{The Pressure of Perfection: How to Survive in a Photoshop World}

A few weekends ago I woke early and eagerly made my way to a local Florida obstacle race. Having recently made some changes to my typical training regiment, I was excited to get out on the course and test myself to see if I would be able to notice a difference in my performance. Once the race began, I felt confident as I progressed through the course. I maintained a steady, yet quick pace, tackled obstacles with confidence, and in the end earned a second overall win for women.

It felt amazing, and I was thrilled with the results of the day.

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That same day, a photographer present to capture shots of participants pulled me aside to take a couple of photos. I had decided to don a cropped Wonder Woman top and super hero leggings that day (naturally), and was happy to pose for a few teaser photos before racing. Several days later the photos were posted.

In the beginning I loved the photos! I thought I looked strong, confident, and invincible. I had prevailed that day as a top finisher, and revelled in the memory of an amazing race day. But then, slowly but surely, insecurity began to creep in.

Interested in reading more? Click here to be directed to the full post on the Spartan Race blog!

~Holly

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6 thoughts on “{The Pressure of Perfection: How to Survive in a Photoshop World}

  1. Well said. I volunteered at this race and must say your body looked great! You have great muscle definition that didn’t show in the picture. I agree our world has made it extremely challenging for woman. We have unrealistic body standards. As a woman we are now suppose to be Wonder Woman, we are told we can do it all and do it always looking fabulous. I am a mother of 3. I work full time. I am in school finishing a higher degree. I workout regularly. Yet some how all that I accomplish is not enough. We are still judged by outward appearances. At some point woman have to say enough is enough. Each generation has some unrealistic expectations put on them. Growing up it was to be skinny. Poor girls now it’s be skinny, not too skinny still have a round butt and boobs, also make sure you have muscles because “strong is the new skinny”. We don’t judge men this much. We also talk so meanly to ourselves, no woman would ever say to her friends the comments she makes to herself. I applaud you for standing up for women. I think we all should embrace our beauty. It is hard to overcome the unrealistic images we think we should be. You look awesome in the photo. You should be proud, you are beautiful. We all have true beauty it would be so nice if we all could see ourselves through our loved ones eyes.

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  2. I read this and agree with you and yet find myself getting angry with you. If I could look half as decent as you with all of my working out, I’d be happy. Maybe. I look at you and wonder how you can feel insecure when you are so fit. Do you not realize how good you look? I mean would you rather be fat like me?? I could never wear what you are wearing and am so jealous. I hate seeing photos of other women on Twitter & Instagram. It wrecks how I feel about myself. It isn’t them – it is me. Just as it isn’t you I’m truly angry with deep down – it is me. I work hard. I workout 3-4 times a week and I try hard to eat right. I don’t see the results I want but workout when I have time. I’ll never have the body I want and don’t feel as if I’ll ever be satisfied. I feel more insecure now working out a lot than I did when I wasn’t. What is up with that? I don’t know how I’ll ever embrace myself. I can’t even let a man love me because of how bad I feel. I’ll never have a great body and it depresses me. And yet I can sit back and say how stupid that is.

    Sorry for this rant… you’ve just touched me exactly where I feel most vulnerable and it’s killing me. I hate that I feel this way.

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    • Thank you for your comment! I appreciate your honesty. As someone who was once nearly 60 pounds heavier, I become frustrated with myself at my own insecurities, even when I know there are so many women who would love to have the physique that I’ve earned. It just goes to show that insecurity can affect us all, no matter our size. Which is why it is so important that we support each other as we are, and accept that no one is perfect. I want to wish you the best in your journey, and I hope that you are able to come to love and embrace your beautiful body, just as it is.

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      • I know I will. I did at one time. When I was about 20 lbs heavier I somehow felt better about myself. Weird, eh? I appreciate your reply. I’ve been dealing with this bad insecurity now for a few months and am fighting it every day.

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