For years… decades… lifetimes…. females are bombarded with images of what they should look like and dress like and be like. Models are thrown in our faces, often times airbrushed beyond the reality of what even they actually look like. On one hand, if models were ordinary, what would be the point? On the other, no matter how much Maybelline I buy, I will never look like Christie Turlington.
I have come to terms with this reality, as has much of society. I have accepted myself as good enough at most points in my life, though not particularly head turning or track stopping in the way of beauty standards. In my twenties, I was often tan, I was always thin, and I did have that perfect body. I know because I measured it. I worked it out. I dieted. I made that body. What I found was there was never a lack of men talking to me. What I also found is in my shallowness, they often did not stick around.
In my thirties, I had twins and I did gain weight. I was still smaller than Ashley Graham, and I was not tanned, toned, working out, or particularly pretty. I was very devoted during most of my 30’s to my family, but I still found there was never a lack of men talking to me. I also found in my growth as a human being, there was definitely more of an interest in me.
In my 40’s, I gained a lot of weight after a surgery from a botched hysterectomy I had in my late 30’s. I find, still, that it really does not matter about size at all. It really is about connections and growth and all of those things, and the image of something or someone is just an image.
So, for Cheryl Teigs, yes, that is what made her. That is what defined her. She was always just a body and face. I can understand how she thinks that image that made her a career and a life is something she holds up to a certain standard. But, maybe the rest of us have moved beyond that. Ashley Graham truly is beautiful. She is beautiful not only because of her looks, but her confidence and her personality. Times have changed, and as times change, so do perceptions of beauty. Maybe it is time that we accept that the standard of beauty that was thrown at us for so long is not only not achievable for most people, but maybe not even so much desired as it once was.
So, does it matter what Cheryl Teigs thinks of Ashley Graham on the cover or SI? I think if it does, it only does to show how far we really have come.