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Archive for the ‘Women’s Issues’ Category

While browsing the news as I do every morning, I came across this article. Go read it, I’ll wait. Back? Are you as pissed off as I am? It is disheartening that there will be a TV show in which women compete to have major surgery to alter their body for no medically necessary reason. I have no doubt that E! will have no shortage of applications to sift through to pick the “lucky” contestants. This is Bridezillas meets The Swan. Just for curiosity’s sake, I did a quick google search for “plastic surgery iPhone apps.” The fact that these exist as well says a lot about society as a whole.

What saddens and frustrates me is that so many women will apply to be on this show. The average size of women is a size 14, yet some women still feel the need to try to reach some unattainable goal. It’s disturbing to me that a woman may have such a distorted self body image that she feels the need to go on this type of show to look “perfect” for her wedding. And what about the women that get voted off before their plastic surgery wish list is complete? What will they do then? Call me crazy, but the fact that these women are engaged must mean that their fiances accept them for who they are and how they look right now, imperfections and all. As well they should.

I’m overweight and have spent the majority of my life dealing with weight and self-esteem issues. I understand wanting to feel “perfect.” The difference is, I’ve redefined what perfect is to me. I don’t need to be a size 0 to feel good about myself. Yes, I’ve started a weight loss program, but it’s not to satisfy someone else’s vision of how I should look. It’s for health reasons. I’ll lose the weight I need to lose not to be accepted by people, but to live long enough to see my son graduate from high school. To see him finish college, get married, have children. I want to live to spend decades with the people who are important in my life. Obviously I’m not going to complain about being a smaller size, but I am happy with myself no matter my weight. I haven’t always been that way, and I participated in some pretty self-destructive behavior in my past in a misguided attempt to make myself feel better. Thankfully I recognized it, got the help I needed and accepted myself as-is and didn’t go on some perverse reality TV show. I have to wonder what the women who will end up on this show will look back tens years from now and think.

We don’t need plastic surgery reality shows. What we need is for women to start ignoring what the fashion industry, hollywood and magazines tells us the perfect body is. We need to learn to look in the mirror and love what we see, flaws and all.

When I look in the mirror I see fat where it shouldn’t be. I see breasts that are too small for a woman who wears the size I wear. I see a stomach that I don’t think will ever be flat. I see arm flab and fat elbows that make me not want to wear sleeveless or short-sleeved shirts. I see legs full of varicose veins, fat knees, fat ankles and cellulite. I see thighs that rub together when I walk. But? I also see a woman who gave birth to a fabulous child. I see a woman who does wear sleeveless and short-sleeved shirts. I see a woman who wears shorts despite the varicose veins, fat knees, ankles and cellulite. I see a woman who, faults and all, is confident and holds her head up high. I see a woman who has a fabulous man to share her life with, and a woman who doesn’t need that man to make her happy. She has learned that happiness comes from within and seeking outside sources to satisfy the need to be happy never works. Sure, I have times when my self-esteem takes a hit. I’m human. And that’s the point. We’re human. We are not perfect. There is no such thing as the perfect body. We need to learn to embrace ourselves and love ourselves. Our whole selves. Even the parts we don’t like.

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