I saw an excellent video today that reminded me why I will probably never look in the mirror and see what I think I should see; in our culture, women in photographs aren't real. They've been edited, polished, thinned out and turned into something very unrealistic; we see these photographs every day, and they influence our perceptions.
The picture on the left is me. Today. As I really look.
The picture on the right has been photoshopped, following the guidelines used for publication. I've been smoothed, my legs have been lengthened, my bust-line is perkier and my waist is thinner. My wrinkles have been touched up, my lip-line redrawn, and my hair is a bit fuller. My neck is longer and thinner; my arms are slimmer. I didn't spend a ton of time on the retouching, so it's not perfect, but you get the idea.
I'm not real anymore, but most people would say I look a lot better.
I will never look like that in real life, no matter how much weight I lose, no matter how many weights I lift. There is simply no way to make my legs get 30% longer. But it's what we see in every magazine, it's how we grow up thinking we should look, and when I looked at it, even I thought, "Yes! That's how I should look."
Not, not, not, not, not.