Friday, October 17, 2008

Random Ramblings on Self Image

Another turkey sandwich on wheat at the desk. I had a rough meeting this morning and another one this afternoon.. so what I really want to do is go eat something comforting with a friend. But I'm focused on losing a few pounds (what else is new?) so I'll eat my little sandwich, save myself some $ and blog. Lucky you.

My meeting was rough because I got my *ss handed to me. Not really for something I failed to do, but rather a failure to foresee how this person would want the information presented to them. Perhaps it's hard to predict this because it constantly changes...the preferred method of delivery of information..who knows. Just give me my butt chewing and send me on my way. Next time I'll consult with the Magic 8 ball before submitting my stuff. I'm a big girl... I can take a butt chewing.. say my "yes sirs" and go on my way. I don't even cry..because that would prove me weak in the business world.

But being a little bitter about eating my turkey sandwich led me to some thoughts about self esteem issues and how most women I know are constantly struggling to conform to an ideal image of what a woman should be. In business she's assertive without being bitchy...At home the house is perfect and she's supportive of her family without being a doormat... In relationships she struggles to express herself without being perceived as overly opinionated or overbearing. It's a constant balancing act. No wonder we need a trough of Ben & Jerry's occasionally.

But we better not overindulge in the Ben & Jerry's because then butts will expand.. and as women it seems we're always struggling to be that "picture" of what beauty is... From a very young age we're shown through media, conversation, perception and experience..that society appreciates the tall, thin, blonde woman with perfect measurements. Trust me... I got sucked in at an early age too.. I'm still sucked in (literally) at 31. My expectations are a little more realistic I think, but none the less... here I am on yet another diet. In reality I will never be 5'10, barely weigh 100 pounds, and not have a physical flaw.

At 13 I came home and told my Mom I wanted to go on a diet...and oh by the way, I needed to get rid of my freckles..freckles aren't pretty. I really wanted to dye my hair too...but Mom drew the line at that. She bought me some products guaranteed to fade freckles, taught me the importance of sunblock and off I went to diet and conform. I didn't need a diet... I just needed another year to grow up instead of out... but I was convinced I was fat? The girls at school told me I was? I certainly didn't look like the chicks on Beverly Hills 90210. I lost 15 pounds... but constantly "watched" what I ate through High School... "watching" it became a little obsessive in College....

Recently, I have appreciated companies like Unilever and their Dove Campaign for Real Beauty as well as their efforts to positively impact realistic self esteem for young girls... If you have a moment check out these links :[cp-documentid=8354359]/[cp-documentid=8354359]/

Some shocking statistics.. 75% of young girls are unhappy with their physical appearance.. this scares me. I'm glad I have a son. How do you teach a young girl as well as yourself that beauty comes in all shapes, colors and sizes. That the beautiful women on TV and on the cover of the magazine have been nipped, tucked, sucked, airbrushed and photo shop'd until they are really just imaginary women... No wonder women are crazy!! I recently saw The Women with one of my best girl friends and it was a great film.. Annette Benning sums it up:

Now I'm 31.. I'm still worried about crows feet, gravity, laugh lines... stretch weight.. AHHH!! It's craziness. Even with all of these worries of aging and time marching on across my body.. I figure this body with red hair and freckles is really just my vehicle for getting through life. After 31 years, I'm getting pretty good at handling my vehicle and learning that maybe I don't need to trade it in for a better model? Somebody get me a cupcake.