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I can’t believe it’s already November! Crazy, right? Also – it seems like there has been a body image-related story in the news almost every day! So let’s get caught up …
FIRST OF ALL: Unless you’re just not totally obsessed with lady blogs, there’s no way you haven’t heard about the disaster that went down at Marie Claire last week. Writer Maura Kelly wrote a blog post about “watching fat people on TV” that basically sounded like some of the most superficial, hateful remarks from a junior high slambook. The post itself wracked up almost 1,000 comments, some of which were from Maura herself trying to defend herself. But she soon posted a lame-ass “apology,” saying that she thinks maybe her discomfort with overweight people stems from her own anorexia. (Uh, yeah, ya think?) Then, as if overnight, everyone had an opinion on the situation… I personally loved Dodai’s post at Jezebel, which called fat-phobics out as a bigoted idiots. Some of the comments actually made me tear up. For instance:
“I come to Jezebel nearly every day because it’s one of the only places I know of where I can honestly talk about body image with other people who (for the most part) get it. I’ve been able to talk about my struggles with showing my arms in sleeveless dresses, the hurt I’ve felt from my own parents sometimes, the judgement I feel when I eat in public – you name it. And yes, I’ve done all of this while trying (and succeeding, for the most part) to lose weight. Having a place to actually talk about it where I don’t get shitty platitudes like I do at Weight Watchers (“nothing tastes as good as thin feels”)has been a good thing. Hell, it’s been a great thing. I know it’s not here as a support group, but it certainly makes me feel like there are lots of other fabulous women who struggle too. And the fact that there is one little piece of the world that doesn’t judge me and condemn me for struggling all my life with obesity is glorious, indeed.” –erinfabu
Some thanked Dodai for her shoutout to women with PCOS, while others explain how much they used to hate their bodies when they were overweight, but they were still unhappy even after shedding a few pounds! It was once they learned to not equate their self-worth with the scale that they found themselves happier and healthier.
Reading these comments, I felt like I was surrounded (mostly) by other women who are all in the same boat: At various shapes and sizes, we’re all doing our best to be healthy. But sadly, a few self-hating skinnies with big, really loud media-backed megaphones don’t seem to have any clue what that looks like.
The fact that we’re often faced with their blog posts, advertisements, essays, feature articles, commercials, cover lines, books, etc. doesn’t help, when we’re already struggling with self-acceptance and body love. Hello, MORE news for ya: 40% of us are unhappy with our bodies, says a new survey by Glamour. And 71% of us “feel fat,“ even though only 46% are technically overweight.
Given the vitriol that one lone women’s pub (Marie Claire) seems to think is acceptable to spew about anyone who doesn’t fit into its fashionista definition of beautiful and healthy … is it any wonder that so many of us are paranoid and delusional about our own appearances? I mean, this isn’t exactly news to you, right?
Just look at Demi Lovato … The gorgeous young Disney star went to rehab this week for eating disorders and cutting, triggered by body image issues. This may be an extreme case, but it’s proof that the problem is out of control…
It seems to me every woman could stand to learn something from plus-size model Crystal Renn, who recently said, “I think that, you know, I will never be thin enough or big enough for anybody. So I think through this whole thing I had to just really be happy being who I am, and that’s when I found health.”
It’s not easy, that’s for sure. But I feel like, at least for me, it’s well worth the every pair of jeans, every glimpse of cellulite, every day struggle.
How ’bout you?
By Megan Monique, Special Guest Blogger to The Body Logic
“Well, shit.” I thought as I weighed myself this morning. I had gained a pound from the last time I weighed myself two days before.
I knew what the scale was going to tell me before I even stepped on. My monkeys had already talked to me about before I had a chance to pull the covers off myself and get out of bed earlier that morning.
They sounded something like this:
“Really, Megan? You are going to have ANOTHER chocolate covered graham cracker? Are you sure that is the best idea? I think I saw a new indention of cellulite on your thigh yesterday. That one last graham cracker just might be enough to break the seal. The next thing you know it you will be one giant ball of cellulite. Then who will love you?”
I sat in a pool of pity for a moment until I heard the last part. “Who will love me?!”
I will love me, dammit.
It is time for me to do away with the monkeys in every area of my life. They don’t only show up when I gain a pound. They also show up when I make less money than I want, or when I have a big dream I am working toward. (Lately it’s been becoming a life coach.)
But what purpose do these monkeys serve? They only keep me playing a small game.
I decided to create a mental box. When the monkey chatter starts happening, I mentally duct tape the monkeys mouth and put him in the box. I only let him come out if he is saying things that HELP me in my process of creating the life I love.
So what if I have cellulite. The only way I can rid myself of it is by making healthy choices, one by one. Inch by inch. Meal by meal. Listening, and more so BELIEVING the monkey chatter will only keep me in the same place I have been trying to move away from.
Armed With a Roll of Duct Tape,
Megan Monique is a writer & Lovemuffin Extraordinaire for Owning Pink and so much more. Her most prized piece is her personal blog entitled If I Were A Rainbow I Would Be Chocolate where she shares personal revelations and life adventures with her audience. Megan is also a life coach who focuses on living life creatively and abundantly with no limitations.
I admit—I tried on approximately 3 outfits this morning before settling on a bright turquoise and pink dress that I picked mostly because it was sans stain, sans wrinkles and when I looked at myself in it, I didn’t feel like I was walking through a hall of carnival mirrors. Blame hormones, our boyfriend for throwing a dry-clean only top into the dryer or a full moon (we’re feeling the effects of one right now, btw). Whatever the case, sometimes we just don’t like how we look. Sadly, according to one survey, at least 80% of women are unhappy with what they see when they look at themselves in the mirror. Seems like we could all use a self-confidence pick-me-up…or several. Here are 10 quotes to inspire us to love our reflections—and ourselves—a little more today.
1. Margaret Cho – “In our culture, we don’t see people out there with normal-looking bodies. We should all feel beautiful. If you feel beautiful, you will be more political, more active in trying to stand up for yourself, you’ll be in more control of your life, have more sense of power over what you’re doing.”
2. Drew Barrymore – “God made a very obvious choice when He made me voluptuous; why would I go against what he decided for me? My limbs work, so I’m not going to complain about the way my body is shaped.”
3. Gloria Steinem – “Each individual woman’s body demands to be accepted on its own terms.”
4. Christina Hendricks – “I guess my mom raised me right. She was very celebratory of her body. I never heard her once say, “I feel fat.” Back when I was modeling, the first time I went to Italy I was having cappuccinos every day, and I gained 15 pounds. And I felt gorgeous! I would take my clothes off in front of the mirror and be like, Oh, I look like a woman. And I felt beautiful, and I never tried to lose it, ’cause I loved it.”
5. Lucille Ball – “Love yourself first and everything falls into line.”
6. Lady Gaga – “When I say to you, there is nobody like me, and there never was, that is a statement I want every woman to feel and make about themselves.”
7. Sophia Loren – “Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.”
8. Amber Riley (from Glee) – “You’re not your dress size, you’re not your shoe size, you’re not your pants size. If I’m going to wear a name tag, it’s going to say ‘Amber Riley,’ not ‘Fat Girl’!”
9. Laila Ali – “By being an athlete, I have uncovered so many other ways to express my beauty. Being a strong, fearless woman makes me feel beautiful.”
10. Dr. Lissa Rankin – “Believe in yourself. Love yourself. Be whole. You know you already are.”
What makes you feel beautiful?
Yesterday, my friend suggested that I blog about Steven Slater, the JetBlue flight attendant who, on Monday, went coo-coo upon being instigated by a passenger who dropped luggage on his head and then (in stereotypical New Yorker jerkola fashion) chose to respond with a slew of obscenities—you know, as opposed to a humane apology. According to various news sources, “Slater got on the loud speaker, told those aboard to ‘go f*** themselves,’ grabbed a beer from the galley, deployed the emergency chute and ran into the terminal. His car was parked at an employee lot and he drove home.”
Slater wasn’t the only camel who, on Monday, had a straw break its back. Also, on Monday, this chick named “Jenny” quit her job via dry erase board and photographs. She called out her boss for logging more hours on Farmville than on his work. She said she put up with his chauvinistic shenanigans because she “wanted to be a broker.” But in the end, she realized that she just couldn’t put up with his bad breath and a soul-sucking assistant job any longer. The story launched a flurry of Facebook, Gchat status and Twitter banter about the amazingness of “Jenny.”
When I first heard both of these stories, I laughed, and I did feel like there was more to be said about these news sensations than, “They sure have cajónes!” But I didn’t really see how the story could fit into The Body Logic‘s theme. Then it hit me: Duh. Slater and “Jenny” could be the poster kids for, “Beauty is being yourself.” No, they’re not Zen, body peace, “let’s all sing Kumbaya” examples. They’re just everyday people saying, “This is who I am. I’m over pretending to be something I’m not. Now, I’m doing what’s right for me. Screw you guys, I’m going home!” And because no one was really harmed in either Slater or “Jenny”‘s exploits, I think it’s fine to fully applaud them for breaking free.
But hold up. This just in: TheChive.com reported that “Jenny” is Elyse Porterfield…an actress. And the whole “I’m quitting and exposing my boss as a chauvinist with halitosis” thing was a hoax. Oh well. As it turns out “Jenny” wasn’t actually being herself. She was just pretending to be someone who was. But I think there’s still merit to her tale, because like Slater, The Fake Jenny and TheChive.com inspired everyday people to think, “Hey, we’re also mad as Hell and we’re not going to take it anymore!”
The lesson here isn’t necessarily that we should all deploy emergency chutes or buy dry erase boards and quit our jobs. It’s that we can and MUST do something this week—and every week!—to honor our passions, our interests, our ambitions. We can speak up for ourselves. Ask for credit for our ideas. Give ourselves the gift of “me” time (you know, like, taking lunch). Why? Because no matter what small or grand gesture you make to bust free of that society/work/life-imposed box, as long as you’re being true to you … you’re gonna be just fine.
On Friday afternoon/evening, I got swept up in what can only be described as a brilliant, bold, Twitterific takeover of Midtown Manhattan by over 2,000 lady bloggers aka BlogHer ’10. My friend and associate (I edit her magazine column at First for Women), Lissa Rankin was one of the keynote speakers at the Voices of the Year Community Keynote, and she graciously invited me as one of her guests to see the speech and party afterward at the BlogHer Gala.
Although Lissa and I hadn’t discussed any of the details of what she would be presenting in her keynote, I nodded knowingly when she began reading her Op/Ed post, “What? We Can’t Say ‘Vagina‘?” If you don’t recall, this past spring, there was controversy regarding a Kotex tampon commercial that featured the word for the body part that tampons are for. The company had two choices: Give up the “vagina” or bury the spot. In her post, Lissa wisely weighs in and calls out the irony and insanity of our squirminess as a society to verbalize the female genitalia—especially in the Kotex context. The response? She had a blogger-filled ballroom literally standing up to those lame-o TV execs by chorusing, “Vagina! Vagina! Vagina!”
You can check out a video of Lissa reading her post at BlogHer here.
I’m always talking about loving your body. And for the most part, when talking about body confidence, we tend to think of curves, muffin-tops, jiggly thighs and maybe breasts. But what about the part of our body that TV networks would prefer to shroud in secrecy? The part of our body, which as Lissa points out, is where all human life comes from! After Friday night, I started to think … Maybe it’s about time we start cultivating our vagina confidence! We could have a soap company sponsor a “Campaign for Real Vaginies” and Jessica Simpson could have a show on cable called “The Price of Pretty Coochies.” 🙂
But in all seriousness, we need to take more pride in our “private” parts. I know, I know, it all stems from this backasswards Puritanical idea that we perpetuate as Americans that boobies and vulvas are to be bleeped out, covered up, blocked out with black boxes when shown on TV and slapped with an X rating (whereas blood, guts and guns—that’s just PG). And I’m not advocating that we start throwing “bottom-less” parties a la Harold and Kumar. But we should really listen to what Lissa’s saying and work toward being comfortable and confident as women with saying “vagina,” “vulva” or even a euphemism when naming our own normal, perfectly beautiful genitalia. Communication breeds empowerment, and no one else is going to own your health, your sexuality and your well-being like you can. So, let’s do like Lissa and start a vagina confidence revolution. One defiant chant of “Vagina! Vagina! Vagina!” at a time.
My boyfriend has iPhone envy, and sometimes when I’m brushing my teeth and he’s already in bed, he’ll tuck into my New York Times or CNN apps to catch up on the day’s news. Last night, he read me this story, from The Frisky, in which Anna Sophia Martin tells her tale of a first date gone horribly wrong. Dan thought I’d get a kick out of it, because I was the Queen of Online Dating until he and I met on JDate in late ’06. While Anna had spent a few months pointing and clicking in search of a soulmate, I spent a few years scouring guys’ profiles in Boston, L.A., Chicago and New York. I was even bi at one point—coastal, that is. And all I can say is, I feel the girl’s pain—and her pride.
Anna went out with a guy named Dan who sported “a round, waffle-sized bald patch” and 20 extra pounds (which he claimed was muscle, mmk…) She wasn’t into it. And neither was he…sort of. He chose to e-mail her after their first date to explain where he stood. He confessed that he just doesn’t have chemistry with “very curvy women.” He inquired as to whether or not she was planning to “embark on and commit to a process of a transformation”… If so, he’d be down to go out again.
As my (very unbald, extremely handsome, respectful, considerate, etc.) Dan read Anna’s tale aloud, I couldn’t help but laugh, shake my head and groan. I flashed back to various cringe-worthy or ridiculous moments of my dating career, in which I experienced similarly outrageous encounters regarding men’s superficial, unjustified expectations. A couple of my horror stories for your entertainment:
Whackadoodle Dude #1: Not long after I moved to L.A., I met Kyle* online. He was getting his Masters in New York, so I ended up flying across the country to a.) visit my friends at NYU and b.) go on several dates with Kyle. He was a theater geek who religiously watched “Battlestar Galactica” and who didn’t seem to have too many friends or much of a life outside of school. But I shrugged all that off, because he looked a bit like Fred Savage and seemed like he could be a nice Jewish guy. And he was quite the gentleman…until we were hanging out in person for the second time, and out of the blue, he said, “Promise me that you’ll never turn into a fat Jewish mom.” As you might imagine, my head nearly exploded. “WHAT did you say?” I responded. He laughed hysterically. I wasn’t amused. I hailed a cab and left him to find someone else who wouldn’t mind passive-aggressive requests regarding her bagel eating habits and circumference of her thighs 10 years from now.
Whackadoodle Dude #2: I once started chatting with a guy online who fired questions at me via IM as if I was interviewing for a six-figure corporate job. He felt he had the right to know how often I worked out, did I consider myself fit, how much I weighed? Although with that last Q, I should have just closed out of the conversation, I found myself wrapped up and trying to prove a point… That I was attractive. That I consider myself a work in progress when it comes to my fitness. (Aren’t we all?) That when it deciding whether or not to go on a first date with me, my recent, clear-as-day photos should have been enough—my body fat percentage, on the other hand, was a non-issue. Mostly I just couldn’t believe he had the audacity to request this info. He argued that he was “looking for the whole package.” Meanwhile, the guy didn’t even have a photo of himself on his profile. I didn’t waste much more than a second or two before hitting the good old X button.
I’m all about being forthright about what you want in a relationship and from a potential partner. And I don’t deny that physical attraction is crucial. But telling someone you barely know to go on a diet, hit the gym daily or vow to never become a nasty stereotype is just plain crazy. And having deliriously high standards and/or acting like finding a significant other is the same thing as placing a customized order at Starbucks is a prescription for eternal singledom. I’m really just baffled as to where these guys get off. But I’d take a wild guess that Anna’s Dan and my own delusional dates are destined to be alone until their attitudes—and likely subpar looks—seriously shape up.
*=Surprisingly, I never dated anyone with this name! So it works as a pseudonym.
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My mom likes to laugh at me sometimes, when I’m freaking out about something. She’ll tell me that I’m driving myself nuts. I don’t know about nuts, but I certainly do drive myself sick. How? I’ll worry…about everything, either situations that have already occurred or that I am convincing myself will occur. Such as, I didn’t call my friend back when I had hoped to; I want to be two places at once in order to visit with family and also go out with friends; I’m convinced I’ll miss a deadline; I fail Weight Watchers by going a week or two without journaling or exercising, etc., etc. In all of these cases, it boils down to a common theme: I’m afraid of letting others down. I am a social perfectionist, or someone who has really high expectations of herself and her success. I put myself under pressure to achieve this success, which some may argue as a good thing (I’m motivated, right?), but I definitely also believe consciously and subconsciously that my family and friends expect SuperDuperAmazingAndNothingLess! achievement from me.
I’m working on this, by first of all, setting realistic goals. But I still end up really stressed. Then, laid up with back pain, stomach pain, headaches (once, an out-of-the-blue migraine that lasted for approx. 12 hours). There’s no doubt in my mind that emotions are inextricably linked to physical ailments. My friend Carey and I talk about falling down the Stress-Sick rabbit hole all the time — she swears by acupuncture and homeopathic cures. I’m not adverse to trying those, but I’m always looking for nutrition/exercise or 10 minute strategies that I can implement easily throughout my day. That may be why I was drawn immediately to a book called So Stressed: The Ultimate Relief Plan for Women by Stephanie McClellan, M.D. and Beth Hamilton, M.D. with Diane Reverand (Free Press, 2010).
Having read it, I can’t recommend it enough to women who wonder why they’re always tired, why they’ve lost their libido, why they can’t lose weight no matter what they do or even to friends who feel fine—but would like to feel better. Because I’m currently stressed—I’ll take the opportunity to open the floor the authors, who in the below video, explain what their book is all about:
Of the four types represented in the book, I identify the most with “Hypo-S,” which McClellan and Hamilton describe as “the most common type of stress response in women.” Hypo-S is calm on the surface but easily reacts to even a small amount of stress. Hypo-S’s stress manifests in aches and pains, PMS, asthma, weight gain, lethargy. The good news is that there are lifestyle management techniques that help.
For instance, I was thrilled to read that the Exercise recommended for a Hypo-S is low-impact, rhythmically paced exercise like walking or a graduated weight resistance program (which boosts endorphins, which lead to an increased sense of well-being). Not that the Stress Docs are excusing me from high-impact aerobic exercise, but they do explain how lower impact activities may come more naturally to me, reduce pain, boost energy and improve mood and memory. Oh yes, the icing: They recommend that Hypo-S types eat a small piece of dark chocolate (70 percent or more cacao) for pain relief! Score!
Besides the free pass on my chocolate fix, I got a slew of Nutrition advice, which makes a lot of sense—like eating low-glycemic foods (to avoid my arch-nemesis, The Blood Sugar Spike-Then-Crash) and being sure to time meals to a tee (to entrain the rhythm of the stress hormone, cortisol). One piece of advice that stood out in particular: Eating a lunch that is packed with protein and complex carbs. We know that’s just healthy eating anyway, but the So Stressed Docs explain why it’s especially crucial for Hypo-S types like me: Steering clear of a lunch that is too carb-heavy hinders 2-3 p.m. konk-outage. (Used to happen to me all the time my junior year of high school. To this day, I’m amazed that Mr. O’Rourke never shoved me away in the middle of our group reading of “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.”)
Then, there are “Restoration” techniques for each stress type. As a Hypo-S, I should focus on diaphragmatic breathing, cognitive therapy and aromatherapy (I learned that it’s helpful that I’m already a fan of “parasympathetic activity-boosting” lavender oil).
Overall, So Stressed arms its readers with advice that is tailored, interesting, logical and easy to act on. That’s why I really have to remind myself to refer back to it, as if it’s a genuine prescription. Because taking care of myself in this completely whole way is not just about stress-relief—it’s about avoiding sickness and attaining true vitality. Neither of which are unrealistic goals, if you ask me.
We all know it’s not smart to reach for a Twix when you’re tweaking out over impending deadlines. Or to retreat to a pint of Rocky Road because your life feels like one. But, what about in reverse? Is it OK if your favorite foods make you feel a certain way? I personally can’t help but associate various emotions with some of my favorite foods. Likely because I associate these foods with pleasant memories. But, I think it’s perfectly natural. Here, from little blue fruits to bigger blue scoops, a few, healthy summery foods that have the keys to my heart.
I can’t walk into Whole Foods without picking up 2 pints of blueberries. I mean, it’s 2 for $5. It’s not just a tasty, tart fruit I’m buying. With every handful, I’m getting a dose of sentimentality. Growing up in the Chicago ‘burbs, my family and I would vacation about an hour and a half north in South Haven, Michigan. The lakeside town is where my great-grandpa owned a farm and my grandma went to a little red school house. It’s known for its homemade ice cream (Sherman’s), lighthouses and fruit farms, many of which grow blueberries. When I was little, my parents took us to the “U Pick” blueberry farms, so we could wander the fields and well, pick our own. We’d come back to Chicagoland with crates of berries. (I have a feeling we didn’t pick all of them. Sneaky parents!) I miss South Haven, but I still inhale pints of blueberries all season long. Health bonus: Everyone knows blueberries are packed with antioxidants. They even make you smart!
Tzatziki chills me out
If you’ve ever seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding, you know that the Windy City is home to a large Greek population. I grew up with a lot of Greek friends and often dined out on Greek fare. I’d dig into a chicken gyro at Mindy’s BBQ or sit down for dolmades and baklava at Greek Islands. But, to this day, my favorite Greek meze (appetizer) is tzatziki, made of strained Greek yogurt, cucumber, garlic, EVOO and lemon juice. It’s creamy, it’s cooling and it’s just plain delicious. Pair it with warmed pita or souvlaki chicken, and I’ll be in bliss. I mean, who needs ouzo anyway? Health bonuses: Greek yogurt is packed with filling protein and cucumbers are said to remove accumulated pockets of old waste material and chemical toxins. Garlic is a natural antibiotic and boosts immunity.
Ice cream brings me joy
It just does. Second to chocolate, ice cream is the food that I would confess my undying love to. I’m especially partial to homemade, Mom and Pop-style ice cream. Maybe that’s because I remember eating scoops of drippy, delectable blue moon at Sherman’s (in South Haven) with my family. And key lime pie cones at Oink’s (in New Buffalo, MI) with my best friend. In Palos Park, friends and neighbors would stand in line at The Plush Horse for peppermint or peanut butter chocolate. My college friends and I would congregate for cookies and cream at J.P. Licks on Newbury Street. This past weekend, I begged Dan to go to Van Dyk’s in Ridgewood. I pouted, he caved. I had a cup of mint Oreo. With chocolate sprinkles. What can I say? Ice cream equals frozen happiness. Health bonus: A hefty dose of calcium, which helps control blood pressure, reduces the risk of colon cancer, puts a damper on PMS, and may lower the chances of developing kidney stones.
No, not in that way. Although, if it was made with oysters, I guess it could have a libidinous effect! I just love the colorful presentation of sashimi, sushi and maki. Even if it’s served sans fancy sushi boat, raw fish wrapped in seaweed and rice reminds me of evenings spent giggling with my little sister and friends. There’s so much anticipation involved in a sushi dinner. Is that spicy tuna going to burn my tongue off? How does sweet mango mix with fresh tuna and creamy avocado? If you’re lucky, the flavors dance together on your tongue. Health bonus: Salmon and tuna in rolls provide omega-3 fatty acids, which help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Wasabi could be anti-carcinogenic.
What summer foods make you warm and fuzzy?
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I was walking into my apartment last night. I was feeling good! I looked cute!…And then the most beautiful woman in the history of the world walked out of my building…I realized that not only was I not as beautiful as that woman, there was no amount of plastic surgery that could ever make me as beautiful as that woman…And my first thought was, “fuck you, bitch, I hate you.”
Upon doing some girl-talk investigation, Wright discovered that it’s second nature for most women’s claws to come out when encounter a hotter woman. But, haven’t we all known this since junior high? I vividly recall actively hating on a girl who was deemed the hottest chick in 8th grade. (It wasn’t just her looks; she also constantly tried to one-up me with her big mouth. Psh, that’s what really got me!)
This post got me thinking about how we’re not out of the junior high woods when it comes to women instinctively despising other women based on their weight. Sadly, most people, even those carrying around a few extra pounds, are a wee bit weight-ist. According to this news story from 2008, ‘weight-ism,’ defined as bias against people who are overweight, is more actually more prevalent than racism.
Someone in my life (we’ll call them Vit Riol*) is openly weight-ist. This person is of the impression that all overweight people have simply chosen to live an unhealthy lifestyle. Vit may encounter an overweight person in public and immediately declare them repulsive, pathetic, weak, lacking self-control or a “slob.” I’ll come to the stranger’s defense, arguing that hey, maybe they have a thyroid/depression/genetic issue. Or news flash! Maybe they’re happy not being twig-thin.
That’s not to say that I’m not guilty of weight-ism. It doesn’t make it right, but seeing a woman toting extra poundage may make me cringe as it reminds me of version of myself that I am deeply uncomfortable with. Full disclosure on something I’m not that proud of: On Memorial Day weekend, I was at the beach and saw a very large woman confidently striding along the shore in a mono-kini, and I couldn’t help but cringe and think, “What the hell is she thinking?” As much as I preach acceptance and love for various body types, I looked at this woman and immediately drew 1,000 conclusions about her. I justified my thoughts by noting to my beach buddies, “I just don’t know if that suit is appropriate for her shape.”
I wasn’t advocating that she walk around in a fugly skirt-suit, but maybe just something a little more modest. I realize now that I was so uncomfortable with her flagrant display of flesh, because having grown up chubs, I’ve always (consciously or subconsciously) abided by certain Mother-Approved Chubby Girl Fashion Rules. Like, Rule #14. Wearing black makes you look thinner. Rule #50. Wearing white or horizontal stripes makes you look fatter. Rule #31. Pick the one-piece, solid (preferably dark) colored Miraclesuit instead of the lime paisley mono-kini. The bottom-line: Part of my body-image-bruised brain had trouble adding up that someone who appears overweight would even think to defy the Chubby Girl Fashion Rules.
I guess we all have our own reasons for judging others based on their appearances, but all of these reasons likely have their roots in our own insecurity. Are we beautiful enough? Are we fit enough? Maybe the answer to weight-ism is minding our own business and loving ourselves a bit more. What do you think?
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I love this:
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. –Gandhi
Hoping your Fourth of July weekend is filled with happiness and light!
To start, here’s a clip from last night’s spectacular fireworks show in Verona, NJ.
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