I keep forgetting to feel ugly while I’m on vacation. Luckily, the world is there to remind me. Anytime I see advertising or go shopping, and am told they don’t carry clothing in my size, I remember that, despite being healthy, strong, and normal-sized, I’m supposed to feel ugly.
I’d love to blame popular media for making me feel this way but the thing about popular media, and popular culture, is that they are popular. Which means that the majority of the people are buying whatever it is that they are pushing.
We support them with our attention, and with our money. We, normal women, read the magazines that only feature tall, skinny women. We also flock to buy the products that are modeled almost exclusively by women with body types that are unattainable for most of us over the age of 18 (if that!).
And really, who’s worse? Those who try to feed us a heap of shit or we who slurp it up?
I can’t find a magazine that features a diversity of body types (tall and short, big and small) and I wonder why. I know that if that type of magazine was going to fly off the shelves, there’d be a million of them for sale already! Instead, we give our money to those who promote the very mindsets that condemn us.
Feeling beautiful, regardless of what others think of you, is a form of freedom. It releases you to live your life fully rather than waste time and energy trying to change yourself.
The key thing to remember is that freedom, especially freedom of thought, is an action. Either you are deliberately engaging in it or you are deliberately losing it.
One game I play that keeps me engaging in freedom of thought about beauty is the Who Would I Rather Sleep With? game. When I see a group of women, popular conditioning would have me rate them based on who is the skinniest. Instead I ask myself who would be the most fun to be in bed with.
If I’m going to go for a roll in they hay it will be with a happy, warm, strong, healthy person, not a self-starving and size-obsessive bundle of sickly bones.
The moment we stop seeing ourselves as victims of the current view of beauty and realize that we help determine it, we can change it to set us free.