As part of her Venus Project, Anna Utopia Giordano took classic paintings and photoshopped them to represent today's standards of beauty. It's a fantastic, thought provoking project, and so effective in its impact.
My very favourite painting, Botticelli's The Birth of Venus, has Venus stripped of all curves and surprisingly therefore, all her sensuality. I never thought her curves meant so much to me, but seeing Venus all reed-like was disturbing. It made me happy that Botticelli painted her the way he did.
I'm no stranger to the occasional bout of I'm-overweight-and-unattractive syndrome, but I take solace in the fact that there's hardly a woman without some variety of body-image issues, no matter which end of the spectrum she belongs to. I'm so tired of discussing it, honestly. Some of us make our weight a conversation focal point at dinner parties even. I hate to generalize but this is usually a super skinny or quite thin or not-remotely-fat person. (If you fall into this category, please stop. We don't need to hear about your battle with food and exercise. We're all in the same boat and some of us are trying to get out of it. Go get yourself a snack and another topic to discuss.)
Thing is, from what the media tells us now, we're supposed to be embracing our curves. We're supposed to love our jiggly bottoms and ample breasts. This is of course from the same media that declares a celebrity pregnant if their stomach bulges even a little. Come on. You call that pregnant, I call that a good lunch.
I think the only solution really is to own what you have. Feel sexy in the skin you're in, and surround yourself with people who make you feel that way regardless of your dress size.
My new agenda is to be my healthiest (not in the moronic Delhi 'healthy' = overweight way) and happiest, and just let my body be what it needs to be. It's like I'm letting my body go to design school when all the other parents wanted their bodies to be doctors. I'll try and turn off that creeping seed of self-doubt whenever it crops up. Life's too short, really.
If one needs a little inspiration, there's always Nigella.