Monday, April 30, 2012

Weighty Issues

I've battled with weight issues most of my life.  As a preteen I considered myself fat.  I looked at the other girls my age and I thought "They must think I'm a giant."  I was taller than many of the girls and boys in my class, at least I thought I was.  Actually I was probably about the same height as the majority of the girls but then I began to compare different areas of my body to theirs.  I had begun to develop breasts and I had a bigger bottom, I didn't see that on the other girls.  I felt so awkward.  I wanted to be little just like the other girls.  I never seemed to be accepted in their little cliques.  I was the odd girl out.  I felt this way through my teen years on into my twenties and beyond.  Here I am 56 years old and those old feelings came rushing back to me yesterday as I was dressing for church.  I tried on several tops and bottoms until I finally settled on an older skirt and top that luckily slid over my extremely curvaceous body.

I cried and belittled myself; all because I haven't been able to conform to society's idea of the perfect woman.  Media uses mostly women of slim, svelte figures, perfect hair, and perfect make-up to represent the majority of the world when the majority looks more like me, the frumpy grandma.   For years media has inflicted this unreal idea on women and now it's targeting younger audiences.    There's Toddler's & Tiara's, Dance Mom's for example; the young toddlers (as young as age 3) who are being told to exercise and keep fit, no pudgy tummy for their dress or costumes.   What significance did my little tantrum in front of my granddaughter place on outward appearance yesterday?  What are we teaching our young children, especially our young girls by exposing them to media that focuses mainly on outward appearances?  Can you imagine how much more accomplished, confident and successful our girls would be if we placed more emphasis on education, good morals, etiquette, and sensibility if we changed our focus.

I'm ashamed that I am so vain. Unfortunately people judge us by what they see on the outside, (including me.)  What a shame that we all miss the opportunity to truly know others because we are such a visual society.  Perhaps if people began using overweight individuals or individuals who don't quite meet the "beautiful people" standards to promote their products or do public service announcements we could begin to change our younger generation. Why not have these average people tell their own success stories?  Maybe we could begin building a generation of individuals who genuinely care for others

I suppose this has to start with me.  I pledge today to begin seeking the inner beauty in everyone I meet.
How about you? Are you ready to make a difference in the life of others?

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