Monday, January 19, 2015

Not-So-Great Expectations

I don't know where to start with this one.

I have never identified with any sort of feminist crap before in my life. In all honesty, I believe that women make up a lot of the garbage that they say about "oppression," "worse wages than men," and "war on women." And to be truthful, those arguments are all full of shit, to some degree. But this is the one time I will ever step over the line, shake hands with a feminazi, and repeat after them:

Women have been given unrealistic standards to 
live up to when it comes to their bodies.

I have always struggled with how I look. I think every girl can say the same thing. There's always something that just isn't right - my nose is crooked, my belly's too big, I hate my hair, my feet look weird - something! That, unfortunately, is part of being a woman. We want to look perfect, for ourselves, and for others as well. But the factor that's making this worse is pressure from the outside world - anything outside your own brain that's telling you what you need to look like, or what number needs to identify you. Somehow these voices that we hear around us, whether it be from the TV, radio, even our own families, creep into our spongy female brains, and they take over. 

(don't mind the derp face)

Today, I left the house feeling great. I've got on a really cute, modest outfit that I think might even be Pinterest material. I look fantastic. I went to visit my Gram (she's in the hospital, so please say a prayer!), and then went to do some errands. I stopped at Dad's office to say hi and get some bottles to return. Somehow we got on the topic of my weight. I mentioned how much I weigh and his response was "You should weigh 50 pounds less than that!!" I. Wish.

Honestly, I don't remember ever weighing that much. Ever. Maybe in 5th grade I weighed that much? And I wasn't a fat kid, either. I was actually fairly skinny. But this isn't the first time in recent months that my own father has said something hurtful about my weight. Maybe a week or two, he said to me, "I had the weirdest dream last night. We were in the driveway, and you got out of your car and you were skinny! You actually looked kinda cute." As if I don't look cute now? Thanks, Dad.

When people say things about my weight (thankfully it's not often, but when they do,) my whole psyche goes into conflict. I know that God doesn't care if I have a couple extra pounds, He loves me for who I am trying to be for Him. But at the same time, I know I'm not happy with my weight. It's a well-known fact that the vast majority of women are not happy with their body. I wish I were skinny, not only for myself, but for my future husband. I want to be everything that is beautiful for him, whoever he is, and I can't say with any amount of certainty that I look anything close to what is beautiful. Confidence is beautiful, and I currently am lacking that.

The "Lame Grotto"

When people criticize how I look, or even when I see myself and have negative feelings towards what I see, I'm conflicted. Part of me wants to run for miles until every ounce of unnecessary fat is gone. Another part of me feels so hopeless that I just want to binge eat. Does anyone else share this feeling? Regardless which option I choose, I know I'm going to be disappointed in the end because realistically I know I can't run for more than 20 minutes, and that's being gracious.

I'm no stranger to self-starvation. I did it in high school, and I lost a considerable amount of weight for the time that I did it. I never ever want to go back. It was not a good place to be. I looked good, but even the weight loss didn't make me feel better. I knew I was cheating, and as soon as I ate like a normal human being again, it all came back, and then some.

What really bothers me, though, is that these assaults (like those of my father) are coming at us women from all angles. Scrolling through Facebook (clearly I wasn't exercising...), I saw this post. How could I not stop to look at it?

How could I ever expect to look like that?! Many of the comments thank her for "inspiring" them, or "encouraging" them to lose weight. This does nothing but depress me. This is such an unrealistic standard to hold oneself to!

Besides the fact that women are being fed this absolute garbage, I'm worried about the fact that our men are being fed this too! I'm worried, as I stated before, that I won't live up to their expectations of beauty that they've been given. I'm worried that my future husband will wish that I were skinnier, more toned, that there was less of me...

All I need right now is a hug and someone to assure me that they love me, that they'll support me through the weight-loss process that I want to start (uhhh-gain), and that I'm beautiful. This isn't supposed to be a sappy post looking for attention. Please don't think that. I'm just fed up with the garbage that we're being fed, and I want you all to know it.

Ladies, you're beautiful just for being you!

PS: I hardly ever swear or use any language that could possibly be seen as offensive online. But this topic really really bothers me, and I feel like speaking like I would out loud about this topic. Sorry. Also sorry for that ridiculously skinny lady's skimpy bathing suit. But hey. 

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