I want to be thin, but I really want to eat all this cheese.

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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.

End Rant.

 

 

 

 

America, the Australia to Canada’s New Zealand

The United States of America.

Land of Supersize Me, The statue of Liberty, George Bush and Corn Syrup Paradise.

After talking too much about how I love to travel and see new things, and having not really traveled or seen any new things outside of Ontario since September 2011, I decided it was time to try that might land, connected to the mighty land I live in, that has a very similar culture, but arguably better food, weirder people, and the Cheesecake Factory.

And so I booked flights to Boston.

Lets not go crazy here. I was just going for the weekend, and I wanted to dip my toe into the United States. Boston was the perfect compromise. It was also kind of the halfway point between Toronto and Miami, the destination my travel companion was coming from (no don’t look at the map, just take my word for it. It’s halfway). SO off I went, a little nervous considering my last experience with American immigration (when I had to transfer at Newark airport and saw a vaguely Arab looking guy being escorted to a little room). I left Toronto on Porter Airline, and landed in sunny Boston.

From the air, Boston looks tiny, but I found over the weekend that it is a hugely interesting and vivacious city, packed into a small space.

The lady at immigration wanted to know my life story (in a nice way) telling me in her thick Bawwwwston drawl that she has always wanted to visit Australia. My line stopped moving and the people behind me moved on to other queues until I was the last one. She was laughing and giving me travel tips. WOW! Maybe I love America!

The guy who stopped me when I was wheeling my bag was less friendly, crew-cut, beefy, he looked through every page of my passport asking me questions like:

“Where you staying? How long are you staying for? Who do you know in Boston?”

When I answered truthfully that I don’t know anyone but that I was meeting my friend from Miami, he glared at me suspiciously and said:

“You have an Australian paaayyysport but you don’t have an Australian ayyyyccent”

When I began to explain that I had lived overseas for a number of years, he made a kind of growling sound, thrust my payyysport back into my hand and rounded on the Asian couple struggling with the cheap blue, red and white carrier bags coming of the carousel.

But then it was freedom! Hello USA!

The weekend was insanely fun. We did so much stuff and loved every minute of it. We went shopping on Newbury street, we went to Fenway Park home of the Red Sox, walked the freedom trail with a guide in period dress, supposedly related to the guy he was playing, we went to Quincy market where I ate clam chowder (which tasted a bit sandy to me if I’m being honest), we went to Harvard, the Aquarium and we ate and drank ourselves into a coma at every available opportunity.

Yes the portion sizes in America seemed bigger, and there were definitely some SUPER weirdos on the train (which we conquered thankyouverymuch) but over-all, I found the Bostonians to be an EXTREMELY friendly bunch of people. Americans clearly love Aussies, I didn’t pay for a drink all weekend as they were always being bought for me and wanted to tell me about their cousins/friends/neighbours living in Bondi/Melbourne/the Gold Coast. They are smiley and they think my accent is adorable and hilarious (even though they are the ones you can barely understand…take that stupid airport guy). They are a cultured bunch and they have a beautiful lifestyle with their huge water front, history interposed with modern conveniences, and their love of good food.

For a first time experience to the United States, I would rate it highly and I would love to go back once I’ve seen more of America.

But it was nice too, to land back in Toronto, and feel comfort looking at the familiar CN tower glowing in the darkness, and realize that Toronto feels more and more like home.

🙂
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Our tour Guide

Our Tour Guide

 

Fenway Park

 

Harvard University

 

Beautiful Architecture in the City

 

Drinking with the Locals (after they had a re-enactment)