Victoria, I don’t like you

There was a Victoria’s Secret catalog in the mail yesterday. Yet again.

I told the Man, “Man, I don’t want to turn into an angry feminist but I have a problem with the media right now.”

And the catalog went in the recycle bin. Again. I didn’t even take out the “free thong” coupon. Or the $10 off coupon. Or any other coupon. I don’t like Victoria’s Secret.

I know her secret.

It’s lighting and makeup. And photoshop. And Plastic surgery. And. And. And.

It’s not just because I can’t wear a Victoria’s Secret bra anymore (I can’t) that I don’t like her (or whoever Victoria is, presumably a man in an office in a big city somewhere). And it’s not just because I weigh *ahem* more than I weighed a year ago at this time ( 30 pounds if you must know. I own it. It’s all mine.). It’s because women are being set up to fail by being given an ideal that is unreachable, a standard of beauty that is created by media. And it’s because my 10 and 12 year old sons are being told that those women are beautiful. It’s because my 15 year old daughter is being told that she has to weigh 100 pounds, be 5’9″ and have huge breasts to be beautiful. It’s because my sweet little baby is growing up in a world where this is what women are supposed to look like?

A world where breasts are plastic and to create a waistline you have to jut your hip out (please reference photo above). Where photoshop is king. And women are supposed to be shaped like Barbie. Where beauty is made up skin deep.

When I said to the Man that I didn’t like Victoria’s Secret he said, “The Victoria’s Secret catalog is sickening.” He said some other stuff I won’t say here but you get the idea. Even he doesn’t like it.

Phew.

I want my kids to think this is beautiful:

Happy healthy strong smart sassy loving natural looking women. Seriously. How gorgeous are those ladies?

And this is beautiful:

A healthy round stretch-marked swayed back fully pregnant mama with a 10 pound 6 ounce baby about to be born. (I was in labor when this was taken if I look like I’m in pain.)

That birth is beautiful.

That breastfeeding is beautiful.

That gray hair, wrinkles, stretch marks are beautiful.

That youth is beautiful.

That age is beautiful.

That skinny, fat and everything in between is beautiful.

And normal? Well, normal is a setting on the washing machine. It’s subjective. Normal is what we all are. And normal is what you make it.

I challenge women everywhere today, throw the Victoria’s Secret catalog away (well recycle it anyway), toss out the Vanity Fair and Vogue, stop thinking about what you should look like and find something beautiful about how you do look. In fact, while you’re at it try to find it in something you think is a flaw. Stretchmarks? Did your body grow a baby? Wrinkles? Are they from laughing? Sagging breasts? Did they nourish a person? Wide hips? Did they carry a toddler on them? Do you have 10 pounds to lose? 30? 100? Or do you need to gain 10 pounds? 20? Or more? Can you love yourself NOW? Right now? Just the way you are made?

Beautifully and wonderfully.

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Comments
17 Responses to “Victoria, I don’t like you”
  1. VFisch says:

    This is great! Too bad there aren't more of us that think like this and speak our minds about it. Preach on, sister!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Well said!:)

  3. ekwetzel says:

    What I find *amusing* about Victoria Secrets, as well, is that they promote an ideal in their models, but if one of those models with huge breasts walked into a VS store and tried to find a bra that would fit her, it would be impossible. VS doesn't make big bras. They specialize in showing busty women to A-D cup ladies and making them feel like, even though they don't measure up, at least they can wear the same underwear as someone who does. Ridiculous.

  4. The Great Quiram Adventure says:

    I second all of that. I so want my boys to view women as people and not tools.

  5. Lizzie says:

    Now, I know that in this world Christianity is much frowned upon, but Joni, I cannot help but notice how you are so close to tapping into the Wife of Proverbs 31. No matter how hard we try to progress, and educate ourselves away from Biblical principles, our hearts return to what we know to be true. The description of a beautiful woman in those verses written so long ago by men inspired by our Creator. Nothing in that description of character should bring shame or guilt to anyone. It speaks of trust, love, and strength that only a woman can give.
    Does anyone ever wonder why we spend so much time educating ourselves, only to find that we are in the same boat of insecurity? (When did believing in God become the mark of stupidity?) If we don't believe in God we will believe anything this world tells us.

    We are lacking.
    We are ugly.
    We damaged goods.
    We are without hope.

    Rage against the dying of the light.

  6. Drew says:

    Femnazi!!just because they advertise with beautiful women doesn't mean all women should look like this..you advertise something to look the best I can this makes people want to buy your product not to set a social standard of what women should look like. you sound like a miserable bitter person. maybe spending a little more time working on your physical appearance instead of online hate blogging would better serve your disposition….

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hey Drew,

    People like you who anonymously flame on the Internet are a disease. You wouldn't have the guts to say anything so rude and stupid to my face and you know it.

    Sincerely,
    Joni's Husband

  8. Janine says:

    I think that you look gorgeous but there is nothing wrong with Victoria's Secret either. It can be both. I may not look like a VS model now but there was a point where I was that thin. Slender women with big boobs have real, natural bodies too. Think Gisele and Miranda Kerr, breastfeeding natural birth mamas. I get your point and I hate the idea of my son thinking all women have to be bombshells (My husband has a great view on women that I'm hoping gets passed on), but I also hope their is an emphasis on fitness and keeping yourself up. You do seem just a teeny bit bitter, even though you look gorgeous in your photos. Love your wedding dress & bump!

    - Janine
    Alternative Housewife

  9. eileen says:

    Love love love it, it is true that many people see these photos and look at their own bodies un-photo-shopped and feel inferior. You are not bitter, that grumpy man up there is. Even men are caught up in the perfect body, either feeling all woman should be perfect or not having confidence in their own male bodies not being muscular or tall enough. These photos do matter and do influence the population. If they didn't then why are imperfections hidden and every company uses this ridiculous barbie looking picture to display their products

  10. Sarah--Well Rounded Birth Prep says:

    Awesome post, and yes, you and your daughters are beautiful!

  11. navynest says:

    Your photos are beautiful! A 10 lb baby? Kudos to you! That's amazing!

  12. Lizzie says:

    Way to ruin an amazing topic Drew. Screw you.
    Signed, Hot Salty Christian Momma.

  13. mrs.g says:

    Drew? Stop being a douche.

    VS models, most of them dont look healthy to me. Being able to see ribs and hipbones that protrude out 4 inches isn't healthy. But what do I know? I'm probably bitter and miserable too ;)

  14. Susan says:

    Hey Drew….. I LOVE being bitter and miserable!!! And I am very comfortable in my bitter and miserable body!!! You should try carrying around a 8 to 10lb baby, you weak ass. Did I say that in my outside voice???

  15. Michelle says:

    I also thought that was a great post and one I could totally relate to. I don't think you sound bitter at all … Last year at this time, I was relishing every page of that damn catalog and picking which bikini I would strut the upcoming summer. This year I am 20#s heavier and thankfully, my catalog went straight into the recycle as well. (I followed you over her from blogtolose BTW) Kudos to you for expressing how YOU feel whether or not someone else might/might not agree. PS: you look radiant :-)

  16. borboleta2010 says:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful post! SO very true!! I saw a video once of how they made a model look like she should. In came a pretty girl, very normal :) They spent hours on her, did her hair several times and put on masses of make up. After a lot of pruning and working, they took her picture. And then the real work started with photoshop. After all was done, the picture didn´t look remotely like her!! I think it´s just sad that people try to force those images upon young girls.

    And you all look WONDERFUL!!!

  17. Katie says:

    I’m there with ya! I used to look at those magazines to “inspire” me to eat less. I was never diagnosed with an eating disorder but my mind was sure close! I kept my eye on Victoria’s secret models and others really, unhappy with my 5’3 125lb frame. Since those days I have had 2 beautiful baby girls, wider hips, and some faint stretch marks on my hips. I have since realized the unrealistic idea of looking like that and love and accept who I am. I would have never of thought that I would be passionate about health and fitness but here I am :-) Its so fulfilling to be fit the “right” way, if you know what I mean (by working at it in a healthy manner). Anyways, someone share this post on baby-gaga.com, thanks for the post.

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