Monday, September 22, 2008

Only Compare Yourself To Yourself

I've recently finished digging through the archives of another blog that I so love to read, and now am spending some time here and there reading through the archives of yet another. I have a weird habit of "having" to read the archives of blogs. I can't just find one that I like, and start reading from today ... I have to go back, find out the whole truth about the person who's life I'm absorbing. I need to see the beginning, fully understand the changes this person goes through because of their blogging. Otherwise, it'd be sort of like starting to read "Little Women" in the middle. I just can't do that.

Another reason I like to read archives is the inspiration that I find in the blogs of certain very insightful individuals, like PastaQueen. And please, don't ask me what she's up to lately, because I have no clue. As of today, I am still trying to dig my way out of the rubble of Summer 2006. But in one post, someone in the comments section (which I rarely read, but for some reason this time I dipped into) mentioned the idea that one should only compare themselves to themselves.

This stood out to me at the time even more than the entry that I'd read, which is really something since PastaQueen is indeed a great writer, both witty and honest. She's not afraid to joke around, even about herself, yet she's able to put words to some things I've felt all my life. But that comment? It stood out to me big time, because it's a concept that we simply don't live by in our society today. Too often we compare ourselves to the latest standard of beauty ... and also too often, we lose. Especially women like me, women who are on the heavy side for whatever reasons.

We see Keira Knightly and the Olsen twins ... and many people are disturbed by how thin and unhealthy these people look. And yet they are today's standard. Many women struggle every day of their loves to achieve these standards. But what about women with true beauty, women who are not killing themselves to be bone-thin? Women like Kate Winslet, America Ferrera, Queen Latifah ... honestly at the moment I can't even think of any others.

Isn't that sad? It is sad that our public world is full of starving bony women, and the ones that aren't afraid to weigh in at the higher end of the spectrum are hidden away as if they don't exist. What's truly sad, though, is the way so many women today are looking at the women Photoshopped onto the covers of our magazines ... and they are comparing themselves to an impossible standard.

Why not just compare yourself to yourself? Are you more fit than ever before? No? Then work toward that. Don't try to beat Nicole Richie. Beat only yourself, worry only about making your own self better. Are you better than ever? It's not about becoming the standard "Stepford Beauty" ... Be comfortable in your own skin, in your own individuality, and the only contest you need to worry about is between the girl looking in the mirror and the girl looking back out.