Get your heads out of the gutter, guys.
We’re talking body image today. Major media has its own idea what we should look like. These standards change hourly and are completely unrealistic. For most of the human population. For the few who happen to meet the standards, they’re suddenly a puppet for the media or weak-willed for giving into the bullshit rhetoric.
The people calling bullshit? They’re supposed to be the ones standing up for our right to be us. I’m looking at a certain musician, whose vast fanbase foams at the mouth anytime body image issues hit Twitter or Facebook. It’s insane. These people buck at anything they consider propaganda of “the man” who wants to hold us back from being our true selves.
Don’t shave your legs or armpits. Be happy with your beer belly. Natural hair all the way. Weight doesn’t matter. Go ahead, eat that entire fucking cheesecake. Wear whatever clothes you want!
It goes on and on until I want to gouge out my eyes. And the worst part? They think they’re helping.
But they aren’t. They’re making people who detest body hair feel ashamed. Personally, I hate it. Body hair (aside from my arms) is uncomfortable, downright painful at times and itchy the rest of the time. Give me smooth legs without constant tugging anytime I put on a pair of leggings. Dare I point this out in the midst of the “Leave our bodies as they are naturally!” group? Fuck no. I hide my smooth armpits. Duck my head and shuffle away from the social media shitstorm until they find a new topic to yell about or their leader vanishes into another creativity cave.
Don’t even get me started on fitness shamers. “Eat what you like.” Sure, if you want to be dead around 50. I watched my father eat himself to death. Spent my entire childhood certain that this time when Dad went in for surgery, his cholesterol-clogged heart would give out. He topped the scales at over 500 pounds at one point. Couldn’t walk. Doctors spent decades attempting to fix his back after a motorcycle accident and with his added weight, nothing worked. His diabetes had us wondering when the day would come when they had to amputate his feet. Would he eat correctly to save himself, to stay alive and spend more time with his two daughters? Nope. Fuck the man, he wanted to eat two pounds of ground beef for dinner.
My father wasn’t at my high school graduation.
So when people look at me, having recently lost over 50 pounds, they sneer. “You looked fine.” “You’re getting too skinny.” “Look at you, scrawny.”
I also had a health condition I couldn’t get treatment for until recently. The only way I could be here for my mother and nephew was to change my diet. I would not leave them behind so I could eat cheesecake and hamburgers. The weightloss was a bonus. I just wanted to live.
So yeah, sure, fine. Live your life however you want. Get fat. Wear clothes that cut off circulation and pinch nerves because they don’t fit your body properly. Grow your leg hair out and turn it into teeny tiny dreadlocks. Whatever. But keep in mind the decisions that’ll affect people who love you. And most importantly, don’t push your choices on the world at large. You be you. I’ll be me.
And I look fucking great, no matter what these nutjobs think we should look like just to spit in the eye of The Man.