A picture in the September issue of Glamour magazine seems to have continued feedback from readers. The magazine was flooded with e-mails and letters from readers who say they love the “woman on p.194” who is pictured in her underwear, proudly showing off her pooch. The relatively unknown model was featured in the body-confidence article “What everyone but you sees about your body”. One woman from Somerset Massachusetts wrote in and said “ This beautiful woman has a real stomach and did I see some stretch marks? This is how my belly looks after giving birth to my two amazing kids! This photo made me want to shout from the rooftops.” Showing a picture of a woman with some belly hanging over her underpants is a pretty radical move for a magazine. I’d like to see the day when they feature a seventy year old naked woman. After all woman are supposed to be not only young and thin but also a bit bony to be a model. The clothes are the only thing that counts, they need to be the center of attention. The body is merely a hanger for the clothing and sadly without their garments they would be reminiscent of individuals suffering from famine. The average woman’s size is between a twelve and a fourteen. Yet we are deluded into thinking we should be a two, four or six because the media consistently showcases women whose lives revolve around getting paid to look good. Many of those same women suffer or have suffered from anorexia and or bulimia. I am not advocating for being overweight, but how our weight is distributed is usually genetic. I have the same body as my mother and grandmother. I would have liked to have gotten Angelina Jolie’s body but it just wasn’t in the cards. I spent a great deal of time as a young woman trying to lose weight and be a size my body consistently rebelled against. I tried all kinds of diets and even took amphetamines which my obstetrician gave me after the birth of my daughter. Oh I got thin alright but I was also a whirling dervish. Isn’t it time we stopped showing women walking the runways that are essentially cadavers? Isn’t it interesting that men don’t seem to be starving themselves to be attractive! Let’s stop buying into photo shopped pictures, stupid articles touting ridiculous weight loss programs and products. Being healthy, happy and fit are much more important than trying to have a so called perfect body.
Over the years I have heard the statement “you have to learn to love yourself” over and over as the anecdote to a myriad of mental and physical problems. When I first heard someone utter these words I realized that I probably didn’t love myself very much. I was brought up primarily by a grandmother who never made a “big deal “out of herself and a mother who tried desperately to make sure I didn’t think I was a “big deal” ! If I got an A minus she would try to find out what happened to the other half a point. She had very little filter between her thought process and what came out of her lips. If she thought I had gained weight she didn’t think twice about mentioning it. Did it make me wince? Oh you bet it did, but you always knew where you stood. My teachers, the good sisters of St. Joseph never gave a compliment unless you preformed a miracle, and we all know how long it takes the church to verify that. Yes, It was tough going, but I was lucky enough to have a nature that is tenacious and resilient, something I think we’re losing. Today young people are bathed in messages telling them how “special” they are. Most of the time there is no evidence to support the compliments that are often profuse and go from the sublime to the ridiculous. Could it be that as a society we are creating praise addicts? It feels that way. You Tube is full of people doing everything from brushing their teeth to warbling songs that sound worse than someone running their fingers up and down a blackboard. They post pictures of themselves on every gadget and send it immediately in case someone has forgotten who they are. Reality shows are filled with content that makes stupid look smart and is primarily about watching people do nothing of importance. I am in awe as to how the Kardashians are constantly in the limelight. They obviously have learned to understand that the path to fame and fortune is to constantly make sure that someone, anyone is looking at them. “Look at me, look at me” is the new metaphor. Self-effacement was a huge part of my generation, which has now been replaced with self-expansion. I don’t think that either method is the best. But there is a balance and we better find it, before we end up with Chuckles the Clown for president.