Friday, February 4, 2011
The Naked Truth...Pt 2: Body Image And Our Inner Critic
But as with most good topics, there is so much more to talk about than just what lies on the surface. I don't know about anyone else, but when I read that Mr. Ford hangs around his house in the nude, my first thought was how confident he must be with his own body to be comfortable doing that. That is simply something that I would not be comfortable doing for obvious reasons...like my families horrified looks...as well as those reasons I will explain below.
But first a disclaimer....Last week I got accused of parading around my house naked in front of my children simply because I posted about Mr. Ford doing it and probably because it was a rather frank discussion about an adult topic. So let me be clear....I am not advocating any such thing. This topic is meant to address the attitudes we carry in our most private selves as adults navigating an adult world. This is not meant to address how to appropriately teach kids about the human body...that said...Let's move on...
Very few of us can stand in front of a mirror and be 100% happy with what we see...some of us are not even 50% happy....many even less. We see mirrors and scales as harsh task masters, reminding us of our shortcomings. We stand in front of the mirror and ignore our good features in favor of a laundry list of flaws...how our shirt pulls too tight exposing a belly that just wont go way...the gray hairs that weren't there yesterday, and the hair on our heads that used to be. Maybe you don't like your nose, your teeth, your body hair, your butt...you name it and there will be a voice in your head to tear you up for it.
What we find attractive in others..we may not be able to tolerate in ourselves. The men I most often find attractive are a far cry from underwear models. They are beautiful because of their natural masculinity. Body hair, a little extra weight around the middle...all these things can be just as attractive as a guy who was born with perfect genetics. However, while a little extra weight around the tummy can make a guy look cute... that doesn't mean I like it on myself. The first gray hairs and wrinkles around the eyes that I think makes another man look distinguished, make me feel different about myself. What you may not like on you..someone else may love.... Calvin Klein aesthetics be damned. As harshly as we judge ourselves...and as narrow as societies depictions of beauty may be...who we find truly beautiful will always defy that.
So Tom Ford is comfortable enough with himself to do something that most of us would be uncomfortable doing. And I think I made no bones in the last post that I think Tom Ford is an extremely handsome man...and...the thought of him reading the morning paper in nothing at all gives me palpatations. However, I bet even Mr. Ford flinches a bit in front of his own mirror. Somewhere deep in that man is the ghost of a long ago version of himself that colors who he see's today. Maybe he's fortunate enough to have healed those scars such that they are only a faded echo and maybe that helps his work today. I know that Ford claimed that his method of creating clothing is to enhance the beauty that he already sees in his clients but his clothing lines continue to cater to the ultra slim models that make the rest of us feel like that clothing just isn't meant for us.
The naked truth is being able to look in that mirror and ask yourself some hard questions about why we think the way we do. Are the attitudes we have about the naked human body a consequence of our own personal taste, or the worn out echoes of our parents telling us that our bodies are something to be ashamed of. When we criticize ourselves..is it coming from our own sense of whats beautiful, or what we see projected on to us everyday. The naked truth may not be easy to face...but it is quite often beautiful. Maybe the next time you look in the mirror you will see it in youself.
until next time dear readers.....