Wednesday, May 19, 2010

#102 Finding Your "Own" Loveliness

Why do I desire to be thin? To be honest, because I like the way I look and feel when I am "thin". Right now, thin would be 132 pounds. I presently weigh 139 pounds. When I got married 20 years ago, my thin was 126 pounds. Let me say here, it's not that I want to be 126 pounds or 132 pounds. It's just that when I felt my best, my most attractive, my healthiest and happiest with the way I looked and felt in my clothing, I got on the scale and those were the numbers. I didn't work towards those numbers, those numbers reflected my body at that time. Although I try not to let numbers rule my life, the scale does play a pretty large role. My scale and I are friends though, not enemies. How do I feel about 139 lbs? At 48 years old, with 2 children and a sluggish thyroid being treated with medication, pretty damn good. Not totally satisfied, to be truthful, but happy. I continue to try to improve upon my physique with exercise and healthy eating; however, I do these things to attain the body in which I feel best, not a body that I've see in a magazine.

The media play a very large role in how women think they should look. Models are stick thin, and actresses, if not stick thin, are extremely svelte [to be kind]. If it's really true that TV puts ten pounds on you, well then, some of those actresses must be emaciated because on the television they appear [very] thin. Let us remember, their livelihoods are based on how good they look. They spend hours a day working on their bodies, not just with exercising and grooming, but massaging them, regulating their diets, spray tanning to hide flaws... and lest we forget, potentially nipping, tucking and lifting. Plus, they have personal chefs and nutritionists on staff to help them eat well. How can we non-Hollywood, non-runway ladies attain perfection when having a "perfect body" includes knowing someone with an airbrush? No matter how "perfect" they get in real life, what we see in a magazine has been "played" with.

If society slowly begins showing untouched "normal" sized women in print ads and "normal" sized women on television, would our vision of ourselves change too? In a sense, yes. In another sense, no. If these new "larger" women are the new standard for beauty, I think we would still aspire to look like them. However, we just might find more women trying to gain weight instead of starving themselves to look like them.

It's so ridiculous, though. Why do we try to be someone to whom we are not ethnically or chronologically or genetically alike? This is what it really comes down to. We need to aspire to our "own" greatness and not that of someone else. If you are 5'2", how can you ever hope to look like the model who is 5'11"? If you are from an Hispanic ancestry that for generations has been popping out black haired, black eyed beauties, you are just setting yourself up for heartache and years of frustration if you are trying to be a red head with freckles. I have a friend who is blond and blue-eyed. She went to a university in Texas where a large majority of the girls were blond and blue-eyed, and it was the brunettes and girls with dark complexions who stood out and were sought out. We should look at ourselves as our measure. We know when we are looking and feeling and dressing our best. Let's follow that feeling. Let's strive for our own loveliness and not someone else's.

If you've ever loved another, you know that you accept them for their wonderful qualities as well as their faults. You try not to be judgmental. You don't expect them to be what they aren't, nor what they can't be. Your love for them allows them to be themselves. Well, see yourself with those eyes, those non judgmental eyes. Not the eyes of someone who wants to love that person if only they were...

photos: Marc and [me 28 years old], Marc and [me 48 years old]

Quote of the Day: Do not judge yourself harshly. Without mercy for ourselves we cannot love the world" Buddha


Weighting Around said...

I guess there are always things we'd like to change about ourselves. I've always wanted straight, shiny Pantene type hair instead of my unruly curls and I am sure there are plenty of people who would trade with me in a heartbeat if they were able. We just need to accept who we are and be the best we can be.

Jeanie said...

Good thoughts on the role the media plays in how we see ourselves. Even at 62 I am not immune to it. Interestingly, you and I weigh pretty much exactly the same. I am 5'6", and I would like to weigh 135, but I don't want it enough apparently because I never stay there if I get there. I am pretty much satisfied if I stay under 140. When I gain, I gain in my middle and need to be much better about physical exercise to control that. That is my current goal.

Marc said...

Really nicely written Bobbie. I am so glad I don't have that tattoo on my left arm anymore. What was I trying to prove? Who was I trying to be? Certainly not my lovely self. LOL