There has been, in recent years, a much needed shift toward promoting body image acceptance among young girls and women, and that shift has been long overdue. I’m thrilled that it’s happening and given how ridiculous bullying is getting now, it’s a change that’s coming during a much-needed time.
The college diet plan worked marvelously for me (be poor, smoke cigarettes, walk everywhere) and for the first time in my life, I felt like I was cute. Not just cute, but hot. I kept my figure until I had my girls, at which point my body weight very nearly doubled. And while I don’t regret them for a second, it’s hard for a chick to go from this:
Me, age 19
But I’m happy to report that, four years after my girls were born, I finally got back down to this:
Me, age 28, September 2013
Aaaand now I’m pregnant again. Back to the drawing board. 😉
As a former fat girl, I can’t express how nice it would have been growing up to see someone like Adele on MTV, or to see more ads celebrating full-figured ladies. It would have been nice to be told by someone other than my mother that I was beautiful just the way I was. Now, that message is being spread everywhere – advertisements for name brand products, memes on social media, news articles, school campaigns. And that’s amazing.
But let’s not mistake a soapbox for a pedestal, girls.
The fact that some of us don’t want to be fat doesn’t mean we hate our bodies and it doesn’t mean we’re “fat-shaming”. And when you post shit like this all over Facebook:
it basically makes you a hypocritical asshole.
Who are you to say what men actually want when everyone has a different type? If a man doesn’t like your curves, or your extra weight, so the fuck what? If it bothers you that much, then lose weight. If it doesn’t bother you, then stop bitching about it. It makes you look petty, not confident.
Do you feel that because you have this new-found, plus sized self esteem that you can go around judging the girls that might have judged you in high school? Skinny girls, medium girls, fat girls, petite girls, Amazonian girls…they are all beautiful to someone. You are beautiful to someone. Stop getting so offended that you aren’t beautiful to everyone – that’s an unrealistic goal and besides, you should be more concerned with how you perceive your own beauty.
Pointing to a girl who’s skinny and accusing her of having an eating disorder is shitty. Calling her vain and shallow because she goes to the gym is catty. People with eating disorders need help, not criticism, and people with the motivation to fucking jog at the crack of dawn deserve a major pat on the back.
You know what I’m doing at the crack of dawn? Fucking nothing. Bravo, ladies. Bravo.
So that covers body image. Moving on.
I assure you a woman who elects to stay home with her children – whether she has a college degree or not – is not wasting her life away for her man in some meaningless cookie dough and PTA filled existence. She is doing what makes her happy and what she feels is best for her life and her family. She is not submitting to the patriarchy, she is not being a subservient house wench. I know many women who are stay-at-home mothers, and if their SO came home and told her to go make him a sandwich, he would probably be asked if he forgot where the fuck the kitchen was.
It’s their choice. Let them make it, and don’t judge them for it. It’s really none of your goddamn business anyway.
Conversely, if a woman chooses to go back to work after her children are born, she is not a cold, heartless workaholic who cares more for money than her children. Like the housewife, she is making choices that are best for her family in her situation. She does not love her children any less just because she doesn’t see them as often.
The awesome thing about life in 21st century America – for all races and genders – is that you can pretty much live your life however you damn well please. If you find it necessary to demean a woman for making more traditional choices, you are not acting as a champion for the feminist cause, you’re being a judgmental twat. If you feel compelled to chide a woman for making choices that reflect her independence or ambition then you are not defending traditional values, you’re being a narrow-minded asshole.
Knock it off.
Now let’s get to the part where I piss people off. This should be fun.
Ladies, I’ve said it a million times: if you want equality then you need to be damn sure you want everything that comes with it.
You cannot demand that a man play both gender roles all so you can weasel your way out of the less pleasant parts of adulthood. If you demand he fix your car, it’s not going to kill you to make the man a fucking sandwich. Shit, make him two. Have you ever tried to replace a radiator? Would you like to try? No? Well baby girl, here’s the mustard and the bread. Hop to it.
You want him to vacuum and do dishes, rock on. But if you don’t have a job and he’s working to support your pedicure and video poker habits, you might wanna think about getting up off your ass and dusting some shit.
If you expect a man to shower you with love and affection then you need to understand that works both ways. You are just as responsible for making him feel like a man, particularly if he takes the time to treat you like a lady. You’re not being meek and submissive just because you bring him a beer and rub his shoulders. You aren’t sacrificing your strong, womanly values because you cooked dinner. It’s a partnership, not a battle for the crown.
You can’t promote feminism while simultaneously expressing disgust or disdain for a certain type of woman, and you can’t shit all over a man and proclaim that you’re exercising your rights as a proud, noble female. What you’re doing is being a bitch, and no one appreciates it.
Now I’d like to take a minute to celebrate a few of the beautiful women in my life. This is feminism.
Debbie, mother of four, grandmother of five (soon to be six), housewife, married for over 35 years, and makes the best goddamn fudge in the world.
Kate, early 30s, mother of one, extremely petite, loves yoga and nature because she is a dirty hippie. Recently graduated college.
Kristen, early 30s, married, no kids, holds a degree in art history. My kids love the shit out of her.
Tara, 29, mother of two, recently graduated. Black belt in karate and an amazing step dancer.
Cassy (seated) and Amber. Happily married, no kids (yet!). Cassy recently graduated – with honors, bitch.