Inspirational women – Jennifer Lawrence

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I love the inspirational women section of the blog and I want to post more and more of these articles!

I was watching a film the other night with Jennifer Lawrence in it and it suddenly dawned on me that she hasn’t yet been featured in Inspirational Women and definitely should be!

In the zany, image-obsessed world of LA-LA Land, Jennifer is a breath of fresh air. She’s so normal. She’s funny, she doesn’t seem to give a damn what anybody thinks and she’s not afraid to be herself and be unconventional as a result.

When it comes to body image though, she is such a fantastic role model for women young and old alike. Refusing to conform to Hollywood’s standardised plastic and skinny form of beauty, instead she always looks stunningly beautiful whilst looking like someone you might bump into down the shops. She’s very strong and very brave to say the things she says and speak out against Hollywood’s – and the world’s – obsession with being thin.

She’s not too thin, and nor is she afraid to speak out against unhealthy expectations and stereotypes as well as the pressure she suffers herself being in the public eye in such a harsh environment of aesthetic judgement. She encourages women not to care what others think, not to follow silly diets, and overall to be themselves. Who can argue with any of that?

Here’s my favourite quotes: I don’t think they need me to elaborate on them as they are fabulous on their own!

On diets: ‘If anybody tries to whisper the word ‘diet’ to me I’m like ‘you can go fuck yourself.’

‘If we are regulating cigarettes and sex and swear words because of their effect on our younger generation, then why aren’t we regulating things like calling people ‘fat’?’

‘In Hollywood, I’m obese…I don’t want little girls to be like ‘Oh I want to look like Katniss, so I’m going to skip dinner!’

‘What are you going to do? Be hungry every single day to make other people happy?’

On refusing to lose weight for the Hunger Games: ‘I remember what it felt like to be 14 years old, looking at a Victoria’s Secret model and thinking ‘I’ll never look like that’. I don’t want to make someone feel like that.’

Who else is a fan?

Jennifer Lawrence Body Widescreen 2 HD Wallpapers

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Tough Cookie is a blog for support and inspiration during recovery from Anorexia. Eating disorder recovery can be tough – but so are you!

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Alicia Douvall – an example of society’s misunderstanding of Body Dysmorphia

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I’ve not watched Celebrity Big Brother this series; but nowadays you don’t really have to to get a feel for what is going on in the house! It is all over the media, and understandably so. This year seems to have introduced one of the most controversial series yet – indeed they appear to be getting more and more complaints with each new series and each new episode!

When asking my friend who was in the house this year, she rattled off a list of washed up Z-listers along with an unapologetic commentary summing up each with very little mercy. She eventually came to ‘a glamour model whose had a shit load of surgery – ugly’. Straight away, I knew who she was referring to. And I actually found myself upset about what she had said.

 

That’s because Alicia Douvall has openly talked about her battle with Body Dysmorphia, a battle which clearly is being won on a daily basis, and not by her. Yet still people are so cruel and judge her only by her apparent ‘stupidity’ and shocking looks – the type of judgemental behaviour which causes many to become overly self-conscious in the first place.

The power of Body Dysmorphia can’t be underestimated. Couple that with enough money and a ‘good reason’ to continue ‘improving yourself’ (in Alicia’s case, her career), then you have a really potent combination.

Despite having spoken at length and even having done a television programme talking about her BD, (albeit not a necessarily informative one which seemed to concentrate more on her not winning the battle than winning it) still she is ridiculed by a society who through no fault of their own really are ignorant and misguided in the way they see her, and others like her.

When I do have the courage to open up and explain to people what having Body Dysmorphia means for me, I’m often met with surprise and disbelief. I’m invariably asked why I feel that way. People’s perception of me changes instantly; whoever they thought I was, they then see somebody who doesn’t see themselves how everybody else sees them and whose actions and behaviours are influenced and fuelled by their need to be approved of, by themselves and by others.

If Alicia Douvall had instead been somebody with a birth defect which had disfigured her face, I’m sure that any negative comment passed on how she looked would have been met with a fairly large amount of disgust and negativity by the British public. But because Alicia’s condition is not something we can see, and appears to be ‘self-inflicted’, she is subject to what can only be described as bullying. Especially poignant as for most of us being bullied is what caused us to develop BD in the first place.

There’s others too – Lauren Goodger, Katie Price, Heidi Montag. All ridiculed, but to someone with BD it’s blindingly obvious that they are actually crippled with insecurity.

Yep, she put herself in CBB, she put herself in the public eye, as all these people do, and in these cases there is of course an element of ‘asking for it’. But what concerns me is public perception as a whole of BD because let’s face it, how many people even know it exists? How often is it mistaken for vanity?

Do you ever come up against stigma or unkind and unwanted criticism relating to your Body Dysmorphia?

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Inspirational Woman – Monica Bellucci

For me, Monica Bellucci is femininity defined. Like the quintessential ‘Madonna’ figure in the beautiful murals of Caravaggio and Michaelangelo, she is sensual and demure, exquisitely expressive and passive all in one.

What’s more, she is not afraid to be herself. Unapologetic, many of her images in her heydey were nudes. Sprawled in front of the camera, with a wry half-smile or a piercing glare dominating the image, it’s still impossible not to notice her figure.  But voluptuous Bellucci is not a stick insect. She is a woman with imperfections, yet this is what makes her so perfect for me.

Not only does she refuse to conform or comply with ‘rules’ on body image and a desire to be perfect, her attitude to life is also unique and she feels strongly about beauty not playing  a dominant role in her life, despite being imbroiled in an industry which is centered around it.

My favourite quote from Monica has to be this one:

“I know many beautiful people and their lives are just so terrible. They feel so uncomfortable with themselves. Being comfortable is not about what you look like, but how you feel.”

This rings true for me because often, those who are the most insecure are very beautiful, striving constantly for a form of perfection which simply does not exist. It really is so important that you feel comfortable and love yourself, as that way you don’t worry about the opinions and expectations of others.

In addition to this, how many of us have ‘fat days’ – when you feel ugly and huge and nothing is right? You stare vehemently at your ‘imperfections’ in the mirror, and berate yourself inside for not paying more attention to your appearance. The next day however, you could be on top of the world. Those imperfections which were so mortifying just 12 hours ago now seem to have disappeared. This proves the power of the mind – and that it really is down to how you feel, and not how you actually look, that determines happiness.

Isn’t this a running theme that these women are all beautiful, in completely different ways; yet what they all have in common is their incredible hunger for life and desire to live it to the full, without being shackled to an obsession with appearance.

Enjoy Monica in all her glory below:

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This Week’s Inspirational Woman – Robyn Lawley

I think you’ll agree that Robyn Lawley is absolutely stunning. The 24-year-old Australian model has been featured in campaigns for Calzedonia, Ralph Lauren and Boux Avenue.

Robyn is a size 16 and 6′ 2”, and in the fashion industry she is classed as ‘Plus-Size’. However as she rightly says, this is rather misleading.

“I’m normal size. I wish we could all be known as models, rather than ‘plus-size’. It’s the skinny models who should be called ‘minus-size’.

The most inspiring thing about her for me is that she has been through the trials and tribulations of any of us girls in her teen years. Of course her height (plus beautiful face and hair) meant she was perfect for modelling; but ‘All I had to change was my body’.

She spent her late teens on extreme diets with a fluctuating weight, with one constant theme; she was terribly unhappy. She’s experienced the crippling insecurity borne out of trying to be someone she isn’t; someone she feels she ‘should be’.

She entered her first modelling competition aged 15. “The other girls were skinny…but I was thinking, ‘Oh my God, my thighs are touching.’ All my weight was in my face, I’d plucked my eyebrows into a skinny line and was bleaching my hair to look pretty.”

Haven’t we all been there? Perhaps not standing in a bikini in a modelling competition…but almost in our own competition, lining ourselves up against other, ‘skinnier, prettier’ girls and feeling guilty, disgusting and inferior as a result?

Robyn’s attitude to life and appearance is refreshing for someone who is in such an image-obsessed industry. She firmly believes that life is to be enjoyed, not to be spent worrying about how fat or thin you are. “If you feel guilty about food, it stops you from being in the moment”. She says.

Isn’t this a refreshing breather from the onslaught of Victoria’s Secret models, all muscle and bone with harsh fitness regimes and extreme diets which girls all over the world are trying to replicate.

Each and every one of us can take inspiration from Robyn and try to love ourselves a little bit more. She is proof that it can be done – and she is now successful, happy and, of course, beautiful.

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Rose xx

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