Wednesday, March 01, 2006

My New Idolatry

You must must must check out This, courtesy of Elizabeth, my new blogging obsession.

She makes the most clear and direct reasoning about ladies and their bodies I've ever heard.

It's taken me 28 years to get comfortable with my body, and I'm still not at 100%. But when I read what she had to say, it felt like a revelation. I DO cover up, I DO often feel shameful, because my body is not what society considers ideal. Question is...why the fuck should I care? And why the fuck should YOU care?

I have several close friends who obsess over this shit, on opposite ends of the spectrum. Some are obsessed with health and fitness and staying within those parameters as much as they can. These are girls who look fantastic even by the common standard, "the champange of bodies" if you will (Thanks E!) and still they obsess over every calorie. It's exhausting.

Then I have my other friends who are more like me...more 'fluffy' as Skylar would say. They refuse to wear shorts or tank tops when it's 108 degrees outside, and god forbid a bit of the belly should show. I'm counting myself in this group, specifically when it comes to swimsuits...Why would it be perfectly acceptable for Ashley (and Ash I'm not calling you out here, just using your name for an example because of your fabulous figure)to wear a sleeveless dress, or tank top, or shorts, or swimsuit and not me? Who am I offending so badly with my belly, thighs, and less-than-toned arms?
Me? Not likely. I refuse to allow myself to feel like I've committed some wrong by wearing revealing clothes.
Men? Most definitely not, though some men do prefer smaller women, there are plenty out there who like the curves.
So who the fuck is so offended by my body?

Other women, that's who. I hate to say it. But this is really the crux of my argument. My ex-boyfriend thought it would be fun to take me swimsuit shopping last summer. By the time we got home I was bawling and spent the next 2 days in bed. I felt like I had committed some terrible crime, and was being punished by having to look at my own body encased in lycra. And aside from that...If the day had gone differently, and I had purchased a suit and worn it to the beach, how many whispers would such a display get? Not from men, who seldom care as much, but from other women? The old "what made her think she could wear that?" God knows I've been guilty of such talk plenty (read: Heather). Why do we do that? What gives us the right?
Are we really all that bitchy? We will say the most evil things about our dearest friends, all because of appearance.

So I'm resolved to get the fuck over it, and I urge you all to do the same.

I'm totally buying a swimsuit this summer.


Just an old hobo said...

You, my friend, have champagne boobs! I'm glad what I was trying to say came across...sometimes I wonder.

Also, a brief anecdote: I got a double order of fries with my veggie burger at lunch yesterday (weird period craving...I rarely want them), and I had a pang of shame/guilt when ordering them from the gorgeous blond wairess, knowing what was probably going through her mind. Then I remembered I don't care what she thinks and flashed her a "Yeah, I eat fucking fries, jealous much?" smile. Those fuckers were good, too.

Thanks for the giant, super flattering compliment!

Bee said...

Fucking A.

I'm starving.

More Carbs, Please!!!

Okay, that has to be a t-shirt. Make it for me!!!

Crystal said...

I've been thinking about the same topic today. Great minds and all that jazz...

kimberlina said...

bethie, you are wonderful and beautiful! never be ashamed. i hate that society does horrible things to people. myself included. while i might not have rolls, i also do not have "breasts." haha! so that was an issue for me for way too long. now i shun those with fake plastic grapefruit-round boobs. scare-ree!

i also shun underwire bras and most push-up bras. who the fuck needs all that fake padding. fuck padding, i say! fuck padding in the "feminine napkins" and fuck padding the in the bras!


Bee said...


You are the awesomest!

Ms. Adventures said...

OK since I'm the champagne and all that jazz..... I think the main issue is women's poor body image in general. Media plays a huge role. That being said, I do obsess over everything I eat, I do try to be as healthy as possible, and yes My name is Ashley and I'm a foodaholic.

BUT on the flipside, there's something to be said about being healthy. I think my main concerns with being overweight are #1) I feel really rotten physically and #2)There are significant problems health wise that are associated with being overweight.
Bad body image does not = being overweight. I've known many fly and fabulous women who were plus-sized, and they knew they were great. And feeling good about yourself is not a good excuse to ignore your health, it's important.

In saying that (before you crucify me), there is absolutely NO REASON why YOU Beth should feel ashamed of yourself. You are absolutely a beautiful woman, and there is NO good reason for you to cover up, none.

NOW I do disagree with Kimberlina in that underwire etc is a bad thing. Women with large breast need good support, if the underclothes are good and adequately supportive, it makes a WORLD of difference in how you look. You should dress like you care about yourself, like you're somebody, cause you are. Your clothes reflect how you feel about yourself, and picking things that accentuate the positive and downplay what you might not like, makes 200% difference.

kimberlina said...

oh gawd, i definitely agree that breasts need support. definitely definitely. i'm just saying that i think you can have good breast support without copious quantities of padding. padding just makes boobs look bigger (screw the media and their weird barbie breasts). dressing with pads just makes you like yourself in the media's image. not in your own. you don't really like your own breasts if you wear lots of padding. you need more, more, MORE to fit in with the stereotypical image. which, in my humble opinion, is WRONG. *shrug* like yourself for yourself. fo' shizzle.

i can't say i know about the underwire issue though; for me, i have small little baby boobies - they don't need underwire support. underwire cuts into my ribcage which makes me unhappy.

Bee said...

I agree that pain = bad.

The moment I get home i unhook my bra, and it is by far the best moment of the day.

Ms. Adventures said...

Not being rude, just sayin, if you wear a bra that fits properly, it shouldn't hurt.

I never go with out a bra mainly cause I breastfed both my kids and now my boobs have a mind of their own. If I don't corral um' they're all over the place!

Bee said...

Are you trying to tell me that a bra can be comfortable?

Cause I just don't buy it.

Especially when you have a rack as copious as mine. And EVEN MORE SO if you've got a little extra fat. Underwire digs in and pinches, no matter how properly it fits. Straps irritate, the back rides up. And Underwire isn't necessary for all sizes. I only *wish* i didn't have to wear the big old "large marge" bras with four hooks in the back and underwire.


Ms. Adventures said...

Kimberlia, ok, right on. Copious padding=bad. I hate bras with padding though I've heard it helps when you get cold, wink wink.

I'm comfortable in my bra, though I don't really count, my boobs aren't big. My sister used (got a reduction) to be a double D and she never took hers off much either. I think she disliked how it felt when they were hangin there by themselves.

Crystal said...

It's just a personal preference thing. I never wear underwire because I find it uncomfortable again my ribcage because i'm such a bad sloucher.And if i'm at home - i don't have a bra on. I like 'em to be free.

i don't think underwire alone is enough support for the big breasted. I mean, one little wire at the very back and underneath of the boob doesn't hold 'em up too much. You need some strong material on the whole cup.