Ah the first world problems I face as a wealthyish (hahaha) educated (excuse me while I cry into my MFA in Creative Writing) white (yep) woman (yepyepyep).
I am bombarded by all these bodies on television and in Print media, where the girls are always tanned, taught and aerodynamic (how do they make their boobs not point down??!… wahhhh!) and I’m informed that this particular size and proportion is beautiful and another size and proportion is not.
And then every second thing I see around me is an advertisement for something delicious, like a triple quarter pounder with extra fat injected into the burger buns for added deliciousness.
What’s a girl supposed to do/think?
Deny herself all the scrumptious things out there? Yeah. Right.
Go to the gym and work out like a Durecell bunny on crack? HAhaHA. No but really…don’t make me go to the gym.
It’s tough and it’s not new and it’s not like this is a revolutionary conversation I’m having with myself over here.
There is plenty of evidence to support the fact that these photoshopped “women” are cultivating bad body image in young ladies and giving young men an unrealistic expectation level of what a female body can look like (sorrrrrrry my thighs aren’t skinnier than my arms and my bum doesn’t look like a peach, but more like a blob of hardened oven grease…jeez).
So how to combat this? There are plenty of theories out there. Education on healthy eating and promoting nutrition (I’m looking at you United states of Corn Syrup).
And for young women especially, how can we work to change this subculture of fat vs thin. The number of eating disorders amongst young people is staggering and saddening (1 in 10 young women in the United States). What can we do? Promote more average body sizes in modelling and advertising, is one thing that has always played around on the periphery. More education? Support? All of that is useless when a bully is tormenting you, or someone or something makes you hate yourself and truly find yourself disgusting.
When I was last back in Hong Kong I found a journal I had kept right after a breakup with long term boyfriend numero uno. And do you know what I found? Pages and pages and pages of lists of what I ate that day v.s the exercise I did.
“6 x stair runs up ladder street. 1 Can tuna, one apple, 2 weetbix, 1 rice noodles in soup”
Good god it’s like I was living at a bland ashram when in fact I was living in a city with some of the tastiest cuisine in the world. And Ladder street?! It’s called ladder street because the steps are almost vertical (i’m making that up…there could fully be a different reason I am unaware of).
Why did I keep an obsessive journal like this, rather than tear stained pages working through my complex emotions of angst and heartbreak and having to find a new boyfriend with a car who can drive me around because I never learned?
Because that dude made me feel unattractive and I thought no one would ever love me again if I didn’t look a certain way.
Which is ridiculous because you should love someone for more than whether their jeans say size 6 or a size 16. And also I’m hilarious, so I’m okay.
But even if you don’t have that going for you, you still shouldn’t let a guy make you feel like you aren’t nice to look at. And if one does, then go tell your Mum or Dad or tell someone like me, and we’ll go kick his ass. Fucker.
And women of the world should never let some loser make them feel unattractive because have you seen a nut sack lately? I have, and man, those things are revolting.
There is nothing on my body (cellulite included) that is as gross as where the male body stores it’s reproductive sphere’s.
So yes I will be eating the rest of the Brie wheel today that I started at breakfast. Thankyouverymuch.