learning and asking questions and developing her own routine.  And a pretty woman became a jaw-droppingly beautiful one.  She’s in that gym seriously lifting weights three days a week and hot dang they look good on her.

What I would encourage you girls and women to do is to correctly identify your body-type – which might be a hybrid between two types with a tendency toward one more than the other like Jacqueline above – and then look online for examples of beautiful women with your body type.  Get a picture in your mind of what you want to accomplish that’s based on what’s ideal for YOU.  And then work to unlock and unleash the natural potential for your type of body.

Weight loss is a matter of calories consumed versus calories burned.  I hate to diet, but I love to exercise.  The less you like to exercise, the more you better like to diet.  But you need to find the balance that works best for you and you need to find ways to stay active that you most enjoy.

What I hate to see is a girl or woman who has in ignorance believed a load of garbage and feels trapped by an impossible ideal that she can never possibly fit into.  An endomorph girl can never be happy trying to be an ectomorph, or vice versa, for that matter.  If you despair over trying to literally become another woman’s body-type, you won’t be able to succeed and you’ll give up in frustration.

The key is to accept your body’s reality – by which I mean understand your body type and its plusses and minuses – and believe in yourself.

Believe me, I’m rooting for you.  Because I LOVE to see a beautiful woman.  And the more of you beautiful women, the better, as far as I’m concerned.

It starts with recognizing that God didn’t make junk.  When He made you, He didn’t put a thin girl into a fat girl’s body.  Be realistic with who you truly are and it will be the first real step toward becoming the best “you” that you can possibly be.

It may be hard, it may be a struggle, but I assure you, YOU ARE WORTH IT.  YOU ARE WORTH THE EFFORT.  And if you have a goal in your heart and a vision in your mind, you can reach it.

And for what it’s worth, when you get that nice figure that is ideal for you and for your personal body-type, you may or may not be able to wear that Brandy Melville label, but you’ll look beautiful in a lot of other labels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements