Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Big Things In Big Packages" and other small thoughts

So summer is approaching and I am becoming painfully aware of my "figure." Aren't you? Don't lie-- we all are, especially if you happen to be a female. I've been thinking a lot lately about how we perceive ourselves and what a major influence this has on everything around us. 

"In the Middle Ages, they had guillotines, stretch racks, whips and chains. Nowadays, we have a much more effective torture device called the bathroom scale."
- Stephen Phillips

For example, I don't like to swim because I'm self-conscious about my body. Frankly, that's pretty ridiculous. Swimming is fun! Summer is warm! Friends are great! I'm going to miss out on that because I think that my Girl Scout cookie gut sticks out too far? This is absurd. 

"Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless; peacocks and lilies, for example."
- John Ruskin

Correct me if I'm wrong, but we don't make friends with people based on thunder thighs or muffin tops, do we? (If you do, please don't tell me. This will defeat the purpose of my entire blog post. Ha) 
Now, I order you to watch this:

What did you think? I'm a huge fan of Bradley Hathaway. I saw him live a couple of years ago and I was a fan a couple of years before that. I have his cd, book and a t-shirt. Some of his stuff is a little odd, but I love his perspective on things. Seriously, what did you think?

"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion."
- Francis Bacon

Anyway, I know that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and "beauty is on the inside" and ... okay, I've run out of cliches. But the point is, everyone wants to be attractive.  I'm going to be bold and say that as a fact.  Some people hide their dissatisfaction and pretend that their perceptions of themselves don't bother them. This is considered devaluing negative outcome dimensions. Basically, we put a higher value on things like intelligence or humor than physical appearance in order to deal with our supposed short comings. I wish this wasn't the case. Why do we do this to ourselves? 

"Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick."
- Gwyneth Paltrow

I'm going to jump on the bandwagon and blame the media for a lot of this.  Did you know that heavier than average people on television make up 5-7% of the cast but are 60% in real life?? Thanks, media! Way to make everything disproportionate! 

There was a study done where personal ads were put in the newspaper.  One ad mentioned that the person was fifty pounds overweight, while the other ad mentioned a history of substance abuse. Guess which ad was responded to the most? The person with the substance abuse got more responses! People view things like drug addictions as "curable," while they view overweight people as more difficult to "change."

People, people, people. What is wrong with us? We can be so petty. I'm going to be totally honest with you all right now-- sometimes I'll be walking around campus and I shoot angry daggers at the pretty girls because they make me feel ugly and fat. This is ridiculous.  I have got to stop with the negativity. There is, of course, a difference between wanting to be healthy and obsessing over the way that I look. To be healthy, I should lay off the Easter candy and make it a point to go to the gym more often, but it is unhealthy for me to give angry eyes to every pretty person walking around. 

Our bodies our different from anyone else's. There's a reason for that. Some people are naturally thin, and some people are not naturally thin! This is okay. I want us to be healthy. But I also want us to be healthy, mentally. 

Where am I going to start? ... By answering, "Thank you," when Anthony tells me that I'm beautiful. And that is that.

"When we lose twenty pounds... we may be losing the best twenty pounds we have! We may be losing the pounds that contain our genius, our humanity, our love and honesty."
- Woody Allen

Oh, and by the way, I was eating a Tootsie Roll while writing this. No big deal.

Cheers ;)


amyschmamey said...

This is great. Hannah and I discussed this last night at the bistro. Some scantily clad girls came prancing in and I said "uh oh. Skank season... Or maybe I'm just jealous because I can't wear those outfits" ha ha ha. Honestly. I've always been modest. Even in my thin days. Really though I am jealous that I can't have my 21 year old body back. This was a good post. I need to accept compliments more graciously too. It annoys our men when we don't.

melanie said...

you're so totally right. i'm gonna go eat a tootsie roll now!

David A. Bragg said...

I don't have any self-esteem, but it doesn't bother me as much as it does other people. I just refuse to do anything that has the word "die" at the beginning. Love you, girl. Don't tell Ant, I said I love you, he'd yell at me.

Gwiddle said...

Oh Liz, you are so funny. That video cracked me up!!!!!lololololololololol. I'm sick of worrying about my figure and exercising my ass off and eating right and losing like .2lbs so then I get sad and eat a lot. Makes no sense right????? Oh welllllll.

la petite lydia said...

This was an excellent post. Everyone has these feelings of not being pretty or not having a good body.

I am afraid to wear swimsuits or things that show my body because of people whispering, people following me, people making sure I eat or don't throw up. A lot of people don't think skinny people have issues with body image, but when someone thinks you're anorexic, it really makes you hate your body because you think you look like those horribly skinny girls with bones sticking out everywhere.

A lot of people get mad at me when I share that, but it is the honest to goodness truth of what happens to me daily.

I need to be able to accept compliments better too. I am too focused on the negative attitude or picking myself apart.

Thanks for posting this Liz. You're awesome.

Breeanna @ a brilliant melody said...

I too have given the super skinny pretty girls the mean eye sending them mean thoughts through the air. I'm working on not letting others affect how I feel about myself. It can be hard though!

Shewearscrazywell said...

Ha ha ha...stink eyeing pretty slim women...well I think you tap into something we have all done at some point in time. Since I stopped hating on other women, I find I don't hate on myself too. may be you are on a very good path! I loved this I think you are amazingly gorgeous and should love yourself completely. :) I actually have a lot of younger people who haven't learned lessons about beauty and how they are brainwashed by the I get comments weekly on how ugly I am. I love it because it makes me look inward to assess myself...and when I respond with answers of "nope..I am ravishingly beautiful...your just blind"...they really are taken aback! Thats get to choose if your pretty or not...not tv or a movie. Goodness knows if we thought everything in the movies was the same as it is in real life...then I'd most likely be married to Edward and living in a place that is very shady so no one will see that I am a vampire trapped in a 18 year olds body :). Hearts and Appreciation, Janna Lynn

kenzie said...

ah, liz, this was a fantastic post.
and i loved that video.
i know just how you feel. its all very ridiculous. there is a new documentary called miss representation (google and go watch the preview). it looks SO good. and kind of on par with what you are a saying. oh man. i also really like the quotes. well done well done. and i think -most- people would agree that confidence and character are more attractive than small jeans size, right? maybe. im rambling now. ok. have a good rest of your weekend, dear!