Thursday, March 13, 2014

Be the Tornado, Not the Tree the Tornado Destroys

Why do women hate their bodies? And I don't mean, complain about needing to lose 10 pounds or whine about putting on a bikini at the start of the summer. I mean a genetically, deep-rooted hatred for our bodies. A true disdain when we look in the mirror, a legitimate inability to find anything beautiful about out naked selves. Women are taught to hate themselves from the outside, in.

It's true. When asked what my most attractive body part is, I don't know what to say. I get awkward and uncomfortable, and I feel like I am being asked a question in a foreign language that I cannot piece together the words for. I know that I wish I still had the body I had when I was in high school, which is unrealistic and self destructive, as no one should ever continue to look the way they did when they were teenagers. I know that I should be able to look at myself naked in a mirror and find something that I know looks good. I know what my girlfriends compliment me on or claim to be jealous of. I know what the guys I date (or sleep with) vocalize that they appreciate. I know what I should find attractive about myself.

But ask me what I like the least about my body, and I certainly have answers. Ridiculous ones. Ones that my logical brain cringes at, but that my inner raised-to-believe-we-are-all-ugly-and-fat brain sees as hard fact. Answers that make no sense based on reality, but make total sense with my perception of reality. What I see in the mirror is not what the rest of the world sees. And this sadly seems to be true for more women than not. And it's because women have an inner mean girl. My cousin expressed it perfectly when blogging about her inner mean girl; that inner voice we all have telling us we're several horrible forms of the word fat. What a bitch that inner mean girl is, right? Why does she continue to win, every time, with every woman?

Because of SHIT like this:

And SHIT like this:

And also this:

Look at the woman in the pink lingerie - look at the amount of fucked up photoshopping that went into that...her body doesn't even line up accurately for Christ sake!

Example: Thigh gap. A thigh gap is literally an unattainable trait. You cannot create what is simply not there. You cannot alter your bone structure, and your bone structure - not your weight - is the only thing that creates the thigh gap. And yet, here we are, feeling fat because we can't make it happen. And yet, here we are, with it photoshopped in our fucking face. Want to wear a Target bikini and look hot? You better take a hacksaw to your thighs. And apparently, to your vagina! What. The. Fuck. The girl in the jeans actually looks better in the image on the left, what the hell did we need to shave off half her middle for?

In a recent poll - taken among some of my most intoxicated girlfriends - I learned that most women would prefer to watch pornography involving women than men. Say what? It's true. Not because we are all secretly lesbians, but because women have more attractive bodies while naked. A woman's body is soft and pretty, while a man's is, well, not really. So, despite thinking we are disgusting fat slobs, we would still prefer to watch another woman naked than a man. Because a woman's body is sexier. Does this not seem to add up for anyone else? I'm confused. Don't get me wrong, I want to have sex with men, not women. But if I am looking at smut, which I don't often but occasionally do, I am more turned on by an attractive woman. And yet I can't point out one thing about my own body that I find sexy. Why is this?

Oh yea, because I was raised to hate myself.

Not by my mom, mind you. By the whole world. My mom was also raised to hate herself. Not by her mom, but by the whole world. It's sad. And it's wrong. And despite the seemingly impossible uphill battle, I see itty bitty glimpses of the vitally important change in my friends who are raising daughters. And the change has to start somewhere. Even though it's tiny steps, even though it's hard, even though it's near impossible to shield young girls from these media hyped images of sex and beauty and how you have to be skinny and look a certain way, and how in order to be a princess you have to bat your big round doe eyes...despite it all, I see my friends raising strong, brave, smart daughters, not meek, timid ones.

I have used my friend Ashley as an example more than once. Her daughter Bea is like a tornado. She rips through the house. She's loud. She can palm a basketball and she just learned to walk. She's feisty and tough - and they embrace it. No one is trying to quiet her down or pretty her up (not that she isn't beautiful, but you know what I mean). No one is trying to smother her gale force winds. Her mom and dad are just loving her, encouraging her, and being proud of all of her might. She's a tornado. And she should be proud to be a tornado her whole life. I hope she never hates who she is.

You can't complain about what you can change, unless you are willing to change it. Women need to stop bitching about being fat and stop talking about everything that is wrong with their bodies. What do you love about yourself when you're naked? There's something, you just don't see it because you're busy calling yourself hateful versions of horrible things. You're busy looking at cellulite and stretch marks and boobs that aren't quite the same size. You're sidetracked by your thighs touching and your large ass and your bony shoulders.

Stop hating who you are. There's nothing there to hate. Stop comparing your body to what you know is a computer generated image, and compare yourself to nothing else but yourself. And not your high school self either, that isn't fair. Stop worrying about the number on the scale, the size of your jeans, the numbers. Start focusing on what you love. You're a woman. You're beautiful. Women are beautiful and sexy, no matter the shape or size.

Make the change for all the baby girls who are bombarded with images of reasons they should hate themselves. Make the change for the teenage girls bombarded with images of reasons they are fat. Make the change for all the young women who are uncomfortable in their own skin because of the way the media tells them they should look. Make the change for you.

Be a tornado. Because you're too strong not to be.