Releasing the Supermodel


When you imagine the most perfectly honed version of yourself, does that person look a lot like a supermodel? I, for one, have spent a lifetime with a vision of Supermodel Self living in my head.

I think Supermodel Self is a natural response to cultural conditioning. We spend billions of dollars every year on products promising that there’s a skinny, toned, wrinkle-free, unblemished, gorgeously coiffed You just waiting to be set free. It’s why supermodels exist. They’re there to convince us that if we spend enough money, we can look just like them.

I remember watching a Pussycat Dolls video several years ago and thinking that if only I could lose the weight, I’d be built just like Nicole Scherzinger.

I mean, I’ve got an hourglass frame. What more do you need, right?

The thing is… I lost the weight. I gained the muscle tone. And, as it turns out, I’m your average human woman.

I finally understand – as long as I chase my Supermodel Self, there will always be something to pick on.

When you begin a massive physical transformation of any kind, you don’t really know what Transformed You will look like. Losing 100 lbs felt amazing, but it also revealed that my nose is bigger than I once thought. My face shrank around my nose, but my nose stayed the same. Also, my shoulders look wider when my arms and torso are smaller. Who knew? I had no idea.

Know what else happened when I lost all that weight? My once-proud tatas bailed on me. They are mere shadows of what they once were. It’s very, very sad.

So, what is one to do? Shall I sell a kidney in order to afford a boob job? And a nose job? I mean… the supermodel in my head cannot come to fruition without some serious surgical alteration.

While I’m at it, I should probably schedule some botox. I’m in my 30s now, and the lines on my face are beginning to show.

Do you think I need some hair extensions, too? My hair isn’t so full and shiny since having kids…

See how that cycle of thinking goes? There’s always something to pick on.

So, I have a new goal. I need to give my Supermodel Self her walking papers. She makes me feel bad about Actual Self. She points to my flaws rather than reminding me of my strengths. She thinks I should look like someone my husband and my kids wouldn’t even recognize.

I can’t be happy in my own skin as long as Supermodel Self is in residence in my brain. I need to release her and focus on being happy with what I’m lucky to have.

My boobs don’t stand at attention anymore, but they fed a couple of kids.

My post-pregnancy body may never again rock a bikini, but I can swim laps for an hour because the body wearing the mom-ish one piece is pretty damn strong.

I won’t be getting any surgery or hiring a beauty squad and air brushing team to follow me around. I will never be Supermodel Self. But I’m healthy and I’m strong. The sooner I embrace that, the better off I’ll be.

My ego will thank me.

4 thoughts on “Releasing the Supermodel

  1. I am leading a group for teenage girls with eating disorders and we had this exact discussion today… I was not able to articulate it quite so eloquently, and I thank you for putting the right words to this important topic. I couldn’t agree more that my Supermodel Self has robbed me of far too many moments of pride and appreciation. Time to cut her loose.

  2. The stripes… yeah, they’re kind of interesting. And unavoidable for most of us. I never had children so I don’t have those, but I have marks down my hips and thighs like a tiger raked me, mostly from sudden growth in puberty.

    I watched a rather amusing show from the UK called “How to Look Good Naked” and the host, Gok, made a really good point about them. Basically, most of us have them regardless of condition. Even the stars once they’ve had a child or got past 30, they just use makeup to hide them. Most of us earn our “lady stripes” as he calls them, by turning into a woman or turning into a mother.

    I know the stripes don’t fit the supermodel picture (they’re airbrushed out naturally), but they really are part of being a real adult woman. I guess part of my attitude does stem from growing up on a farm, where I became used to identifying the maturity of animals based on certain physical signs; that ewe has white on her nose. She’s adult now. I have stripes on my legs. I am a woman now. I earned them.

    Besides, I think you’ll find that when you are fit and tightbodied, marks like that become almost meaningless. Wear whatever the heck you want. You have earned it on many levels.

  3. I got much more helpful and clear information from your article than I’ve from other people I’ve study. Your insight on this subject is amazing.

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