Posted by: rachelanne229 | October 23, 2010

the “f” word

last week was “no fat talk” week.  now if that isn’t a great weekly cause, i don’t know what is.  empowering young and old women alike.  that’s good quality, wholesome stuff.

if you’re like me, a 22-yr old woman living in the States, i can state, with pretty high confidence, that you’ve had some thoughts about this particularly pervasive “f” word.  i sure have.  i can remember conversations with my bff back when i was 12 years old that consisted almost entirely of:

-“and today i ate a sandwich and fries and then i had 5 cookies for dessert!  i’m soooo bad.  what did you have?”

-“but it’s ok, i’m gonna do pilates and taebo and like 1000 sit-ups.”

the summer between senior year of high school and freshman year of college, i was pretty slim.  i went to the gym almost every day and did a mix of cardio (8-min miles, baby!) and strength training.  i ate like a half-starved tiger cub, but always kept a healthy weight, and i was proud of it.  however, i distinctly remember telling my boyfriend at that time that i would never start to get fat, because i would just “stop eating” before that happened, said only half-jokingly.

my whole life my peers and adults would remark at my thin figure.  my 1st grade friend jealously asked me how i stayed so skinny.  “oh, i just sucked in my stomach all the time last year, and i guess it kind of stayed that way!”  where the hell did this mentality come from?!  i was six years old and taking precautions against looking chubby.

just yesterday i read an article on abc.com about “drunkorexia.”  although not technically an eating disorder, thousands of college age women admit to skimping hardcore on food calories so they can binge on alcohol.  i had the feeling that i should be shocked while reading the article, but i thought to myself, “yeah, that makes sense.”  i knew plenty of girls who would eat only a few bites for supper in anticipation of a big nite.  i have never been one to skimp on meals, but i remember working out like crazy in prep for a nite on the town, or telling myself i had to do at least 70 minutes on the elliptical to work off all those busch heavies (i know, i know) from the nite before.

we girls fall into a trap.  we transform from this:

into this:

where does this feeling come from, and where does it cross the line from healthy to unhealthy?

ok, it’s a product of our culture.  that’s easy.  skinny is beautiful.  but i’ve been doing some thinking about this national ideal of ours, and i don’t like it.  “healthy” should be in.  actually, “personality” should be in, when it comes to determining beauty, anyway.

now, for a 22-yr old woman, i have pretty good self esteem.  i have cellulite like nobody’s business, and a few stretch marks on the insides of my thighs from my pubescent days.  i even have a big lump on the side of my left thigh– some scar tissue from the time i skied off a cliff during spring break.  whatever.  if all of these “flaws” went away tomorro, i would be cool with that.  but honestly, i don’t perceive them as flaws.  my legs look pretty damn good, cellulite or not, and they’re strong, baby!

but i have to admit, all is not gumdrops and butterflies in the self esteem department 24-7.  some recent pictures of me show, shhhh….*laugh lines….,* also known as CROW’S FEET!  and my eyelids are kinda more droopy than i would like them to be… what the H is this S?!  i’m only 22, i don’t want friggin wrinkles and old lady eyes at this tender and still formative age!  i have way more life to live before that shit sets in.  sure, grad school is a doozy, but i don’t want these late nites spent reading to get the best of me.  sure, running in the sun isn’t the best for the delicate skin around the eyes, but mannn.  i’m just not ready for it, it’s no fair, i’m telling you.

what the....?!

and then i said, “listen Rach, don’t be such an effing diva.  you know you think you’re cute, so quit wasting time googling ‘blepharoplasty’ and get your damn thesis written.”  and i was right;  i like the way i look.  as i get ready to leave for school in the morning, i pop in a piece of gum, look in the mirror, and can see my personality shining thru.  now the “p” word, that’s what beauty is really about.  i’m only going to get more cellulite and more crow’s feet.  but i can live with it, i promise i can.  and i can be happy with the way i look.  because i’m able to look at others and delight in their sense of self projected onto their faces.  outer beauty means so little when inner beauty is allowed to radiate across one’s countenance.

and i speak truthfully too.  historically, i’ve been attracted to tall, rugged, dark-haired guys with massive arms.  (who hasn’t?!) now, even if i could have an endless supply of these guys, i wouldn’t necessarily choose them.  the guys i choose to be with are the ones who are comical, who are curious, who are confident, and who use their face as a palette for these incredibly charming qualities.

so, if i could send a message to all the self-esteem challenged peeps out there, it’s stop using the “f” word, whether it be “fat,” or “fugly,” “freakish,” or whatever.  i can guarantee you look like crap if you don’t smile.  or if you don’t look like crap, you could look at least 10x better if you did choose to smile.  and similarly, i can guarantee you’ll look like happy and confident once you lighten up and let your personality envelop you, no matter how many laugh lines decide to crinkle up your face.

count those lines, does it look like i care?

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Responses

  1. Hey! One of those pictures came from my apartment!


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