Today, the fine Alice Reno posted this picture with the above question (I’m shocked they spelled “you’re” correctly). Of course, because I like to speak my mind, I posted my opinion on the topic. And, of course, some uber-sensitive person declared that I was shaming my fellow woman with what I had to say.
I’m sure I’ve spoken via Facebook on this topic before, and since it’s a heated one, and I’m feeling a little hot under the collar today, I felt a blog post was necessary.
Let me get a few things out of the way first. Does this woman have a beautiful body? Yes. Am I slightly jealous of her taut, seemingly stretch mark-free tummy? Does a bear shit in the woods? Do I want her body? Yes (if possible, since this is fantasy and almost like ordering off a menu, I would like slightly larger bewbs too).
Now, can I be honest here, and say I’m growing tired of our incessant need to photograph ourselves and post it all over social media?
Disclaimer: I am in no way indicating I am an innocent party to the selfie. I have my fair share of embarrassing duck-lipped selfies and an even larger collection of pictures that didn’t make the cut. Before “duck lips”, it was “the Katie” and I’m not even barely joking. I’m not perfect, and I, too, suffer from the Me’s.
Thanks to our ever-growing technological age, our generation has the luxury of having information, any and all kinds of information, at the tip of our fingers. Where should we eat? Let me check Yelp. How do I get there? Let me open the Map app. What is the best way to remove grass stains from Toms? Google. It’s exciting and easy.
Remember when you loaded film into a camera, took pictures on your trip, and then had to wait until you got home to see how hideous you looked in your bathing suit on the beach? Now, you can delete, try another angle, or stand behind a sand dune, or something.
Taking pictures of ourselves and the term “selfie” are concepts bred from narcissism and easy access. No one took pictures of themselves with a camera needing film, too many could have been fails, and you would have had to wait until you could get to the store to drop off the film…etc. I’m not even going to finish the list, it’s already too much work.
Thanks to Instagram, Facebook, and the like, everyone is a model, and they all honestly believe we want to take a look. Let’s be honest, did you all really care I got a new #supercute shirt? I think not. Don’t even get me started on the Free the Nipple movement and how too many people think it just means that it should be alright to go topless at Raley’s. (Oh! Were you just in the freezer section?)
It’s just a theory, but I think this woman might be screaming behind her hair, “Look at how hot I am! #jealous”. Yeah, we are, but you also seem quite transparent and shallow. Notice I said, “seem”.
As women, we should be supporting each other, but I’m having a hard time getting behind the “Let’s take pictures of ourselves half naked and post it on social media” movement. It’s shallow. It’s offensive. It’s putting Kim Kardasian stank all over the work done by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and every other woman activist who fought so hard for us to be respected. I think these women would want better and because it’s saying, “this is my value, this is all I have to offer”, and that’s not true (or maybe it is, if you just a ho).
In ending, we all suffer from the Me’s. We all want to be accepted, loved, desired. Perhaps finding that validation won’t come in the form of how many likes you get for your boobs. Perhaps.
Harvey: I’m-m-m-m gonna w-w-w-whoop yer a-a-a-ass at cards.
Wayne: OK, sir. I bet you will. That’s a mighty fine hat you have there (referring to the man’s fabulous, pointy Andes-style earflap hat colored pink and turquoise) Can you tell me about it?
Harvey: Oh, this h-h-h-hat is, is mighty f-i-i-i-ne. It covers m-m-m-my bald spot!
Wayne: That does make a hat pretty useful.
Attendant: Harvey, tell him what your hat is really for.
Harvey: It’s r-r-r-really (as he moves in close to whisper) a ch-ch-ch-chick m-a-a-agnet.
Harvey laughs so hard, the attendant caring for him has to turn his oxygen back on.
This was an honest-to-goodness coversation had between my boyfriend and an elderly man who had to be pushing 100.
My grandma passed away two years ago after years of battling dementia, a cruel, truly demented disease. My grandma died many years before we laid her to rest. Dementia robbed her of her memories, her ability to reason, her ability to know her own children. It wasn’t until the grandma I knew and loved was gone from her blue eyes did I realize what I had lost.
Every single day, I drive downtown and I see elderly men and women living on the streets. I watch, long before I pass, to make sure they make it, slowly, across the street. They are in rags held together by their own filth. They are cold, hot, confused and beyond mistreated.
Why are our elderly living on the streets, abused in retirement homes, and left to rot in the back bedroom? Being of advanced age should be an honor, not a curse feared worse than leprosy (or is ebola a more relevant disease?). Being the elder should come with built-in respect and hospitality. We should be housing our grandparents in accomodations far better than our own. We should be teaching our youth to revere them like gods. They are our past and our future. They are old and wrinkly. They can be as mean as a dog shitting tacks, and they are painfully slow. They are also brilliant and worldly. They know what it means to do without and still find happiness. They understand and love a world without TV, without smartphones, a world in which you sat down and wrote a damn letter. In cursive. We have so much to learn from our elderly, yet they are withering away in our streets and in dusty rooms under lock and key.
I would give anything to go back to my 8-year-old self, during the summer it was just me and Grams at the cabin. I would slow down and really taste her tomato and noodle soup. I would take off my discman headphones and listen to her story about Grandpa. I would make my bed and vacuum without being asked. I would scoop her a bowl of ice cream and add the dry Nesquick she liked so much. I would wash the Ziplock baggies without complaining. I would take her dry, soft, wrinkled hand in mine and say, “Let’s go pick honeysuckle, Grandma, just you and me”.
To have been able to witness the exchange between Harvey and my boyfriend would have been a real treasure. Just two young lads relating about the trials of life, love and the pursuit of women. Just two young lads.
Ever have one of those days when you want a piece of cake or really anything with a cake-like consistency, such as those Hostess cupcakes, the one with the frosting hats, so bad you could cry? The want is deep, deep in your bones. I always feel this way after I’m reminded how much I weigh or after I have to throw away a pair of jeans because my thighs burned a hole in them the size of Jonah Hill’s face.
I went to get a B12 shot at the Shot Spot today after a good year of not getting my shots or being weighed. The last time I was weighed was at my lady doctor appointment and I told the nurse to not tell me my weight upon penalty of death. Sometimes it’s better not to know. Ignorance really is bliss and it tastes like cinnamon gelato.
Today, I just had to know. Without spilling my deepest, darkest secret, I will say I’m 10 pounds away from being at my previous heaviest. What did I immediately want to celebrate the momentous occasion? I wanted a BBQ chicken pizza from Blind Onion washed down with a red velvet cupcake from Mix. An entire bottle of Framboise would have only helped me choke down my disgust.
My response, my way to self-soothe has always been to eat. Whether I’m stressed, sad, happy, anxious, bored, really any basic human emotion, it’s always a reason to celebrate with food. Bad day? That calls for an entire bottle of wine and the rest of the Costco-sized bag of chips. Having a fabulous, inspiring day? That just means I have to celebrate with a s’mores Frapp. Why not? You’re only fat once.
Around March, every year, without fail, I set my mind to being bikini ready before, well, the next year I aim to lose weight for the same goal. My M.O. is to start out with a set plan, really gung-ho-like that starts out super hopeful (grocery list complete with kale and sweet potatoes) and the promise I will never let a soda, diet even, pass my lips. Around early June, I wake up in the middle of the night, surrounded by chip crumbs, in a cold-sweat realizing I’ve actually gone in the opposite direction and gained 10 pounds. I count how many days until the first day I will have to be in a bathing suit. I think, “Two weeks? I can lose at least 10 pounds in that amount of time”. In two weeks I realize I’m no longer 20 and not a tweaker, so that was an impossible goal. At this point, I realize being bikini-ready is futile, so I exhale, put on my fat pants and walk to 7-11 for a donut and a slurpee. All that anxiety calls for some serious sugar.
Maybe ya’ll think I’m crazy or maybe you are sympathy-gnawing on a French baguette. I’m not really sure. I do know that food is good and eating less of it really, really sucks. I also know that the key to success with weight loss is almost 100% mental. I just have to find my motivation and my mental strength. Where did that go? I know I had it around here somewhere. I have to discover what’s better than gluttonous fettuccini Alfredo and gooey caramel wrapped in chocolate. Ugh. I really want a double caramel Magnum right now.
Everyone has a blog. I know. Almost just as many people have a blog about their journey from fat life to one of self-acceptable (or sadness, because being thin almost always means no more cupcakes). Despite this, I’m beginning a blog about my journey. How cliche. Whether it will be told from the perspective of a fat girl trying to accept her jiggly arms or through the eyes of a 32-year-old woman who has almost no idea what she is doing with her life has not been decided at this point. I’ll write about my fatness. I’ll write about my need to feel accepted in whatever form. I’ll write about my opinions from “fat acceptance” to the state of our crumbling world, both literally and figuratively. I’ll write about my life experiences, both past and present. I’ll write about the joys and pains of educating our future. I’ll just write, funny, thought-provoking, controversial, whatever.
A total aside-every ‘her’ I’ve typed thus far has auto-corrected to ‘Her’. Her wants to be capitalized. I’m not sure if this means anything, but I really, really want it to. Maybe it means I’m an important, inspiring, worthy woman and my blog will actually be read by others? Maybe it will inspire others? Maybe I’ll make you laugh, cry, or even make you eternally grateful you’re not me. Even if this little sign doesn’t mean anything and my blog is a total bomb or a total unknown in a world full of writers trying to find their way via WordPress, I will continue to write. I am writing for me. Writing is therapeutic, calming, exciting, inspiring and it’s something I will do regardless of how many followers or comments I receive. I’m really not writing for the exposure. I’m writing because I physically have to. When you wake up in the middle of the night to write down a thought so you don’t forget it, or when you park your car after just driving home from work and you have no idea what streets you took or how you even got home because you were mentally writing your next Facebook post or Yelp review, it’s time to start writing a blog again. For the safety of all people on the road, for my sanity, I’m writing again.
Thanks to Facebook and our over-sharing generation most of my readers (I’m already assuming I’ll have readers) know who I am. I’m not yet decided on whether who I am on Facebook or who I am at work or with friends is really who I am. Maybe I’ll find out someday.
Obviously, my name gives it away, I’m a voluptuous cupcake-lover (that’s being kind. I’m fat and I inhale Mix cupcakes in my closet and then I burn the evidence). I’m anal retentive. I’m funnier on paper. In person, I’m likely suffering from Aspergers. I hold on to everything (no, not in a hoarder way, more in an OCD-way). I beat a dead horse. I’m a germaphobe and I guess the secrets out? How did everyone know? I hate being looked at, but I usually feel ignored. I live in the past far too much. I have massive wanderlust, but I’m terrifed of the dangers and uncomfortable aspects of travel. I’m petrified of death, that death is just darkness. I collect Bath & Body Works products, but I hate materialism and have considered living more simply (it’ll never happen…). I notice and remember people, feelings, memories and details fair too perfectly. I’m either an excellent candidate for the Scotland Yard or I’m a creeper. I have only started discovering who I am. Haven’t we all just begun?
I’ve already lost most of you. I’m rambling at this point. I will stop for now. One tiny hint before I go: reading my words outloud might come easier, as I write how I think- a jumbled, mess of thoughts, feelings, desires and fears all wrapped up in a pretty pink bow, because I’m also a neat freak. Welcome to my world.