Who Says I’m not Beautiful?

Kevin, Ruby and I are headed to Las Vegas this afternoon for a couple of days.  We’re taking Ruby to the roller rink and going to a movie and eating at my favorite restaurant. And I get to go to the thrift store. And Target to buy a yoga kit. And new socks! And I’m getting my hair cut! Good times ahead.

* * *

If you lived during a time when the social concept of a beautiful, sexy woman was this:

Or maybe this:

Would you still think you needed to lose weight?

It’s hard to accept that our ideas about body image are almost entirely shaped by social constructs. They are managed by people and corporations who are monetarily committed to keeping American women from feeling thin enough. (What would happen to Weight Watchers, Curves, Jillian Michaels and the whole shelf of diet drink/pill/mix/bar makers at my grocery store, if we all suddenly decided that Lillian Russell (the top photo) had an acceptable shape. In her time, she was considered one of the most beautiful women alive.)

It’s hard to accept that our ideas about health might be manipulated by the very agencies that we trust to guide us toward longevity.

It’s easy to blame yourself for being fat. If you were strong enough, had enough will-power, remembered that food is not meant to be enjoyed, sweated more–then you’d be thin.

Is thin the right goal, though? Are thin and healthy interchangeable terms?

What if you decided to make a few changes, to increase your health.

So you started exercising. Not to lose weight, but because when you do, you have more energy. And it gets your body systems working together more peacefully. And when you do, you get stronger. And when you’re stronger, you have the energy to do fun things. (Remember being a kid, when being hot and sweaty and totally used up meant that you’d have the Most Fun Ever?)

And you eat more fiber, because it helps your belly feel better. And expand your taste palate to include more vegetables, because they’re full of vitamins and other things that make you feel good. You eat enough, but don’t feel compelled to eat past being full.

After a while, your doctor tells you that you’ve improved your blood pressure, your predisposition to diabetes is under control and your cholesterol is enviable. You’re strong enough to run races most people can’t. Maybe even something really impressive, like a marathon or a long triathlon.

But you still aren’t skinny.

Was it worth it? Are you crushed for not meeting society’s dictate that you owe it thinness?

It’s time for a revolution. Who’s in?



1 Comment

Filed under body

One response to “Who Says I’m not Beautiful?

  1. I’m in. 😀 Great blog.

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