Fat Acceptance/Why does my friend put models up on a pedestal and put herself down?
My friend has two best friends, a married couple. The wife in this couple is a model that makes six figures a year, gets to travel the world and is insanely thin and beautiful. The husband in this couple is also successful, making six figures. My friend puts this couple on a pedestal and constantly brings up the fact that her model friend is gorgeous beyond belief and has everything she wants. She puts herself down all the time and says her body does not look like that of her model friend. This is starting to rub off on me and I find my body image plummeting into the depths of the abyss.
I really want to be supportive of my friend, so I brought up the fact that comparing oneself to a model is counterproductive. A non-model, no matter how pretty she is, is not ever going to be able to compete with a real model. I learned that when I went to modeling school (no, I am not a model...just went for the experience and beauty tips). I told my friend that a woman could even be extraordinarily beautiful, like Zooey Deschanel or even Catherine Zeta Jones....and many of these beautiful women might be successful as fashion models or actresses but may not have the ultra thin or tall body to be a runway or classical vogue model. This doesn't mean that a woman is not beautiful if she doesn't exactly fit the description of a runway model.
My friend is driving me crazy by putting her model friend up on a pedestal. In the process, she never compliments herself or me...or any other "normally pretty" woman who is trying to eat right, exercise, dress stylishly, and look good. This is starting to wear on my self esteem in a negative way, as I have gained some weight recently and don't look or feel my best right now. I would like to believe that one does not have to be a runway model with a size 24 waist and minuscule hips and breasts to be beautiful. I can't stop my friend from rambling about the model.
Normally, I would not even associate with a model if she was going bring out my insecurities so much and could not act "down to earth." I have not met my friend's model friend, yet, but what I have heard of her, she is not very empathetic or kind...she is simply "nice," as my friend told me. She will talk to other model friends about modeling, beauty and career success while my friend sits on the side and can't even join in the conversation since she is not a model, is struggling financially and is still in school. I think it is rude for this model to act this way...she may not even be aware of how she is acting because it is normal for her to be thin and rich...it simply doesn't faze her... but I know my friend wants to be successful and gorgeous, too. The problem is that her power couple friends have so much success that it seems to be beyond her reach at the moment.
Now this couple has made friends with another "power couple," the wife of which used to be a model and is an attorney to boot. My friend is still the only one single in this group of couples. It is making her feel uncomfortable, yet she continues to hang out with them because she wants to be successful,too.
What do I do to keep my self esteem intact and help to make my friend feel better about herself?
Remember that I am not a professional, but just a member of the size acceptance community for many years.
Unfortunately, I don't think you can change your friend. So many people try changing other people, and it just doesn't work. I agree that she would be better off if she changed, but if she is happy being miserable and comparing herself to someone else...
The second thing, for your own sanity, you may need to separate yourself from her. Either by physically separating yourself from her, or by just blowing her off when she talks badly about herself. You can do that by telling her your opinion. Each time she brings it up again, you just reply saying "you know how I feel about comparing yourself to a model." I would just keep repeating that, rather than trying to reason with her. You won't change her mind, and she won't change yours.
I personally don't really have any admiration for models. All models are required to be the same size, because the clothing industry doesn't want to bother to changing the clothes for the models. So they just make it so that models and clothes and interchangeable.
A lot of people have a vested interest in making Americans, especially women, feel unhappy about themselves. Most are businesses who make money every time someone buys something to make themselves try to look like models.
It is the normal people who make the world go around. Models contribute very little to the overall benefit of society. The average woman is around a size 14, I believe. Some men like models because society says they are supposed to. But most men who think for themselves like women who have curves, and are down to earth.
Overall, there are a large range of sizes of women, and men who prefer a large range of sizes of women. (You can interchange men and women for women who like different size men, men who like men, women who like women, etc.) I like large women, and I especially like to see women gain weight. But I have one of many preferences.
In additions, diets end up slowing the metabolism, and cause people to gain weight and make things worse. The more people try to be thin, the bigger they get. Only about 3% of the people who lose weight keep it off. The best way is for people to just accept who they are.
I hope this helps. Feel free to ask more questions, give me more details, etc.