I love when my new “Title Nine” catalog comes in the mail. Sure, it’s not a “magazine” but it stays around a lot longer than it probably should. I look through it over and over again, imagining myself not only in the clothes, but the activities the models are doing as well. It’s always sunny. It looks warm and fun. They are swimming, diving, hiking, rock climbing, doing yoga and playing volleyball. They are DOING. It makes me want to DO too. And this wonderful advertising has now made me a consumer of Title Nine. I recently purchased a dress and skirt at prices I’ve never imagined spending. Why? Because I want to be like them.
This, of course, is the aim of all clothing catalogs; to sell you on the image. Nike, Columbia, Athleta, they all do it. They display their clothes in such a way as to sell the activity you’ll be doing as well as the clothes you’ll be wearing. The don’t sell sex like Victoria Secret; they sell sweat. They sell health and fitness. But don’t be fooled. You won’t look like Mia Hamm just because you’re wearing the same sports bra.
Image isn’t necessarily a bad thing. As a matter of fact, guided imagery has helped people for years. Keeping an image in your mind of being healthier, happier, even thinner is believed to be a vital key in treating cancer and depression as well as helping with weight loss. Last year when I decided to truly take control of my health, I cut a picture or two out of magazines. These were my “goals”. One was Sheryl Crow and I love her hair (much like mine, big and out of control!) and I love her strong arms. But most of all, I love the sense of calm and peace that radiates from her. She seems to love who she is. Another was a random picture from the Title Nine clothing catalog showing a woman hiking. She, too, was strong. I didn’t fool myself into thinking I could be 5′ 9″, 25 years old, skinny and beautiful. I aimed (and still do) to be strong. That’s something I can obtain. Image becomes a problem when you allow it to dictate impossible results. Be aware of the people who draw your attention. Be aware of what it truly is about that person that makes you want to “be like them”. Perhaps it’s their calm demeanor or their energetic spirit. If you need an image, be sure it’s obtainable and realistic. Make sure it’s true to who you are and what you truly want to accomplish. Beautiful, skinny models aren’t happier than us normal sized gals. They only get paid to smile.
The important thing to remember is this: the clothing won’t make you look like the model wearing it. That’s up to you. I’ll never be 25 again nor will I ever look like some of the women modeling these great clothes, but I can be the healthiest I can be. I can be active and strong. No, the clothing won’t do that for me, but at least I’ll look damn good doing it!