I am More than #TransformationTuesday

By: Amanda Ho

 

I was going to post this to Instagram with a simple accompanying #transformationtuesday today, but after talking about how bodies are represented in fashion and the media in class today I realized this photo needed a better description.

While browsing through some old photos I came across the photo on the left, a picture taken in 2009 back in those good old days of eighth grade. It immediately reminded me of a photo taken of me just this past December at a wedding. I guess you could say I don’t get too creative in my poses. Thinking very superficially, I thought, “This would make a great Transformation Tuesday photo! Look how much I’ve changed!”

But that’s just the thing – look how much I’ve changed, I wanted to use a hashtag for people to look at me – it’s superficial. I don’t mean that in a bad way at all, appreciating the difference in my physical appearance is important. I’m happy about my metamorphosis in the last 6 years, and I think it should be celebrated! But just noticing the physical changes is literally just skimming the surface; my beauty runs so much deeper than my skin.

But for starters let’s just look at the surface for a second, that’s what would have happened anyway had I left this with a simple #transformationtuesday right? As I mentioned before I studied representation of the body in fashion today, so I want to look at this from the perspective of the western beauty ideal. Amanda circa 2009 has come a long way for sure. I’ve gained a greater fashion sense, (argyle and sneakers seriously?) I’ve fixed up my hair and eyebrows and learned how to apply lipstick. Yay for me! But on the flip side I’ve also gained a bunch of weight since then, cue the #freshmanfifteen, and that’s a big thumbs down in terms of media’s ‘ideal body’. So what does #transformationtuesday say about that?

The changes in my clothes, and my hair are obvious, but you know what else I see? The biggest change I see in my appearance is the change in my smile, and I can tell you that that transformation is so much deeper than the red lipstick.

In class today we discussed what messages our bodies convey through images. Obviously these two images of my body convey a message of transformation, but they show so much more than a simple transformation, they show my personal growth. If you stepped into that photo from 2009 and asked grade 8 me how I felt about my body I would have told you a hundred problems and the things I wish I could change, and it probably would start with “I’m a little too fat.” Well now that I’m a little older and a lot past my grade 8 standards of fat, I would have a very different answer for you. If you asked me today how I feel about my body I would say that I feel beautiful. I feel happy and lucky to be in the body I am in.

Where did this change in mentality come from? It came from 6 years of growth. When I look at these images I see the growth from a girl to a young lady. I see the struggles and triumphs I have been through to get to where I am now. I see the confidence I have gained that has come from forging my own identity in this big wide world. I see the hard work I put into my schooling that taught me focus and filled me with knowledge, I see the dedication I put into my volunteer work that taught me the importance of interdependence and community. Mostly I see belief in myself. The belief in myself that came in small bits and continues to come with every baby step I take in becoming who I want to be. When I graduated from high school, when I decided to be more involved in my faith, when I decided to follow my heart and go to fashion school and won a scholarship, and everyday when I wake up in the morning and decide to live my life with purpose.

Receiving my high school diploma

Receiving my high school diploma

Receiving a scholarship

Receiving a scholarship

Finally what I see is my potential. I see myself as a young woman who is continuing to grow and learn each day, I see a young woman with hopes and aspirations for the future and I wonder what I’ll see in a Transformation Tuesday 6 years from now.

So, what I thought would be a simple #transformationtuesday instagram post (and I’m sure what you thought would be just a simple little explanation) ended up being so much more than just that. This has really reminded me that when we look just a little bit deeper we find so much more than what is peaking at the surface, and I’m challenging myself to look deeper the next time I’m scrolling through my newsfeed.

Share your #transformationtuesday and show the world how you have grown as a person! I would love to see it!

Re-posted with permission from :https://amandamho.wordpress.com/