Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Thoughts at 9 A.M..........

Beauty........Just what is beautiful?...............................And is it worth dying for?

I was born in the late seventies with my mother wearing bell bottoms and funky peace signs. I grew up in the eighties and nineties watching her painstakingly adjust her shoulder pads and fluff out her permed monstrosity she called a hair do. I remember "Sweating To The Oldies" with my mother in our guest room turned ala workout studio. I remember my mom squeezing herself into too tight of shiny black spandex and thick white sweat bands working out, trying like all get out to achieve a body image much like Olivia Newton John. I remember her fad diets and her exuberant smile when the pounds melted off. But mostly I remember her disappointment that even after all of the hard work and diets that her body never looked like Olivia's. No matter how hard she tried. She felt bad. She felt inadequate.

I also remember looking at my Barbie doll and wishing that I too would look as fantastic when I grew up. That my kinky red hair would turn a gorgeous shade of platinum blonde, that my freckled pasty skin would one day have that "Florida tan", that my boobs would stand out without a bra, and mostly that I would have a tiny little waist that would compliment my perfectly balanced and yet adorable tip toed feet.....

I was devastated when my mom explained to me at the tender age of seven (after I called my 57 lb body fat) that no, I would never look like a Barbie doll. Because Barbie was made of plastic and that wasn't what a real woman's body looked like....Looking back on it, I wonder why that same process of thought hadn't occurred to her that she would never look like Olivia Newton John either, because my mom had a different woman's body type. We were both stuck in a viscous cycle of hating  and punishing our bodies to make them appear to be something they could never be...perfect.

I truly believe that a driving force, but not the only force, of having eating disorders do come from the ridiculous ideals of what we believe being beautiful is. Now a days, we have models that look more like heroin addicts rather than real and healthy women. Clothes are paraded down red carpets on models with no curves, no breasts, no hips. Actresses are constantly told to lose weight to appear smaller on film. Magazines broadcast tiny framed women with skeletal shoulder blades and frail arms making their heads seem large and cartoonish. Their frames resemble prepubescent boys rather than women. It infuriates me. I remember growing up when models like Cindy Crawford were thought of as beautiful. In reality, she is much slimmer than the average woman and yet, today she would be considered a plus size model. She is a size 10.

 Why we take such direction from some of the clothing designers (male especially), or critics that point out just is wrong with our bodies is a mystery to me. I mean, have you seen these people? Why in the hell would I take beauty advice from someone who has so much collagen in their lips that they could double as flotation devices or have had so much plastic surgery that they can no longer close their eyes properly? What does a man know about having a woman's body? How it moves? How it ages? How it changes after children or puberty, even?

Then we go a step further and actually "fat shame" other women ourselves. We have bought into this facade of what beauty means and we perpetuate it on others. How dare she gain fifteen extra pounds! How dare she wear that too tight of shirt! Why is that fat girl not eating a salad!?!

We judge others on such paltry things such as breast size, butt shape, the diameter of the waist. We are so obsessed with weight that there are literally millions of dollars being made at our expense so we can shrivel up further to meet an image that was never really real to begin with. Why do we do it?

The old joke of a woman asking her husband if her dress makes her look fat or if her pants make her ass look fat is only funny because it is true. We judge ourselves and fear others will to, simply by how our butt looks in a pair of jeans. God forbid we actually have an ass to begin with. We wouldn't want to be known as a "fat ass".

We judge ourselves. Looking down in the mirror with our foreheads wrinkled and mouth twisted with a grimace as we pinch our stomach rolls or fatty tissues blaming and shaming ourselves for not looking more like a Victoria's Secret model. It makes no difference in our eyes that those rolls have been earned by actually living, giving birth, medications, or what have you. We hate them and worse, we hate ourselves for still carrying them around.

We tell our children that they are beautiful no matter what and yet we do not hold ourselves to those same standards. Children aren't stupid. They repeat what they see and they do what we do.

If I had a dime for every time I read a facebook post from a teenage girl claiming how ugly or fat she was, I would be one rich woman. These girls who are almost always thin, that spend countless hours taking selfies in the bathroom mirror, can't see their worth or their potential as a human being because they think that beauty is the only measure in which you can be counted. They only see that if they turn sideways they are not translucent and therefore they feel they are still not good enough.

It is ridiculous that we hold ourselves to these unrealistic expectations. Especially, when those people we see on tv and magazines and movies cant hold themselves to those expectations either. That is what Photoshop and make up shading is for. We have unknowingly created an epidemic of women hating their bodies, hating themselves, and believing that they are not beautiful because of what the scale says. Now I know, that eating disorders are not just about that. There is other things at play, but the media does not help. We have become a world obsessed with beauty, weight, and dress size. And we have become delusional to the point where we actually feel that those three things are inherently connected. The dysfunction starts with younger and younger girls. They learn to despise their bodies early on from ages of three to five. They continue to hate themselves and their looks all through their lives never realizing that no one can stand up to these expectations. Models starve themselves, actresses have plastic surgeries and special diets. We live in a world where the average female adult is a size 14. Our actresses tend to range from size 2-4. Our runway models are a size 0. We are told we have to look a certain way, act a certain way, dress a certain way or we are just not good enough. We are not beautiful.

 And I know that although eating disorders aren't just about the public's view of women, I truly believe it helps promote shame and misguided self views. Since birth when we are made to feel inadequate simply because we may take more than one yard of material to make a garment that fits us. We hold ourselves so low that we actually feel less than because our dress size isn't what the media says it should be.

We constantly talk about praising ourselves as women and yet each day we look in the mirror and we do the exact opposite. We aren't celebrating ourselves and our worth as women, we are condemning ourselves. We are shaming ourselves. We have forgotten that beauty doesn't rely on how fat our ass is or how pouchy our stomachs have become. Beauty is in our strength, our compassion, our intelligence, our bodies are beautiful. We make and carry children with them. And we make milk for those children with them. We hold our loved ones with them. We can be firefighters, and doctors, and teachers, and soldiers, astronauts, and stay at home moms, and bloggers, and scientists, and anything we ever dreamed....with our beautiful magnificent bodies....that we take for granted. Because we have the nerve to have more than just a jutting hip bone for thighs.

We keep calling models curvy....where the hell are the curves? I keep looking. I don't see how that word applies to them. Can someone point them out to me? Because curves don't mean hip bones and shoulder joints. It means glorious fat under the skin thus forming a rounded shape...A.K.A curves.

Fundamentally it shouldn't matter what size you are, what body shape you have, or what the scale says. Beauty is not a number. Not a number on a scale, nor an age, nor a dress size. Beauty has nothing to do with mathematics or the garment industry. Beauty is who you are as a person and your belief in your own personal worth. That's it. That is all beauty is. It's love and compassion and the small things you do everyday to help others. It is not a make up brand or a high heel. It is what you carry on the inside.

When we have little girls telling their mommies that they are fat, there is a problem. When we have teenagers worrying more about waist size rather than getting a good education, there is a problem. When these young women and children start starving themselves to be thin, there is a problem. When we sit in a dressing room calling ourselves ugly defaming names because the tiny swim suit makes us hate ourselves, there is a problem. We are worth so much more than that.

When did we start lying to ourselves that healthy means rail thin? Being grossly over weight isn't healthy but neither is being underweight.

Our bodies are our bodies. We don't need to compare them or make labels for them. They aren't a music genre. They are our flesh and bone. They are a part of us and it is high time we stop letting other people tell us that they aren't the magnificent creations they are. Whether you are a size 0 or a size 47, you are beautiful. Whether you have small breasts or large breasts, you are beautiful. Whether you have a fat ass or no ass at all. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!

Being fat isn't disgusting. Being thin isn't the most important thing in life. Being healthy does not mean starving yourself.

You already have the beauty you think you are lacking. It is in the scars that you have, in the flaws that make you unique, in the smile lines around your eyes, in the strength of your personality, in the life that you are living. You don't need to kill yourself to be what you already are. Own your body. Love it. Accept it because it is beautiful and you deserve to know the truth. You are already what you are seeking. Own it.

Neurotic Nelly


  1. Amen!!!! I am totally guilty of feeling not so good about myself- I am trying to be more confident for my girls because they look up to me!! I definitely need to drop some pounds- I am overweight, but I always need to show my girls that there are different times in your live that you struggle and that you are still beautiful no matter what!!! Great post lovely lady!!!

    1. Thank you so much Savanna! I too need to lose some weight and am in the process of trying (yuck) lol but I know that me losing weight does not affect my beauty. It only affects my health because I am diabetic. It only affects the size of clothes I buy. I think especially we as women get so caught up in size and weight that we forget the more important things about ourselves. We are women and we a re beautiful. It does not matter what dress size we wear. we really need to continue to pass that message onto our children because they repeat our actions more than we realize. If we judge ourselves because of weight, they will too.