Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I'm not OK, if you're not OK

What the hell is up with us as women being so competitive? No I'm not talking about who has the bigger . . .um . . .bag, or even the oft' debated Mommy Wars. I'm talking about the unspoken, but universally understood competition between all women as to who is worse off.
No one pulls us aside in Middle School as gives us that talk. "You know, Suzy, you really shouldn't be too proud of your body and you should take any opportunity to put yourself down especially when you are around other girls." Now, of course, no one says those things to girls, but we all understand them nonetheless. If your friend hated her nose, then another friend hated her flat chest, and of course you hated your ass.
Obviously everyone has something about their body that they are less than pleased with- I mean, we are women after all. But what up with the one-upmanship?
Typical conversation:
"Oh, my God! I hate my ____!"
"Please! I would trade your _____ for my _____."
"Your _____ is fine. Look at my _____. It is huge!"
Sound familiar? Sound like middle school? Of course it does. But guess what? This conversation took place just a few weeks ago at a girlfriend's house. There are a group of about 8-10 of us (at any given time) that have been friends for a long time and have a standing 'girls night' where we all try to catch up and revert back to high school. This year the majority of us turn 30, which has apparently triggered some sort of Valley Girl Ass Envy.
It reminded me of that Sex and the City episode where the women are all setting around eating pizza and discussing plastic surgery. Carrie, of course, hates her nose. Charlotte hates her thighs, and Miranda hates her arm jiggle, or some such shit. Then they all look expectantly at Samantha. Clearly she is supposed to inject her "I hate my ____." s here. But she just looks at them with a "WHAT?!" expression on her face. They are all surprised to learn that Samantha considers herself just fine just the way she is. In fact she deems herself- Pretty Damn Terrific! Samantha is, in fact, surprised to learn that her clearly beautiful friends are not satisfied with their bodies.
So there I was in my friend's living room, wishing I could be Samantha, while listening to every one lament this, that, or the other. Then it inevitably comes to be my turn. Normally I wouldn't hesitate. "God, I hate my belly!" and I do. But not tonight. While I do still wish my belly was less jello and more J-Lo, for the first time in a long time I am proud of my body.
Did you hear that, world? I am proud of my body.
No, it's not perfect. Far from it. But I have recognized that it will never be perfect. Even those Supermarket shelf Super Models do not have perfect bodies. Airbrush, anyone?
No, what has changed is my attitude about it. No, I do not have the tall lean body of Gabby Reece, but no amount of diet and exercise, or even plastic surgery, will give it to me. So why try?
No, I'm not giving up on weight loss. Just the opposite. I cannot give myself a perfect body. But I can give myself the perfect body for me. I have worked hard this year and I am stronger and leaner than I have been in a while and that is something I am very proud of. I have lost almost 40 lbs., I have more energy and better posture, and due to some serious weights my arms are now well-defined.
So the point of this little rambling is this: Maybe being perfect will not make you as happy as you imagine it will. But accepting what you have while working to make it better will definitely make you happier. The proof? Yes, I have belly jiggle but I do have a mighty fine ass!

1 comment:

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