It only matters what works for you.

Archive for April, 2015

Will it take off?

Two days after I wrote about Body Currency I found three articles in a row that made me feel very hopeful.

This one asks why we’re so upset about fat in the first place, and why the author felt it necessary to base her life around it.

This one is a woman who achieved that amazing size 4 we all aspire to and realized it didn’t make her happy. Quite a sense of betrayal there, because that’s what we’re promised.

And finally this one I really like a lot. She talks about how your body isn’t your masterpiece, it’s your paint brush.

Your body is not your offering. It’s just a really amazing instrument which you can use to create your offering each day. Don’t curse your paintbrush. Don’t sit in a corner wishing you had a different paintbrush. You’re wasting time. You’ve got the one you got.

These articles all together in one day excite me. They are all by women who are tentatively questioning the supremacy of Body Currency, the idea that you are only allowed to be happy once you are thin, and if you aren’t the socially approved size, shape, and fitness, then you aren’t allowed to enjoy anything until you are.

I think women are starting, in small corners and groups, to get the idea that we’re being lied to and brainwashed.

It’s a tough realization.

It’s hard to realize that you’d have lived your life very differently if you’d known what was going on. I would have spent so much less time being worried about my size, and more worrying about my ability to be strong and have fun. I’d have spent less time hungry and ashamed.

I’d have done a lot less damage to my metabolism. And a lot less damage to my self confidence.

But these articles encourage me. I hope that this little whisper will get louder and louder until we stop listening to the voices that tell us we don’t deserve the good things in life.

And I keep hoping that the next generation of women will know better than to buy into that nonsense.

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Body Currency

Body what?

It’s called Body Currency. The term was invented by the author of this excellent article about Tess Munster. The idea is propaganda of the worst sort.

You do know who Tess Munster is, right? She the beautiful, short, very fat new model that is all over every publication and social media feed, either because she’s beautiful, or because she’s fat. Everyone has something to say about her.

Even me.

You go girl!!!

Back to body currency. To quote the woman who coined the term:

It goes like something this: We are taught as a society that if we achieve the ideal body that we see in traditional media (and not before), we will then obtain love, worthiness, success, and ultimately, happiness. Which is what we all want, right?

Your looks are your worth, and you must invest heavily. If you aren’t perfect, you can’t be happy. Every clothing commercial, shampoo commercial, diet ad, they’ll all tell you. You have to be thin, athletic, thin, beautiful, thin, successful, and thin, and then you can be happy with your life.

Did I mention thin? Because thin is the key.

Somehow thin has become the ultimate standard of health and beauty and it must be every person’s goal to achieve. Which is ridiculous, yet pervasive.

If you have not yet achieved this standard, you must loath yourself, and put all your energy into achieving it. Because everyone can do it, it’s just a matter of effort and focus.

Careful, the sarcasm’s getting a little deep, sorry.

I’m a veteran of many, many diets, and diet website, and diet groups, and I can tell you they are full of people who are fully experiencing the culturally mandated shame and self loathing. They fret about every mouthful of food. Women won’t go to the beach for a day of fun with their children because they don’t want to show off their horrible bodies wearing sleeveless tops and shorts, and don’t even suggest a bathing suit. They are too disgusting. I’ve heard more women than I can count list the number of fun activities they can’t do until they lose weight and feel like they deserve to be seen in public.

The number of people who don’t feel they have a right to live until they reach a culturally mandated standard is tragic.

Multibillion dollar industries are heavily invested in making us feel this way. Every beauty product, every garment, every diet. If we don’t believe them, they lose money.

And along comes Tess. Unashamedly strutting her confident size 22 stuff and having a grand old time, and by the way a lucrative modeling career.

How dare she?

Because she has declined to buy into the thin frenzy, she is somehow undermining the work done by everyone who has. There is a definite feeling of who the hell does she think she is?

If she’s right, then all those people have been ruining their lives for nothing. An entire society worshiping at the altar of a false deity.

That ideology is not going down without a fight. So they spew vitriol of the worst sort at her. The ugliness is truly shocking.

On the plus side, if one woman can get so many people riled up, imagine what could happen if more and more of us gave up the idea that thin is the only thing that mattered and all got back to having a good life lived to the fullest.

Shall we try it?