Opened windows & broken glass.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"I love this top! ... But I shouldn't buy another thing until I reach my goal weight," she said, hanging it back on the rack.

"I really want pictures of my family," she said, "but I'm not getting in front of a camera until I lose at least 15lbs." As is often the case, her weight loss couldn't keep up with the ever-turning pages of her life. It's been years, and as far as I know she is still holding off on family portraits.

"I can't believe I'm not where I want to be yet," she moaned. "I hear you," I replied. "For years I've heard you. But if you don't make this less of a priority, you're going to be a 90-year-old waging war on the last five pounds."

As a person who used to struggle with her weight, I'm clearly not suggesting anyone give up their healthful aspirations. I simply want to pose the question, are they healthy? Because obsessing about anything is not. (Definition of "obsessed" here = anything that takes up more energy and concern than it really ought.) Women are bombarded by images from every angle of what they "should be," when most of it is smoke and mirrors and none of it matters a fraction of its given priority.

Women across the world should be outraged at the lies that we are being fed on a daily basis. Because that's what it is.

We'll pretend for a quick second that it's not. The truth remains that a 155lb woman who swears she'd be exactly where she's always wanted if she "just lost 15lbs" (sound familiar?) probably isn't going to be any happier when she reaches 140. Kind of like how a person who banks their hopes of happiness on earning six-figures will likely never be any happier than they are with five.

(---to which I might add, "the way you CURRENTLY are.")
Image courtesy of Pinterest

Laugh, if you will, at the counter-intuitiveness of everything society has ever told the 21st-century was desirable and worthy of investing our lives in. And then realize I'm right.

I spoke with a woman today who no longer has fingerprints due to excessive chemotherapy. I recently watched a documentary about the man with a swelling 12lb tumor cascading from his overtaken face. And then there was that time I once made the mistake of google-image searching "birth defects" (I'm not recommending it). Meanwhile, perfectly healthy, uniquely beautiful girls---myself at times included---look in the mirror and agonize over the size of their hips. Or their chest. Or their waist. Or the texture of their hair. Or the shade of their skin, the circumference of their calves, the size of their eyes, the shape of their nose...

Women of the world, you've been robbed of something priceless. That something is called contentment. And quite frankly you ought to be livid.

So how do you negate lies? By speaking truth. The truth is that almost no one meets the world's unrealistic standards of beauty. Out of the group that does, many of them have paid an immense price for it by allowing it to consume their careers, their bank accounts, their relationships, their identity... their daily lives. (My goal isn't to judge these women, but to expose the reality of what I believe to be their situations.) And I don't believe that any of them---not one---are solely happy (if truly happy at all) because of it. Because at the end of the day, it always comes down to what does and does not matter.

The conversations at the top of this entry really happened with women I really care about. And when their voices all started to come together, it made me a depth of sad and outraged I can't explain.


"Trust me, perfect should try to be you." -Bo Burnham


No comments :

Post a Comment

Proudly designed by Mlekoshi pixel perfect web designs