On French Model Tara Lynn

What was your experience with “French model Tara Lynn”?

When this woman caught my eye on Facebook yesterday I found myself gazing at her, and at first, I felt rather uncomfortable.  She seemed pretty but she was so big!

My conditioned mind was immediately judgmental (aka fearful) of this model.  Yes, she had beautiful parts, but the curves and soft rolls were jarring for a psyche so well-trained by fashion, “health & fitness,” and “beauty” magazines, as well as 99.9% of the other messages we receive from the world around us that say: Regardless of what is natural or healthy, waif-skinny or perfect six-pack athletic is the ultimate goal.  In short, fat is death.

However, in this experience with “French model Tara Lynn,” I experienced a MAJOR a-ha

Mid-thought (read as judgement), I noticed I wasn’t breathing.  My lungs were contracted.  As I consciously softened and allowed my lungs to expand, I noticed a peace come over me.  In that peace, I began to experience this woman’s beauty, and I was captivated.

What if we, as a culture, are not afraid of fat at all (like modern media would suggest)?  What if what we are really afraid of is REAL BEAUTY?

When I allowed myself to initiate the miracle by allowing breath in my own body to be restored, I dropped out of my place of judgmental thinking and into something much more real.  I saw her as a beautiful body created for a purpose that she is living out.  I watched my perspective shift in an instant.

From the new vantage point, I began to contemplate our cultural relationship with beauty.

People try to numb and dim their inner lights – try to not stand out and shine – out of fear of being different…and therefore disconnected.  Naturally curvaceous women starve themselves and obsessively work out to look like children.  Add the cosmetic surgery craze to further manipulate the natural body into something that we are conditioned to think is “desirable,” and we have a culture of people literally turning themselves inside out to attain something that is not even real.

What is real is the connection we experience between us – human to human, heart to heart.  That connection DOES NOT COME from false manipulation.  We may experience a brief sense of relief from the suffering of feeling disconnected, but that relief runs out like the sand in an hourglass only to have to be flipped again.

Why are we afraid of natural beauty?  Because natural beauty is powerful – it inspires, uplifts, and guides us.  Expressing it nurtures our spirits and elevates our souls.

What would happen if women really celebrated their NATURAL beauty, however that looked?  What if, as the mermaid vs. whale story (below) addresses, all women ate with their families and enjoyed food and entertainment instead of making themselves wrong for doing so like so many women I know do (every woman who buys the above named genres of magazines falls into this category…including myself.)

If women – and people for that matter – stopped making themselves wrong and focused only on how they could serve with their gifts, what would that world look like?

Just something to think about.

In the meantime, thank you to Delphine Fieberg who originated this post, which has in two days garnered almost 200k likes, over 125k shares, and 50k comments.

I’d say we’ve got something to talk about.

Below is the picture of Tara Lynn and the story that accompanied it:

A while back, at the entrance of a gym, there was a picture of a very thin and beautiful woman. The caption was “This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?”

 

The story goes, a woman (of clothing size unknown) answered the following way:

 

“Dear people, whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, seals, curious humans), they are sexually active and raise their children with great tenderness.
They entertain like crazy with dolphins and eat lots of prawns. They swim all day and travel to fantastic places like Patagonia, the Barents Sea or the coral reefs of P
olynesia.
They sing incredibly well and sometimes even are on cds. They are impressive and dearly loved animals, which everyone defend and admires.

 

Mermaids do not exist.

 

But if they existed, they would line up to see a psychologist because of a problem of split personality: woman or fish?
They would have no sex life and could not bear children.
Yes, they would be lovely, but lonely and sad.
And, who wants a girl that smells like fish by his side?

 

Without a doubt, I’d rather be a whale.

 

At a time when the media tells us that only thin is beautiful, I prefer to eat ice cream with my kids, to have dinner with my husband, to eat and drink and have fun with my friends.

 

We women, we gain weight because we accumulate so much wisdom and knowledge that there isn’t enough space in our heads, and it spreads all over our bodies.
We are not fat, we are greatly cultivated.
Every time I see my curves in the mirror, I tell myself: “How amazing am I ?! “

 

(The girl on the picture is French model Tara Lynn)

Feature photo is from the pages of French Elle Magazine – kudos to you, Elle!

91 Comments

  1. ashley on October 6, 2011 at 6:20 am

    Be blind when you see people

    • Stephanie on October 6, 2011 at 10:05 am

      Thank you, Ashley ~

      Great advice!

      I feel I have a deep appreciation for inner and outer beauty, and as I learned here, I can always develop a greater appreciation…like a connoisseur develops a palate. When we give attention, we can notice more than what a glance or conditioned response might offer.

      My best,
      S

    • Name on October 9, 2011 at 8:36 am

      “Beauty is only skin deep, we all look the same on the inside.”

    • Sandra on October 9, 2011 at 1:42 pm

      I lost my post.Aruggg, I wanted to say, most models have a body that only 5% of women can achieve. We need to not look at the Fashion Mags, for pictures, of what makes a women beauitful. Women have curves, we are not ment to look like muscled boys. Ladies, we need to love ourselves, first, Yes, I am Goddess sized, my husband says, “Leave the bones to the dogs, be happy, I love you, as you are,” I am blessed, to have him in my life. I have girlfriends, in all shapes, body size, is not a measure of who is “better”. Let love, be your measure of others.

  2. SiWan on October 6, 2011 at 6:39 am

    I love your story..Beautiful it is in so many different phases.I commend you for your leap of faith.However I myself do not have such courage.I am “media” afflicted.I hate fat on me but,i do have/had friends who have always been or become fuller figured.Yet they have been beautiful because of the way they dressed and attitude.I long to be able to relax & enjoy food and spirits with family and friends.However the reality is for me “a moment on the lips it seems like a lifetime on the hips”.God Bless you on your journey of being yourself completly.

    • Stephanie on October 6, 2011 at 10:14 am

      Thank you for your honesty, SiWan. Your experience is shared by SO many.

      It is interesting to engage in this discussion around the time of loss of one of our generations greatest contributors. A question to ponder…will we be remembered for our waistline or the mark we’ve left in the lives of others?

      Blessings to you on your journey. Please be forgiving and gentle with yourself. You are valued for YOU!

  3. Name on October 6, 2011 at 9:20 am

    I thought it was a beautiful read. It was exactly how I felt when I too first saw the picture, and then felt ashamed that because of the images that constantly bombard me that I judged a body that was clearly the norm in real life. It’s unfortunate, but we can make the change if we push for it. Thank you for sharing!

    • Stephanie on October 6, 2011 at 10:14 am

      Thank you for sharing! The change begins within us…

  4. Kristin Wu on October 6, 2011 at 9:31 am

    I understand where the whale/mermaid story is coming from and that it has good intentions. I just wish that it was executed a little bit differently.

    • Stephanie on October 6, 2011 at 10:15 am

      Fair enough, Kristin. The underlying shift that is possible in us all is what moved me. When we can shift from fear to love, we are living a miracle. Here’s to yours…

    • dawn goodwin on October 6, 2011 at 11:04 am

      agreed!

  5. Tiffiny on October 6, 2011 at 10:28 am

    I loved the story Delphine Fieberg posted on FB, as well as your blog! I’m considered heavy, and have been that way for a long time. I dont like my buddha belly, & usually get on my boyfriend’s nerves whenever I call myself fat. But after reading this story, I gained so much love for myself & appreciation that there are people (including my boyfriend) who see past my size & love me for who I really am inside. being skinny or fat is just the topper on the cake. What people are really missing is the years of layers underneath. The love, compassion, respect, all those layers that media forgets about, humans have stopped seeing inner worth, inner beauty. I’m one to hope this story will open eyes & we will stop focusing on the outside image & see what really matters!

    • Stephanie on October 6, 2011 at 10:36 am

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Tiffiny! I’m so happy to hear about the shift you experienced!

      The TRUTH is, when we can ALL start leading from a place of self-acceptance, we will see that acceptance reflected in the outer world. Here’s to us all taking a step in that direction!

  6. Carli on October 6, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Whether you are a petite or large woman (judging ‘size’ is really subjective anyway) it’s all about feeling good in your own skin and being healthy in your body – life is very short and it is the value we bring and can share with each other that makes sense to me – ultimately we can condition ourselves to see the beauty in all people, everyone everywhere. Namaste = I respect and adore the beauty/power of the spirit in you

    • Stephanie on October 6, 2011 at 10:49 am

      Agreed. Thank you, Carli!

  7. tim on October 6, 2011 at 10:39 am

    obesity kills people. fact.

    • Stephanie on October 6, 2011 at 10:48 am

      Thank you for your share. A lot of things kill people – including obesity, yes. And the Truth is that Love is the greatest healer. If a heavy-set person is condemning him/herself, he/she will unlikely find healing or a healthy weight. The FIRST MOVER is a seed of LOVE within oneself. We can start to allow for those seeds to be planted and stop our condemnation of people for their size or anything else. When we look at all people as people…and instead of judging lead by example, our transformation of fear to love…unhealthy to healthy…obese or anorexic to natural weight, we can make a difference that matters. humbly, s

    • dawn goodwin on October 6, 2011 at 11:07 am

      yes, but she is not obese.

      • Stephanie on October 6, 2011 at 11:32 am

        agreed <3

      • jo on October 19, 2011 at 9:50 pm

        unfortunately many people dont even know what a womans meant to look like any more coz all the women we see in the media are starved or gym toned to the point of lunacy…normal women (like this one) are viewed with bewilderment…ive seen porn from the late victorian times and the womens bodies are very like this models,somewhere in the last hundred years weve become very uncomfortable with a womans natural shape.its such a shame because women wind up living their entire lives feeling wretched about themselves when we actually look normal.it sure helps big business though as we all spend money on diets,gyms,fashion,surgery etc…

    • Tracy on October 6, 2011 at 3:14 pm

      So does a lot of other things!

    • Laura on October 6, 2011 at 3:54 pm

      The fact that you would think this woman OBESE is a huge part of the problem. Anorexia kills people too. Namely the ones we compare this model to and then think her obese.

    • Sharie on October 7, 2011 at 7:30 am

      A lab test tells the story of one’s health better than a cursory glance. Some significantly overweight people have better blood sugar, cholestrol levels, risk of heart disease, etc. than some thin people. I’d rather be fit/strong than skinny.

    • Ang on October 9, 2011 at 8:22 am

      Being underweight can kill you, smoking, drinking, doing drugs can kill you. Driving in your car can kill you. Just being alive kills you. Stupidity kills people. Fact.

    • Ann Marie on October 11, 2011 at 6:16 am

      Harsh judgement can kill a human spirit faster than any eating disorder.

      • Stephanie on October 16, 2011 at 2:26 pm

        Bravo, Ann Marie.
        True and to the point!

  8. Naomi Ironwing on October 6, 2011 at 10:41 am

    My church (Science of Mind and Spirit) handed out bracelets on the anniversary of 9-11. They said: “I Choose Love”. Indeed. One fine day we all will.

    • Sue on October 6, 2011 at 5:49 pm

      I Choose Love-in each moment. It starts with me, in me, and Radiates from my Spirit to my Brothers and Sisters. Each day is a fine day indeed….Love&Peace for All

      • Stephanie on October 16, 2011 at 2:29 pm

        great post, sue!

      • Lynn on October 17, 2011 at 8:24 am

        I am also overweight. I eat a very balanced diet every day; however, I will not refrain from enjoying some empty calorie foods. It took me until I am almost 50, to be comfortable in my own overweight body. I exercise, work in the garden, etc.; however, it is not a daily venture, as I am disabled and have days that I cannot face due to chronic migraine, fibromyalgia & myofacia pain. I will not hide in my home in constant pain. Since I have constant pain, I still try to live my life fully, whether it causes more pain or not. I will not just exist…

    • Stephanie on October 16, 2011 at 2:29 pm

      Fantastic!

      We have a choice in every moment. So long as we start to consciously choose, we are moving towards Truth, Love, and Justice, I believe.

  9. Annah on October 6, 2011 at 10:50 am

    It was executed perfectly in my eyes. It was wrong to be posting something so derogatory (definition if needed: Showing a critical or disrespectful attitude. derogative – degrading – humiliating – pejorative) in front of a gym… I mean women and men go to the gym to be healthier not to be slapped in the face by a poster saying would you rather be a whale or a mermaid. I am sorry but THAT should have been executed diffrently

  10. Lisa Giering on October 6, 2011 at 11:27 am

    There is an article in the current issue of Mode magazine that presents the idea that being “fat/obese/heavy” in and of itself is not a cause of health issues, and that a person who is considered overweight can indeed be VERY healthy, and there is evidence that they may in fact live longer than a skinny person. I found it very enlightening, as well as the whale/mermaid question and answer. Constantly dieting is not the answer. Loving myself and taking care of myself IS.

    • Heather on October 8, 2011 at 6:14 am

      Being obese is not healthy. Being obese is being at a higher risk for diabetes, heart problems, kidney problems, liver problems, and Alzheimer’s, just to name a few. You need to eat well, exercise and maintain a good BMI to have good health. Don’t get me wrong, people who are underweight do have their problems too. Like their at higher risk for osteoporosis. But please, PLEASE, don’t think being obese is healthy. (May I add, I am not some skinny person on a rant. I am 5’6″ and 200 lbs, and yes I know that is considered obese. I am working on it. I am also a nurse and I see what being obese can do in the long run on a daily basis.)

      • Ang on October 9, 2011 at 8:32 am

        Even when I was in top shape, a swimmer, best in the region, almost best in the state I was still a naturally bigger woman. I’ve always weighed more than the other girls, been thicker than the other girls even though I was skinny I certainly was not “model” skinny. I think the problem is that the idea of “obesity” keeps getting smaller and smaller. This lady is not considered Obese. Now certainly I know that no one is reading this article and saying “oh ya, obesity is cool, we all need to be obese” but it also doesn’t mean that you can’t be beautiful if you are obese. As long as these people hate themselves and their bodies they will never find the motivation in themselves to go out, and do what they need to do because they will always be judged. They will always feel like “the whale” in the sea of mermaids. We should not judge people by how they look. It is their choice.

        Obviously smoking isn’t a good health choice either but people are okay with that over obesity?

        • Stephanie on October 16, 2011 at 2:32 pm

          great post – i agree.

  11. Will on October 6, 2011 at 11:53 am

    “Every time I see my curves in the mirror, I tell myself: “How amazing am I ?! “
    This line would have been better without the words, “my curves”. She should feel amazing with or without curves. The message could be that curves have no effect on one’s amazing-ness! Don’t focus on them.

    As for this part: “We women, we gain weight because we accumulate so much wisdom and knowledge that there isn’t enough space in our heads, and it spreads all over our bodies.”

    I’m just going to disregard that as delusional and somewhat dangerous thinking.

    • Stephanie on October 26, 2011 at 11:22 am

      Beautiful, thank you!

  12. maggie on October 6, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    This French model is attractive because she is not bony and emaciated/anorexic… she is soft, smooth,
    tan, and touchable. Full lips and long hair help! But apart from a photograph, she is a person.
    What kind? That is a mystery. How one looks nude seems irrelevant to how you treat others or yourself.
    How do you photograph loyalty? Honesty? Kindness? Sacrifice? Responsibility? Strength of character?
    Those things are beautiful but require more than a camera pose. You are what you eat—and how you act.

    • Will on October 6, 2011 at 1:05 pm

      Great . . . now bony and emaciated-looking people now need a post to make themselves feel better. Especially those who have difficulty looking anything different.

    • Nicole on October 6, 2011 at 2:04 pm

      Well said Maggie!!! Well said….

    • Stephanie on October 26, 2011 at 11:23 am

      Yes 🙂

  13. Tiffany on October 6, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    I have to say this since I shared her link I have received nothing but positive feedback. It has made me feel great to be the incrediable woman that I am. I so happy that this was brought to life. Amazing story. My status on facebook since I read this was “Truly I am amazing…..Just the way I am” amazing post.

  14. karen somethingorother on October 6, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    I immediately thought she was gorgeous as soon as I saw her. No discomfort on my part, as I’m sick of that mannequin-esque, completely fake Maxim-girl body so many women foolishly aspire to.

    • Tracy on October 6, 2011 at 3:15 pm

      I thought the Model was beautiful as well.

  15. devon leigh on October 6, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    i actually saw a lot of the comments on facebook about this. a lot of very close minded (dare i say, stupid) people were talking about a whale and mermaid literally. like how of course mermaids couldnt have sex because they didnt have legs. im glad that you all didnt take it so literally as in a mermaid and whale, but actually saw that we were talking about a CONCEPT of a whale and a mermaid, and the benefits of having a little healthy fat on your bones instead of being a skeleton! 🙂

  16. Joy Ann on October 6, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    I think this woman is stunning! She is the model the old world artists painted.

    • Stephanie on October 26, 2011 at 11:23 am

      I agree – thank you!

  17. Heather on October 6, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    I”m not fat, I’m just me. If someone doesn’t like it, don’t look. I live in my body everyday and although at times I know that some don’t consider my shape correct, I can be very content with who and what I am.
    I might have an extra roll or curve someone else doesn’t have, but that doesn’t make it incorrect or inappropriate. I can dress nicely, hold myself upright in a crowd and look anyone in the eye with confidence.
    When the media begins to see that anything over a size six is not to be called fat, or full figured or large size….then we will begin to realize that we are people first. There are stupid fat people, and there are stupid thin people…there are amazingly beautiful thin people and amazingly beautiful fat people. Fat people can be mean, and so can thin people…..I’m not fat…..I”m just me.

    • Lynda on October 7, 2011 at 6:39 am

      Perfectly said Heather…I am just me too and I am amazing!

      • Stephanie on October 26, 2011 at 11:23 am

        Agreed! Thank you, ladies!

  18. Name on October 6, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    I, personally think that BIG IS BEAUTIFUL* What one person says & criticises another about the way they look shouldn’t matter. If you feel good both inside and out, then don’t mind what other people say about you.

  19. soph on October 6, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Lisa Giering,
    there is also evidence that living on a calorie restricted diet while intaking the proper amount of nutrients, and being underweight, can help you live drastically longer and maintain your mental and physical health much longer.

    The difference between most skinny people and most fat people is the nutrients they get. Fat people who eat healthy but just too much are way less likely to have the same problems as someone who gorges on McDonalds, just as skinny people who simply eat too little are more likely to suffer deficiencies and have problems as skinny people who maintain a healthy diet.

    We spend way too much time separating people between skinny and fat and curvy and waifish. The truth is that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Some people like skinny, even waifish, and some people like a bit of meat on the bone. The most important is that your body is healthy, regardless how it looks, and that you as a person are happy with it.

  20. Lia Keyes on October 6, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    She’s beautiful, naturally, but she’s unhealthily over-weight. Sorry. Truth. I’m no advocate of skinnyness, but she goes too far the other way. As she ages she will put on more weight, and her joints won’t thank her. Neither will her vital organs.

    • Tracy on October 6, 2011 at 3:22 pm

      Everyone in this world was not created to be ……I guess “Skinny” is the word, body structure, family history, play a big part in this. The only thing “We” know about this model is what we see in the picture, we don’t know her eating habits, we don’t know her exercise schedule….we just know what we see. Now there are LOTS of people in this BIG OLE world that have weight on them and they are healthy, they eat right, exercise regular, but because of their family history, race, bone structure…..they are not skinny and are never going to be skinny. “Can’t always judge a book by its cover”.

    • Laura on October 6, 2011 at 4:10 pm

      Now we are condemning her for future weight gain as well? Giving her arthritis and heart disease? I would venture to guess that her BMI puts her somewhere in the overweight category, but I don’t see anything about her that would lead us to believe that she is unhealthy nor doomed to future health crisis.

      Unless they photograph her with a high fructose corn syrup IV or a pile of Big Macs I think that might be a tad presumptuous.

    • Michelle on October 7, 2011 at 7:06 am

      We are all built different, I am about this girls size. I eat very healthy, take zumba, and just stay at one weight. Went I go out dancing I can stay on the dance floor for hrs as all the “thinner” girls get tired out…trust me just because you have a larger frame doesn’t necessarily mean you are unhealthy. And as far as my joints I am so flexible the chiropractor laughs at me went he tries to pop my lower back. As for my organs, my skin my be a little stretched out…LOL but I am very healthy. I think heavier woman age slower to….as far as they look younger.

  21. Nancy on October 6, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Just because she’s considered over weight does NOT mean she’s not healthy. That is a myth that needs to be dispelled and destroyed. Health is about healthy eating and exercise. One can be within the ideal BMI and eat like crap – does that translate into good health? One can also be well outside the ideal BMI and eats nothing but organic, healthy foods – does that translate into bad health? Ridiculous.The media and the fashion industry have done a real number of the realities of health and beauty.

  22. Reggs on October 6, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    I love this story. Re-learn to think for your self and stop letting others give you the standards they want you to have, and you will start to remember what free thinking is. Once we have peace is in our hearts and minds we can bring peace to the world.

    • Stephanie on October 26, 2011 at 11:24 am

      Yes, so true. Thank you.

  23. Ocie Clelland on October 6, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    I have to say that when I saw her I too noticed her size first, but then I looked at her face and the realization hit me that this woman is absolutely beautiful. I looked at her in a whole new light. One without judgment. I loved this piece and thank you for sharing it with us.

  24. AnnaMeow on October 6, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Now let’s show a mature woman with wrinkles and talk about how beautiful she is!

  25. Numbnut on October 6, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    Hi,

    I liked the whale and mermaid article. How clever!! That’s the kind of thing that I would write to react to the simpleminded Madison Avenue headcases. They themselves, not the average people, are the sick ones with the horrific beliefs and values, Meanwhile, I’m very wary to make even the most cursory assumption about someone from a photograph. If all I see is a picture of somebody, I have no idea if they’re beautiful or not as a person. For that, you need to know someone’s personality. You can have two physically identical people, and one can be so appealing and the other so repugnant–all personality.

  26. Name on October 7, 2011 at 1:07 am

    This is awesome, gotta luv it, she portrays the “Real Woman” of the day n days to come! Why you say because most men prefer a little cushion instead of banging a bone,,,,She is a real woman n this is me, a little older n not a model,,,respectfully, ‘You Go Girl’!

  27. Name on October 7, 2011 at 4:35 am

    The model is unquestionably attractive. And I agree with the writer that reading too many women’s magazines is a bad idea, I gave most of them up years ago and felt better about my body almost instantly. What I don’t appreciate is the idea that thin people do not enjoy eating ice cream with their children or dinner with their husbands. That they do not “choose love.”

  28. Me on October 7, 2011 at 5:51 am

    be honest guys!
    you want to have mermaids to look at! a world only filled with whales would not be a pretty place. call me a macho, i don’t care! i want mermaids to have something to look at!

    but!!!!!
    i don’t want a mermaid at home. the perfect woman has curves, she has to look like a woman and feel like a woman and taste, smell, sense like a woman. does she have to be a whale? no! but if these are the only choices i choose the whale!

    please be honest: we need both, the mermaids and whales, and we need all the women in between, too!

    so long!

    • Name on October 8, 2011 at 12:14 pm

      Very True!! I admire your honesty!

    • Stephanie on October 26, 2011 at 11:25 am

      Interesting take. Thank you!

  29. H on October 7, 2011 at 6:00 am

    I’m from Australia and I’m reminded of a model we have here. Her name is Megan Gale and if I recall the history correctly; right from the beginning of her career she was given flak for her body weight. According to the fashion industry she was actually considered too big to be a model. I remember seeing her walk her first catwalk in Australia and I thought “She’s not too fat!! I think she’s just right and a very healthy weight range.” I believe the coverage of this issue made her an icon and look at her now. She’s one of the most successful models we have in this country. When you look at her, to me, she always had this Amazonian Warrior Woman look about her and she seemed very confident and comfortable about herself and made no apologies to anyone about her weight. It was a “you either love me or hate me” thing with her. I think what makes these two ladies so successful is their confidence and self-acceptance and knowing who they are, and nothing else matters. Except good food, good friends and family and good conversations.

  30. Name on October 7, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    You can eat with your husband, mostlikely not as much as he eats though. You can , have ice cream with your children…just a small amount. It isnt punishment…..its math. It is all about health. Not about skinny, muscular, chubby, fat…etc…HEALTH

  31. Savii on October 8, 2011 at 3:52 am

    I found this on a friend’s facebook and I have to say, I find it truly inspiring. In my opinion, this woman is -far- from obese.

    The focus in the media needs to shift. Why should women have to be thin to be sexy? Surely it should be more sexy to a man when a girl looks after herself.

    I am 17 years old, and a size 12-14. I weigh….a lot. And yet I go to martial arts classes 2 times a week every week, in which we do a lot of running, push ups, sit ups, constantly moving around and doing fitness and endurance excerises for 1hour 15mins. I do 100 abdominal excerises religiously every night.
    My daily diet consists of 5 portions of fruit and veg, fruit juice to drink, a sandwhich on brown bread, and a meal such as spagetthi bolognese made with tomatoes, mushrooms, etc.
    I only eat when I’m hungry. I’ve recently had a blood test that’s come back 100% clear of any problems.

    Am I unhealthy simply because of my size? Clearly not.
    And yet still I’m called fat and not thought of as one of the ‘hot girls’. And I suspect that’s because of the media pumping regulations and rules into our minds about what we must accept and like, and what we must scorn. It’s wrong. Doctors are increasingly concerned about things such as heart disease and vitamin deficiencies. Part of the solution? For the media to promote health and fitness through balanced diet and regular cardiovascular exercise, rather than the notion that the thinner you are = the healthier you are.

    This model is beautiful, I’m not even sexually interested in women and even I find there’s something sensual about her. I know my fiancé would say the same thing, because he loves my strong-looking, and in my eyes, well-padded (!) figure. And that’s what counts. 🙂

    • Stephanie on October 26, 2011 at 11:26 am

      Very wise. Keep it up! May you be an example to your peers and all of us. 🙂

  32. Jane on October 8, 2011 at 5:04 am

    I see only a beautiful woman here. A very beautiful woman! But even more…I see a beautiful spirit…inside!

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  34. Michele on October 8, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Dear Delphine Fieberg: Eh, as a woman who has been underweight, normal weight,overweight, and obese in her lifetime, I’d say normal weight is best. I am to take care of the body God made for me, not over-indulge. I am not to obsess over foo…d, be cold all the time and too skinny for my body either. I appreciate those who have maintained basic discipline to care for their bodies and not rationalize unhealthy lifestyles. So, I leave the whale weights for the mammals of the sea who have water to support that weight. They are whales, they are supposed to be big. I’m a woman, to be healthy with good energy and mobility, less healthcare costs, etc. I prioritize to be a normal human weight for my body for my lifetime. No rationalizing.
    No judging ppl where they are in their body habitus. I think your piece does help to bring the beauty of this overweight or obese woman out, which is nice in some ways. But, what about her future? Knee pain/replacements, diabetes, increased cholesterol, can’t keep up with her grandkids, etc? A healthy lifestyle of 2000 cal a day and 30 minutes vigorous exercise 4-5x a week is all it really takes.You can still have dinner with hubby, laughter and friends, and not be a “whale weight”. And why knock the thin? That extremely thin girl may need a hug or an ear to hear her or may have a disease like Crohn’s she is fighting. That obese woman may need someone to bodly tell her, honey wake up, do you need help coping with something, this is about your health!, or she may simply be unaware that her lifestyle is unhealthy and is leading to many health/quality of life issues for her future.! Who knows? Whatever is done, don’t rationalize unhealthy overweight/obese lifestyles. Don’t criticize those that are “too thin”. I say this also as a healthcare provider/pediatrician. –Michele.

  35. Juicy Trends « Sidney Zulu on October 8, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    […] Crystal Renn, who been raised evebrows with her new figure. On the positive note I came across this I Choose Love article about a French model, Tara Lynn, who’s curves are showcasing her natural beauty. I pretty […]

  36. Lisa Tweedie on October 11, 2011 at 5:18 am

    Key Point: It is dangerous to be TOO THIN as well!

    Firstly this woman is only on the margins of being overweight and certainly in Africa she would be considered an absolutely perfect weight… read or watch “The No. 1 Ladies Dectective Agency” if you want proof of this! I was brought up in Botswana and I can verify a very healthy attitude to a few extra pounds.

    This became personal for me when I lost a great deal of weight very quickly when I had a walking pneumonia about 7 years ago. It was extremely scary how quickly the weight went (it was the main reason I was eventually diagnosed but that is another story)… if I had been thinner who knows what would have happened to me. Probably hospitalised…

    Since then I have taken a very different attitude to my body … I eat healthy, exercise but make sure I have a few extra pounds on me… just in case.

    It is also possible to be a thin fat person … they have been discovering this in India where a lot of people suffer from heart diesease and diabetes due to poor diet. They have have a poor body fat ratio equivalent to a very large person. There is a great program about this on the BBC Horizon – The Nine Months that made you: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b013ywz4
    Here is a scientific paper: http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/35/1/93.full
    The point is these people do not “look” fat they just have a high fat content as it were!

    Thirdly don’t even get me started on anorexia and bluemia .. I have seen too many friends lives ruined by it. We have to stop this focus on image….. as a parent I am petrified. Luckily my daughter seems to be fairly self confident and uninterested in it… but it takes so little to change all that. And I am equally worried for my boys.

    We need to shift our focus about health away from how people look and focus much more on what being healthy actually means.

    Being healthy includes psychological health, nutritional heath, intellectual health and physical health. I like the focus on wellness but it must be based on medical fact.

    Thank you so much for posting this … I to did not share the original article after some thinking about it… I love what you have done here…. it has been duly shared with all my pals… let the conversation continue …. it has been a Taboo too long!

    • Stephanie on October 26, 2011 at 11:27 am

      Very interesting. Thank you for sharing your research and opinions!

  37. Positive Technology on October 11, 2011 at 9:50 am

    […]  A Personal response to http://ichooselove.com/in-the-face-of-real-beauty/ […]

  38. […] Discussions and Taboos: Tara Lynn and body image  A Personal response to http://ichooselove.com/in-the-face-of-real-beauty/ […]

  39. Bridget on October 11, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Some of the people on this thread keep mentioning BMI. Who, exactly, calculates BMI and deems those who are above a certain percentage obese? Hm? Anyone? THE GOVERNMENT. When people take their own health into their own hands and eat food that grows out of the ground or from an animal with natural, healthy ingredients (if it’s in a box, it ain’t healthy, sorry…), people will be so much better off. There will be less illness, cancer, and obesity. I can assure you my BMI is over 25 – again – a GOVERNMENT STANDARD, BUT I eat only food that comes from nature, and I don’t overeat. I am over 40. I look beautiful. I honestly believe government threw a dart at a number and came up with the BMI “standard,” with the help of some physicians who stood to gain financially. 🙂 And there are so many on this thread who have bought into it. Think about it this way, if we ate healthy, natural foods we’d be less sick, and those doctors would be out of business. 🙂 Time for us to think for ourselves.

    The day I take the government’s word for my health is the day I die. There is nothing honest about what the government has done to our nutrition. Take a look at our children’s’ school lunches. Nothing but a bunch of refined carbohydrates. Pizza with french fries is a HEALTHY lunch? Since when? LOL

    And we wonder why there’s a health epidemic in the US. Open your eyes. (Take a look at “Fat Head” – great, informative, and entertaining movie….)

    End rant. LOL Have a great day! 🙂 (The woman in the photo is just gorgeous….)

  40. Renee on October 11, 2011 at 11:06 am

    I enjoyed the story and the sentiment behind it. Like the other commenter, I wish that it was executed a bit differently as well but I get the whole whale/mermaid analogy. I do think that it is sad that while the vast majority of “average” women are more fuller than they are thinner (especially if they are over the age of 25), still the “ideal” for so many seems to be model thin.

    I am almost 6 feet tall and a size 18. Yes I would like for certain things to be more in proportion or a little tighter on my body but that’s me being facetious because overall, I love my body. Folks like to be politically correct and say things like “I embrace my curves”…oh fine, that’s nice. I am more honest and direct. I love my curves but I love my hills and valleys and rolls and bumps and jiggles too. It took a while to be happy with myself but I think it comes from within as well. Also learning how to establish your own idea of beauty and not letting the media or society dictate to you.

    This model here has a very attractive face. A voluptuous body. A great attitude and spirit. That’s beauty. Her dress size doesn’t define her and she knows it. THAT is what I admire!

  41. The Mermaid or the Whale | babeandbutter on October 11, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    […] is part of a blog post that I wanted to share. You can read the rest of it here. Thank you to my amazing friend Rachel for sending me the link. She keeps me inspired! XOXO Share […]

  42. Masha T on October 11, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    What you wrote is beautiful, but it also states that your husband is the one that makes you feel good about your body, what about you telling yourself that. Because here you are still depending for an outside source for acceptance of your body, just like the women that change their body to match the media.

    You stated that your husband gives you the feeling, so lets say he isnt there, could you still have a good body image? You body image is mostly branching off your husbands opinion. What if he decide all of the sudden he liked “slenderer” women, then your solid body acceptance is now no longer solid.

    its so easy to talk about women and how media changes us, but its our choice, everything in life is a choice… so giving into the media freanzie is a choice. We all have the freedom to look like we want to respecting even the women that choice to look like what the media wants, is when true acceptance will come. we have the free will to be who we want physically, mentally and emotionally.

    regardless if we chose to be slender or any other shape, its our choose and as woman we should be supportive of other women, even if we dont agree with them. Not to mention all the health problems that come from being over weight. I used to be over 200 lb at 15

    whatever body you choose,

    say you chose it for yourself

    that’s a true example of a woman, goddesses come in all sizes

  43. Lisa Tweedie on October 12, 2011 at 7:03 am

    Excellent response Renee!

    I blogged my response here: http://wp.me/pIp1Z-fn (basically the comment above in it’s context).

  44. Mel on October 15, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    As a gentle epilogue to the posts above, I’d like to add this:

    I worked as an intern/editing assistant to British Vogue for almost two years…and I cannot tell you how sad it was to work with American models. They would eat next to nothing, they were constantly getting sick (requiring us to find replacements), and even though they were models, it was a pain in the bum getting them to act confident. It seemed they were always eying the food in our hands, or the other models walking by. There was an obvious lack of confidence in them…it was distracting.

    I will never forget…at one shoot, we provided coffee and some small pecan shortbread biscuits (which I believe you call “cookies”), owing to the early nature of the shoot. As our three models arrived, we offered them some of the food. One model’s response was “Oh, I’m sorry, I can’t. I’m on a very strict diet.” I didn’t realise it was rude, so I asked about her diet (I was looking for a healthy one myself), to which she responded, “550 calories a day, with 700 on Friday and Saturday nights. White meat only, so mostly fish. Lots and lots of nuts. Not a lot of fruit – too much sugar.”

    I was MORTIFIED. How can women do this to themselves? People living in absolute poverty probably eat more than 550 calories a day just by swiping up bugs! It is such a tragedy that young women in our society feel as though they must starve to be happy. Great praise for Tara Lynn, and other beautifully round women! I hope Vogue snatches up some of these models immediately.

    Be HEALTHY, dear women. There is such a difference between weight and health.

    • Stephanie on October 16, 2011 at 2:25 pm

      Hi, Melissa –

      Thank you for sharing your experience. The real issue is that our culture has glamorized these unhealthy women as role models. I love your post, and agree that there is great difference between weight and health, fulfillment and happiness.

      My best,
      S

  45. TJ on October 21, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    I posted this link on my facebook page and, isn’t it funny, the picture that was originally there (of Tara Lynn) has now been replaced with the picture of the person on here who commented that she was just overweight and unhealthy. That just really peeves me!

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