But I couldn't find a picture of anyone I would ever want to look like.
I don't aspire to have visible ribs, legs that don't meet in the middle or muscle-y Madonna arms.
|OK, she's a pretty extreme example|
Then there was Women's Fitness and its ilk. But they weren't right either. They made me feel worse about myself. No softness, all harsh angles and muscles and tendons and more judgement than in Vogue, because of the mags' single-minded focus on THIN.
I couldn't put my finger on it. It was more than the "all models look the same, aren't media representations of women awful?" thing.
I was offered one choice - well - two: visible ribs, or visible muscles. Preferably both, though.
Then I went to see the new Muppets movie. In this movie is an actress named Amy Adams. I don't think I'd ever heard of her before.
Here she is in the film
She looked not just relatively normal-sized (still thin of course - this is Hollywood) but also healthy and happy. Glowing, soft. Yeah yeah, make up, the movies, etc. Her character's awesome vintage wardrobe perhaps helped too.
Seeing her made me realise what I wanted to look like and what I was looking for. It's this: some sort of softness. Some sense that you have thighs and that's OK. What do I want? I want to glow and bounce a little.
it made me think of 1980s/early 90s music videos.
Stick with me.
I saw the Spice Girls Wannabe music video the other day. Doesn't Emma Bunton look healthy? Doesn't she look normal? Yes, Ms Bunton's thighs are slightly wobbly. I wonder if she tortured herself daily.
They all look good, really. Victoria Beckham is probably a stone or two heavier than she is now.
1980s and early 90s music videos. There's another shocking eye-opener. Dancers look like normal people! Normal people with backsides and legs that have muscles and flesh on them.
The only person in modern life that looks anything like suitable is Beyonce. But she only escapes public criticism because she is clearly dancer-fit and could kill a man with a single kick. There is barely an article written that doesn't mention her 'curves' though. SHUT UP.
Whenever I see a magazine with 'before' and after bikini pics, where a normal sized girl is now concave, I always, always prefer the before pics.
I prefer the 'old' Kate Winslet. I prefer the non-thin and angular Sophie Dahl. Even Crystal Renn, the model who was celebrated for being gorgeously fleshy is now a size six. And people celebrate that, even while knowing she has a history of eating disorders.
But I generally feel like I'm in the minority here, to have a problem with the 'single option' of aspirational body shape.
The fact that I'm having to virtually travel back in time to find more than one person that I want to look like is distressing. I admire people's flesh, not their bones.
Soft, feminine, healthy and potentially ever so slightly wobbly people in public life who aren't beating themselves up. That's all.