I read an awesome essay the other day called Fat in Every Language by Jonatha Kottler. In it she shared her experience of having lost a whole lot of weight and working for a company for weight loss, being praised for it all the time, etc. She struggles with her self image even though she has a husband that thinks she is sexy as she put it. She gave some examples of things that hurt her, like making an effort to bring back a toy from the US for her neighbor’s child. The child asked, ” Mom why she was so fat?” She said ” She is a fat lady but don’t say so.”She was also asked by a complete stranger at a movie theatre if she was really going to eat all that popcorn. She listed all the beings she has in her life that love her but concluded, what has to change is how many f***s I give about all this.
And that’s my question. How can I stop caring so much about what I look like. Is it the aging, or all the expectations society burdens women with? I think I need to be brave and just kick up some attitude. I went to a family event, it was a high school fashion show and one girl, who I say is brave and beautiful, truly, had some rolls show through the gown she had designed and sewn herself. But she strutted confidently and I thought, “Man, I don’t think I could ever do that!” But wouldn’t you know it. I had two women, clearly in their 40’s sitting in the row in front of me snickering and laughing. I was infuriated, but did not want to make a scene. It was and is upsetting. Looking back, I wish I had just leaned forward and said, “You are being rude, knock it off.”
The second entry of my writings shares an incident in which I worked with a consultant for our business. We sell cars if you are wondering. The young man said, you should do a video. My girlfriend is a model, so she can come in and do the video. This was, as in, she would do the video with my husband, when he and I are the owners. It crushed me. All the negative thoughts flooded my head, like a loud radio of annoying rock music. Am I too old (then 47), too fat, too unattractive? So much noise went off. That’s when I decided to take a good look at myself from the outside and dive inside. Am I overly sensitive?, I don’t think so. The irony is that in a society where we find ourselves being sensitive to not offending this person or that group, we have lost our ability to empathize with others. Just like the two women mentioned earlier, just because they did not have rolls down their backs, could they ever imagine walking down a runway, knowing that there are people out there snickering and mocking? Do they have anyone in their life that may be overweight, and know the obstacles they face, simply based on looks?
Like Jonatha, I too have a loving husband, kids and friends that love me, and 2 really great dogs that really, really love me! Seriously- they get me! (If we could be more like dogs, who love us without judgement, it would be simple and lovely AND LOVING.) And yet, either because I’m aging, or because while I wait in the grocery store line, society dictates what women should look like, I do care about “looking good for my age.” But it doesn’t stop there. I care about how out of rhythm society is about our humaneness, and what really matters. How about a person’s positive contributions? Productiveness? Talent? Compassion? These attributes come INSIDE all kinds of body types. But it seems like society has stopped right at the line of , “what do you look like?” to measure people. I can see how easy it is to get self absorbed ( not to be confused with self care) when you are trying to attain a physical goal. What’s important is that you don’t let that physical goal , which is such a tiny representative of who you are, consume you. Be an example, give off positive energy, confidence and even some attitude when the moment strikes. Train your eye to look beyond the LOOKS and focus what really is important when you look in that mirror.
Day 264- Eating much better and feeling much better. Love my Family AND my dogs! Thank you for stopping by my blog today. I hope something in it made you reflect on something positive.