Body Shaming: When Will It End?

Body Snark Free Zone Sign

Body Snark Free Zone Sign (Photo credit: The Lingerie Addict)

Ok, so this isn’t a post about alcoholism or addiction in the sense of drugs and booze, but this is a post related to the addiction with body image of which most of us are probably unaware.  I watched a video of images a young girl (or any female for that matter) are subjected to in the course of a day.  The video was time warped into about a minute, but I got the idea.  Apparently, if a woman isn’t either a size zero walking on a runway or built like Marilyn Monroe from yesteryear she really isn’t a woman at all.

That’s bullshit.

The most disturbing part of all this is when I read the comments on articles or Facebook posts, it is women attacking other women! WTF Ladies! Get your heads out of your fat, skinny or otherwise perfect asses and wake the hell up!

The media is destroying us with commercials, unhealthy diets  and ridiculous clothing.  When that doesn’t work we resort to plastic surgery.  There are so many items for women to make themselves “look perfect.”

  • make-up
  • skin tightener
  • bras that make boobs look bigger
  • panties that make butts look bigger
  • girdles and cinches that make waists look smaller
  • high heels
  • hair dye
  • plastic surgery

Those are just a handful of items.

I have small boobs.  I HATE my boobs.  But the thought of actually having objects inserted into my breasts to make them appear bigger so I can feel like “I fit in” is disturbing on a myriad of levels.  I have actually entertained the thought a number of times because even watching the news in the morning can fuck up my whole day.

Then I turn the news off and drive to work.  When I get to work, I walk by the magazine rack: more images of air-brushed, photo-shopped women with heaving bosoms and blinding, perfect smiles.

Then I am at my desk.  I have to go online to do some research for my job.  Commence pop-up ads of “have a flat stomach in ten days” and “diet without exercise” and women with “curvy shapes.”

Fuck you.

And my email homepage?  Fuggedaboutit.  I was on there today and the top news articles were about actresses and other famous (or moderately famous) women ‘baring bikini bods’ or ‘rocking their curves’ or ‘so and so wows in skimpy dress.’

So this is what I, a 40 year old woman, go through on a daily basis.  I cannot fathom what young women and girls go through today; what my daughters go through today.  It’s disturbing to know that women cannot ‘just be.’  We can’t just be beautiful because we are who we are.  We (me included) point out the flaws when someone compliments us: Thanks, but…

Or we point out the flaws in other women because their beauty makes us uncomfortable and we ‘don’t measure up.’

 When did the media decide body shaming is a great idea and when did we, as the human race, buy into their crap?

I don’t know and quite frankly, I don’t think anyone knows.

What do you think?

Advertisements

Sometimes Being Honest… Is Dumb.

A zebra crossing in Abbey Road, London. This s...

Crosswalks - not for display purposes only.

We’ve all heard the term honesty is the best policy.  Since we are tiny tots hell bent on getting our fair share of cookies and milk, we are taught to tell the truth, do the right thing… blah freaking blah.

But then one day, we are taught to fib, to lie, to bend the truth a little.  We are taught that even though little Rosie is being a total selfish brat, we should smile and play along.

Ok, so which is it?  And when did all this political correctness crap start anyway?

Yesterday I was driving up the street (no, not down) and this chic, probably in her early twenties, decides to start moseying across the middle of the street.  Never mind there are four lanes of traffic coming at her in both directions.  She didn’t dash, or jog or move in any expeditious manner.  She moseyed. Strolled. Snailed along.

So there I am cruising along doing about 2 miles under the speed limit and I and three other lanes of traffic have to slow down so she can get across.  In my sick, twisted mind I punch the gas for like less than a second (I know, I know, I am going to hell) and then let up.

I say to my boyfriend in the car: “Should I punch it?” As I give the car gas and then immediately let off.

My boyfriend asked me what the hell was the matter with me.  Of course, I got defensive.

“ME?! What the hell is the matter with her?”

“Wow.”

“Ok, so she gets to cross in the middle of the street basically breaking the law and if I hit her for whatever reason, I am the guilty one because I didn’t have control of my vehicle.  Never mind the fact that she SHOULD. NOT. BE. IN. THE. MIDDLE OF THE STREET!!” Yeah, I over-reacted … a lot.

It felt good to freak out, and I would never run someone over with my car.  I have certainly made a metal note to keep some thoughts to myself.  Because, believe it or not, sometimes honesty is not the best policy.

Maybe being politically correct does have some benefits, after all.

So, sorry lady for trying to scare the begeebees out of you.  On a “could have been worse” note, I could have been flying down the road yapping on my cellphone and not even seen you.

Is there anything that really gets under your skin that, looking back, you over-reacted to?

Twenties

When i was in my twenties, I was an idiot.  I’m not sure why some people in their twenties (like my upstairs neighbors) lose capacity for rational thinking.  It could be the surge of hormones and the raging desire to do things that, at the time, seem cool.  Things like, renting out your apartment as a party spot.  This is not only stupid, but dangerous.

Thankfully, I made it to thirty-seven.  I can now look back at the ridiculous acts I committed and stunts I pulled, and shake my head in sheer embarrassment much like anyone else after their moment of clarity.

I have a bright, beautiful, compassionate twenty year old daughter.  On the flip side, she is also lazy, spontaneous to a fault, and lacks common sense at times.  This makes her guilty of nothing a million other twenty somethings, past, present and future, are not equally guilty of.

While I’d like to paint a picture of myself as that standout, mature composed twenty something, I was much more stupid than my daughter (thankfully) and can pass on valuable information to her and anyone else that will listen.

I know we all need to go through our share of turmoil and frustration.  After all, it is not the successes we learn from, but the failures.  There is, however, a fine line between stupid, and really freaking stupid.

This brings me to my upstairs neighbors.  Who, in thirty days, will no longer be my upstairs neighbors.  This sits bitter-sweetly with me.  I wish greatly that there were no others involved in the eviction that the family upstairs received this morning.  I hope for their sake the mother/wife gets her act together.

It was Saturday night and my boyfriend was at his second job.  I had off from my second job this weekend because it was my Saturday night to have dinner with my daughter.  I got home from seeing my daughter around 7:30 to the sounds of loud music and voices.  No biggie.  It was only 7:30 pm.  I dashed out the door to meet some old friends I hadn’t seen in years. We ate, laughed and parted ways about 9:30.  I came back home to louder music and banging.  It was getting late, and I was slightly annoyed.  But it was before 10 pm.

My boyfriend came through the door at 10:15 pm.  The noise was still unbearable and we just gave each other a “this is ridiculous” look and discussed who would go up and knock to tell them to please keep it down if it continued.  We even dug out the copy of the lease to make sure we were not overreacting.  Right there in the lease it stated: “No loud music, noise or banging that infringes on the comfort of neighboring tenants”.

I was elected.  My boyfriend said it’d be good for me since I am terrible at confrontation. After rolling my eyes along with various reasons why I disagreed, I went to go chat with the upstairs neighbors.

As I climbed the steps, I could see the overhead light on in the parlor.  The blinds were cracked and hanging lopsided and there were empty beer cans on the small landing outside the door.  The music was annoyingly loud and I realized at that moment I had crossed my internal threshold of age.  When I got to the landing and was able to look in the door, I saw five people sitting in various types of chairs that I had never before seen.  I knocked on the door careful to keep my face expressionless.

The twenty something kid closest to the door answered.  I stepped into the doorway slightly, but never into the apartment.  I was able to look to the left and see two more people sitting along the wall, also on mismatched chairs.  I asked where the couple was that lived there.  The kid at the door said the girl would be back.  I then asked them if they could please keep it down.  The ceilings are paper-thin, I said.  The kid said sure, I said thank you and retreated down the steps.

As I walked down the steps, the first thing that popped in my head was, who the hell are all of those people.  I had never seem any of them at the apartment.  Secondly, where the hell was the living room furniture?  I went back into my apartment, explained what I said and what I saw to my boyfriend and contemplated calling the cops.

I did not call the cops.  I didn’t feel it was police worthy.  Calling the cops would have brought flashing red and blue lights and a bunch of drama.

At about 12:30 am, the girl came home and my boyfriend lunged off the couch.  He flung the door open and yelled something like, “Yo, can you keep it down? It’s after midnight and it’s freaking loud.”
She apologized, went up the steps and several minutes later, it was quiet.  She came stomping down the stairs a while later and my boyfriend looked out the door to see her get back in her car with an open beer can.

The noise started again, and went on until 2:30 am, intermittently.

My boyfriend and I decided that we needed to tell the landlord in the morning.  We went to the convenience store he owns, and sure enough he was standing at the end of the deli counter where he often times is every morning.  We told him everything that transpired and he said, “That’s it.  They’re getting an eviction notice.”

The boyfriend knocked on our door this morning and asked what happened.  Apparently, they were served the eviction shortly after we went to talk to the landlord.  It turns out that he and she were living together but separated.  She doesn’t work and he can’t afford to get his own place.  This explained to me why there were numerous men over the apartment at odd times and why he was never around.

My boyfriend went outside on the step to talk to the boyfriend and came back in.  I felt bad for the boyfriend and the little girl, who I found out was upstairs with the seven strangers while the girlfriend was off getting more pot and beer.  For the daughter’s sake, I hope to hell the mother gets help.

As we sat on the couch and reminisced about our twenty something years we heard the boyfriend yelling at the girlfriend about his daughter being in a house full of strangers.  Then it clicked.  Addiction makes people do stupid things.

Ideas (unedited rant on writing)

I’ve read in a lot of books about writing that in order to get anywhere with writing it is necessary to write at least a page a day.  I was at one time trying to break into the fiction market.  I was writing at least five pages a day about whatever popped in my head and I would not stop until I reached five pages.  This type of writing is called free writing.

I stopped writing for a couple of years.  Life happened and I had to buckle down.  Being practical superseded trying to live my dream.  I am trying to break back into the market again.  However, this time I am going down a different road.  That is the article road.

I find this to be a lot more challenging than fiction writing.  See, in fiction writing, I could write whatever I wanted.  There is little requirement for facts in fiction writing.

Article writing requires a lot of facts.  Facts are not hard to come by.  Finding facts that are indeed facts and not an interpretation of the facts is the difficult part.

So I get out my notebook and I write a list of all of the things I would like to write about. Then I write facts in big bold letters next to each idea.

Sports, Motorcycles, Women, Abuse, Alcoholism, Running, Eating right.  These are some of the ideas I have jotted down.  Some of these ideas are articles in progress which may make it to my blog or may be a victim of the delete button.

I was fortunate enough to get a response when I posted a link to my blog here on my Facebook page.  A writer guy I am friends with on there gave me some good advice.  I have to love it and I have to keep writing.

Ideas come from living.  I have to reach deeper and pull out some of the stuff that may make me a little uncomfortable to write about.  This world certainly wasn’t built on playing it safe.   My writing won’t be built on playing it safe either, it seems.

%d bloggers like this: