Who Else Wants to Fight the Body and Beauty Standards?

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Iman is a photographer who, through her unique process of coaching and photography, can show a woman what other people see when they look at her. She is passionate about teaching other photographers how to live and be a professional and making change in the world. She dreams of changing the way women look at their bodies and how the world defines beauty. She also thinks being an instructor on CreativeLIVE would be incredible. Iman battles Lyme disease and shares her unique view of dreaming while fighting for her health. Her post day is Wednesday. [email protected] Iman Woods If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

Who Else Wants to Fight the Body and Beauty Standards? Fighting the Elusive Beauty Standard Quote

Fighting the elusive body and beauty standards we’ve all grown up with has proven difficult.

I’ve been dreaming this blog up in many variations for over a decade. Every client I’ve ever had has had something about herself that she felt wasn’t good enough. Flaws that I couldn’t see because of her inner beauty.

The idea that inner beauty can cancel out or fade flaws is REAL.

I want to show women everywhere that we are so silly about our bodies. I’m using myself as an example. These are my vulnerable thoughts. I hope that sharing my insecurities will help you see that some of your thoughts may be skewed as well.

I’m breaking my studio rule! I don’t allow anyone to say anything negative about themselves in my presence. I believe if you can abstain for minutes or hours, you can do days of self-love. And days turn into healthy decisions and then years of being at a happy weight. But in all honesty I know that these negative thoughts creep in. That’s what makes fighting the elusive beauty standard so difficult.

To preface my personal account, please watch this video:



Dustin Hoffman discusses how profound it was for him to be transformed into a woman for his famous role in Tootsie. He actually tears up while acknowledging the need for fighting the elusive beauty standard.

I’m a visual artist, so I think what I have to say will have more impact if I illustrate where our minds go wrong when assessing our bodies. Fighting the elusive beauty standard will give us the power to think for ourselves. Appreciate our bodies for the vessels they are.

The following images and self-criticisms are how I USED to evaluate my body.

If you say or do any of the following too, I hope my words sound entirely crazy. I hope you think, “Geez, she’s nuts! I don’t see what she’s criticizing.” When you do this to your body, you sound crazy too! If you think I’m fat please, for the sake of humanity, keep it to yourself!

All of these criticisms are honest. But after years of hating myself, I make a conscious effort not let these thoughts grow and fester. I replace these thoughts with positive affirmations. Too many women have lost too much time as they took outside criticism and wove it into their being as an irrefutable truth.

But rather than use a client to illustrate this, I’m making an example of myself. I hear ridiculous things like this and more from women every day.

Who Else Wants to Fight the Body and Beauty Standards? How I viewed myself

Ok. So in elementary school my tush was dubbed a “bubble butt”. I was skinny as a rail, yet my butt was round and stuck out no matter how hard I tried to “suck it in”. Through puberty and then weight gain, my curves exploded and I learned to be ashamed of my breasts, hips, thighs. I tried to hide them. These thoughts still stick with me sometimes. In other news, Daemon is dapper. See that alliteration? I kill myself!

Who Else Wants to Fight the Body and Beauty Standards? Having fun and still questioning myself

I don’t know where we got the idea that shiny skin is unattractive. Oh yeah. Fashion magazines and every television show and movie. I may have lost almost a hundred pounds, but my post weight-loss and post baby tummy is still soft. And don’t get me started on the fleshy knees. And Ian is cool. Duh.


Who Else Wants to Fight the Body and Beauty Standards?Sharing my flaws so you can see that your own thoughts are silly!

Rachel is one of my best friends and is GLOWING and pregnant with twins. My tummy should look flat as hell next to hers. (No offense, Rach!) And while my first impulse was to name my smile as weird and squinty it grew on me. IT LITERALLY GREW ON ME FROM BIRTH. And the smile was caused by how happy I am because she finally gets to be an amazing mommy.

I’m going to end with the way I look at my body NOW.

Granted, I’ve worked hard to lose almost a hundred pounds. And I still struggle to see myself this way. But self-empathy is a muscle you have to work out and practice makes perfect.


Dayum! Who’s that hottie? Kidding! Sort of. I adore this picture. It shows how far I’ve come in taking care of my body. It shows the things I am proud of. I felt beautiful when the photo was taken. I feel beautiful looking at it. I had such a hard time recognizing that THIS is ME, I am making myself look at it every morning and affirming to myself that my body in incredible. I think my insides/my spirit/the-person-I-seek-to-be are all showing in this one.

Iman Woods
Feel beautiful!

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