Seems every time I pop good ol’ Yahoo! News there’s something about weight/body image. Today was no different. I was treated to two articles. One was for an ad campaign about acceptance and not stereotyping people which went right the hell over the heads of those who commented. The second was about a fat chick going to the beach in a bikini. Before you get mad at that phrase
She’s fat. Ok? I’m not insulting her. I’m telling the truth.
I’ll tell you another truth; I looked at the picture and thought; Shit if SHE can wear a bikini so can I.
I haven’t worn a bikini since my daughters were little. It’s got to be 15 years now. In fact, I haven’t worn a bathing suit or even gone to the beach for a swim on a hot summer’s day in about a decade. 1-it’s expensive and 2-I figure no one wants to see me in a bathing suit. For further edification….here I am! I took these yesterday in anticipation of making a post just like this one.
Yep, that’s Yours Truly at the ripe old age of 47. This is why I refuse to wear a bathing suit
That’s me too. At the very unripe age of 19. You know, sometimes I come across old pictures like that one and I actually stop and stare at them for a moment as I wonder; Who’s that girl? Then I remember; Oh yeah, that’s me. Or it was. I came of age in the decade of anorexia and bulimia. Back then these were bad things today they’re pretty much the norm. They’re the ideal as to what society says women should look like. Mostly women anyway. I dare you to find me an article that’s talking about the weight and body type of the average American male. No, for the most part, he feels just fine letting his moobs bounce all over the place as he stuffs another piece of pizza down his throat, burps,pats that beer gut hanging over his belt, winks and says, “Hey, ya wanna?”
(Oh yeah, that’s sexy, dead sexy)
Hardly no one thinks twice about it. But if a woman does the very same thing, well, she’s a lazy bitch. You know, the good old American Double Standard. I’m not saying that guys don’t have hang-ups about their bodies *at all*, I’m sure some of them do and I’m equally sure those hang-ups make themselves known whenever a picture like this one crosses their woman’s eye
Yes, yes, oh my heavens yes, that picture did hang in my high school locker. You bet your dimpled ass it did, baby. ;)
But men don’t seem to let it define them whereas us chicks we think about it all the time. I mean ALL the time. Practically 24/7. And it sucks. No one’s worth should come down to their weight. As a society and a country, we really should be more mature and even smarter than that by now. Logically we all know that people come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and whatnot. They do. We don’t come from a cookie cutter therefore we are not all alike nor should we be.
But that’s not what crosses my mind when I look in a mirror. Nope. I think; Damn you’re fuckin’ fat. Who the hell would ever look at you and think you’re pretty? You used to be hot what the fuck happened to you? Hence the elliptical machine (which I haven’t been using since summer kicked in full-blast…ick…no a/c in that room) but I have been keeping up with my Wii and having fun. I’m really good at the tennis and according to my Wii my Fitness Age is consistently between 27-30. 27 and 30! That ain’t bad for a bagged out 47-almost-48 year-old woman like myself. I may be fat but I’m still fast, strong, and have fantastic stamina ;)
Along with the Wii has come this
Yep, every morning for the last four or five months I’ve started my day with a handful of pills. With the exception of the Pepcid, generic Aleve, and the Hair, Skin, and Nails every product there is designed to help me lose weight. Every single one of them. Gee, I can’t wait until I need REAL pills, heart medication, cholesterol drugs, arthritis meds, stuff like that. It’ll take me a good half hour to choke down all of those pills. Along with that comes eating right–which isn’t easy but I’m trying. I cut out soda almost completely. I drink a lot of water and iced tea. I cut out most of the junk food and replaced it with Special K bars. In other words; I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing to maintain my weight and my health but chances are that, short of some type of surgery, I’ll never be super-thin again. BUT I have lost some weight. Those jeans I’m wearing no longer fold over at the waistband due to my gut pressing against it. Those jeans are a size 8. A far cry from the 3′s I was used to, I know.
Know something else? There’s a lot of money in weight loss and making people feel bad about themselves. Just look at all those pills I take every morning. Trust me, you don’t want to know the cost. I bought the elliptical machine. I was given the Wii by Miss Nicole which was very nice of her. There’s all types of weight loss programs. All types of diets. All types of exercises. All types of surgery. All types of “medical professionals” at the ready to look you in the eye and say; You need to lose some weight. It is BIG business. Don’t kid yourself on that score. Making YOU feel BAD about yourself is a billion dollar a year industry.
Recently the pendulum began swinging the other way–as it always will eventually about any extreme. It only took 30 years! It makes me laugh a little to read nasty comments by so many “millennials” those who don’t remember the Before Time….before AIDS and Jane Fonda, that is. Those are the two things that really pushed America to “fitness” and Dexatrim, don’t forget that shit, man it was better than speed. It was. No joke. It shocks them when they hear about the Before Time and totally floors them to know that there are more countries and cultures out there who don’t give a flying fig about weight than there are those that put it on such an unreachable pedestal. That’s right, by-and-large this is an American Hang Up and it’s a bill of rotten goods that’s been sold to this country more than any other. But that’s mostly because we’re willing to buy anything and believe anything if some self-proclaimed experts just keep saying it loud enough for long enough.
There’s a push out there to go back to the way things were before we got all nuts over made up numbers like BMI. A push for plain and simple acceptance of good but plain people. Let’s face it, there’s more of us than there are pretty TV people anyway. You wanna be a super-thin supermodel…go for it. Have at it. But that will never give you the right to tell someone else how they should look or what they should do with their life not even behind the over-glorified and all-too-snarky guise of ‘health’. If you want to be plain old normal, I wish you the best of luck because no one knows what that is anymore. However, it doesn’t give you the right to tell the athletic person they’re too thin. We should be much more concerned with WHO a person IS and not how a person LOOKS.
There will always be ‘bombshells’ and ‘sex pots’…always. There’s nothing wrong with them. They’re fun to drool over and dream about–believe me I dreamed A LOT about the hunk in the Calvin Klein ads and, well, you know, this guy too…..
It doesn’t mean we all have to look like them or that we should even try to look like them. Not only is doing so bad for our self-image and our self-esteem but the intelligent folk among the Beautiful People don’t want to be known as only a body or a pretty face because they have more substance than that.
We should too.
Now you’ll have to pardon me while I down another handful of raspberry ketones and hit my Wii for an hour or so.
This is bound to be a very politically incorrect post. It may piss you off. If you are easily offended I suggest we say ‘good-bye’ here and then we can say ‘hello’ again on another day. First off, Happy 4th of July. I’m not sure what that means anymore nor am I sure what the beloved term ‘land of the free home of the brave’ means any longer. But…nevertheless…Happy Independence Day. May our Forefathers be still and peaceful in their graves.
I’ve been known to blog about race and bigots and things like that. I’m usually the first one to stand up for what’s ‘right’ as opposed to what’s convenient or what happens to fall in with my own personal views. I think I am anyway. I hope I am. I don’t think anyone is particularly living Martin Luther King’s ‘dream’. I know racism is alive and well in the Good Ol’ USofA. It’s just gone quiet, that’s all. Radio Silence.
I’m on this subject because a Facebook post pissed me off. Yeah we are and yeah it did. A FB friend posted a poem she wrote and my jaw dropped at the title in which she was begging her son not to give up on black women. If I titled a poem “My Darling Daughter I Hope Your Knight Is White” I’d be vilified. That poem would go viral for all of the wrong reasons. Especially if within said poem I opined how I’d rather my daughters be lesbians with white women than be straight with black men. If I said that I’d try to accept him no matter what because she seems to like him but it would be difficult because, ya know, after all, if they’re not like me then what does that say about me? If I continued on to a metaphor of looking through and then piling up old boxes and suitcases I would hope that someone would stand up straight and proud and say something like; “Hey! You realize you’re piling your own baggage onto your kids’ shoulders, right? Why don’t you fucking deal with it yourself and let your kids live their own lives? You racist narcissistic bitch.”
That person would be right.
Of course no one did anything like that.
As all of us white folke know a black person can never be considered ‘racist’…something to do with a lack of power over other people’s lives. But, I contend they can still be prejudiced and bigoted. Your Mileage May Vary. I think everyone single one of us can be prejudiced and bigoted if that’s what we chose to be.
The poem itself isn’t horrible and the writer received lots of kudos from people of her own race and a few other ‘minorities’. People who openly admitted to having ‘pride’ in ‘our people’ and ‘our heritage’ and ‘our this and that’. From the icons I deduced that not many white people commented on this poem and the few that did said things like; “You love who you love.” I realized that none of us white folke pointed out this rather perplexing enigma because we didn’t want to be called ‘racist’. Even if we understood her point and tried to agree with her we’d be nailed to a cross and called to task as to why we didn’t want our kids to marry black kids–aren’t they good enough for us? We’d interrogated as to why we should have ‘pride’ in ‘our people’. They’d call us bigots and prejudiced. Yet never see the same reflected within themselves and that poem. It was a total Catch22.
I remained silent even though it was killing me–hence this post, I know. Would you have said something? If you knew you were going to be totally bullied would you exercise your First Amendment Right here?
Gary Oldman recently got into trouble for saying the absolute truth so I’m going to follow his lead for a minute and agree with the poem writer: I wanted my daughters to bring home intelligent upwardly mobile hardworking white men for prospective marriage material.
Yeah, even though I brought home a wild-ass Filipino. Yep my parents were freakin’ thrilled (not!)
I never gave a single thought to the boys they would bring home being like me or like my husband or like anyone in our family. I wasn’t breeding mini-mes here. I wasn’t looking for them to join either. So, at least I had that going for me I guess. What came and went through my door was a very wide assortment of colors, sizes, shapes, styles (oh Lord!), but not economic background. No they were all poor as dirt for the most part. Not too many were very bright no matter what color they were. Then again most of us aren’t thinking with our brains between 14-19, I know, I haven’t forgotten.
One daughter married a white man. A really white man covered in freckles with bright red hair. Hey, what can I say, us redheads we really The Best.
The other is living with a man of Hispanic descent. Like her mother she has a weakness for slightly browner boys.
What I think of either of these young men is irrelevant. These are the men my daughters have chosen. My choice is to accept them just as they are along with the fact that they love my daughter or to be a bitch and risk losing the relationship with my offspring. That’s it. If I have any baggage concerning redheads, freckles, or Puerto Rico then that’s my problem it’s my duty as a good parent not to make it theirs.
You love who you love. There may be challenges in that love but those are things that make this life worth living and give you character making you a richer deeper person.
I hope the boy in the poem grows up strong and true to himself–not to a cause or a group of people but to himself–I hope that he finds the one person in this life who will love him through thick and thin and that his mommy never makes him choose between the two no matter what sex or color the love of his life turns out to be.
I hope that one day I won’t be considered ‘racist’ for making posts like this or for exercising my First Amendment Right to voice any honest opinion at all on this subject. But that’s mostly because I’m still hoping that one there won’t be any need for posts like this or poems like the one that started this conversation.
That will be a glorious Independence Day.