Since part of what I want to write about this week is triteness I’ll try to word my introduction is such a way that I avoid clichés all together. Here goes…
Thanks to the tilt in the earth’s axis and our current position in its rotation around the sun the current climate is now hotter that it has been previously this year. As a result of this altered state it is no longer practical to wear certain items of clothing which may have otherwise aided in concealing the exact proportions of my figure. In addition to this, years of consumer culture which alternatingly tells women that they are unique and laudable in their natural form, and then that everything which makes them desirable is under constant siege by time, changing fashions, and their own appetites, I have begun to think that I should lose some weight.
Okay, maybe no clichés is a bit too… magniloquent.
Let’s try all clichés;
It’s that time of year again, Bikini season! Yes, the summer sun is here to stay, and with it we say goodbye to frumpy sweaters and long pants, and hello to short shorts and tanks. As we all know, a woman is at her most confident and powerful when she looks good and feels good. So in the spirit of the season I’d like to shed some extra pounds and get healthy.
How about the middle of the road;
It’s summer which means it’s too hot to wear things that effectively disguise the squishier bits of my person. I know that I should be confident and unafraid, I’m constantly being assured that big is beautiful, but I’m also aware of the discomfort my particular bigness has caused in myself, because of this I’d like to lose some weight.
But god, how I hate this bullshit. I hate it when people talk about diet and exercise as if they’re interesting. I hate how people seem to want to constantly pretend that if we could all have our way we wouldn’t eat endless and move as little as possible. I hate feel as though, because I’m a lady, these are the sorts of things which should be of paramount importance to my life.
It’s not that I want to jump on that “Big is beautiful” bandwagon, because whether or not big is beautiful, the woman constantly updating her status with self-uplifting quotes expressing the virtues of natural beauty is equally as irritating to me as the fucking cross-fitter describing their work-out.
No. I take that back. Nothing in all creation is irritating as a cross-fitter. Don’t, just don’t describe your work out to me, ever, for any reason, it’s not interesting. I know you think it is but that’s because your life is sad and empty and you’re delirious because you get up at four in the morning to workout.
Unless mid push-up a dragon flies in through the window to tell you that you are the only hope to save the magical kingdom of Blisstopia from the evil sorcerer Agamemnon, I don’t want to hear about it.
Anyway, I’m not taking a side in this irritating debate unless I can form my own brand new side. Sure, I do not want to diet or exercise but I also don’t want to be fat.
Can’t we all just admit to ourselves that “getting healthy” is a giant crock of shit that people tell themselves so that they don’t have to feel vain about wanting to lose weight” You’ve heard people say it. Heck, I’ve said it myself.
“I really just want to get healthy.”
Not the truth,
“I would like to be slightly more fuckable than I am right now so I’m going make myself miserable for a while”.
It’s bad enough that we’re talking about diets, then to go and make it worse by clothing the whole obnoxious business in this self-righteous ‘healthy’ nonsense. It’s insult to all involved. I get that the average eating habits and physical activity of Americans leaves a lot to be desired, medically speaking. But if you’re trying to tell me that vanity has nothing to do with you passing up delicious things you must think I’m an idiot.
Then again the “big is beautiful” bitches (not that you’re bitches, I just liked the alliteration (but, you know, some of you could be bitches)), I applaud your efforts to undo thousands of years of unfair scrutiny and perfectionism towards the female form. I just don’t think that you’re doing a particularly good job. To start with, the thrust of your jib is more or less the same as the ‘healthy’ bitches. It’s about vanity. Whether or not big is beautiful isn’t the right question to ask if the answer you want is liberation. It’s not that I don’t get where you’re coming from, it’s just to me it still seems like you’re sitting around waiting to be told you’re pretty.
This is why I really didn’t want to write this blog, and if I had had some better ideas this week I wouldn’t have.
I feel like I have this subject thrust upon me against my will, as if by necessity of my gender I am compelled to have some opinion, or at the very least show some sort of concern over the greater cultural ramifications of female body image. But I just don’t want to care. It frustrates me to no end that the discourse of my gender seems constantly tuned to this non-issue.
So for once and for all this is my opinion as a woman on body image;
Beauty ranks somewhere around number 12 on attributes I would like to have ascribed to me.
I want to be
And then, and only then do I want beautiful to enter the conversation. It’s not like I don’t care about other people finding me attractive, of course I do. But I want to be so much more than beautiful.
So there, I did it, that’s my grudging stance. And I hope you understand what’s grudging about it is the fact that people might feel that I have to have a stance on body image, because they assume that body image is the single greatest issue a woman can face.
Fuck that, fuck a whole bunch of that. Yes, I want to lose weight. Yes, I want to be pretty and to look good in a bathing suit. No, I do not feel incapable of happiness if being pretty is beyond my reach. I can be thin and smart or I can be fat and smart, I just want to be smart. In the end that’s all that matters to me.
It’s still vain, but I like my vanity better than yours.