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shrugging at body image

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I guess there is always space for this subject here because there are always gaps – big, sad lonely holes that consume and convince us we are not what we think or deserve. Self-confidence is our biggest asset and one that we as women really seem to lack. Maybe I’ve been feasting on too much Caitlin Moran these days, but I’m not sad or dissappointed in our inability to grasp at self-esteem. You see, it surpasses these emotions and instead, I am down right angry. Boiling mad about it. So pissed off I could throw plates at walls. I sprint off into rants, mostly to men that leave me lost in a labyrinth of irate emotion. Why can’t we get it together? Why are we all so concerned about how skinny our bodies are or how bouncy our bosoms are? Do, we not as an entire gender on this earth have more important things to concern ourselves with? Why must we keep succumbing to these pressures that box us in? We willingly allow ourselves to sit claustrophobic, too cosy and too close to what we perceive to be our shortcomings. And sure, we all have flaws – but not once in my 26 years have I heard a woman express concern over something real. Such as her inability to speak multiple languages or that she might not be reading enough books. Instead, it’s all ankles and belly fat and hair colour. It’s plastic surgery wishlists or what diet we should be on. I’m so exhausted of all of this, especially since I too am a victim. Despite my cynicism, I still somehow find myself in these downward spirals that conclude in me resolving to a) never eating again b) going to the gym 15 times a day and c) saving for all kinds of surgery. All ridiculous resolutions. And it makes me mad, that despite all I know and all I believe to still find myself thinking in this truly terrible way. It’s a waste of time, which by the way, is a huge consideration. Time – now that is something to really concern ourselves with. We don’t have an endless amount, we are all going to one day, die and yet we still choose to spend entire hours of our existence internally insulting and abusing ourselves. We must be fools. Now, I know, it seems rather futile to get all heated without offering some sort of insightful solution. I could sit here and talk about yoga, or drinking enough water or eating right. I do all those things, I am incredibly healthy. I go to the gym every day. I have muscles in places most women don’t. A peek into my fridge would tell you I am a dedicated ‘clean eater’. And yet still, I self-hate in the same way I used to drink wine. Infrequently, but so heavily it cripples me. And, finally, after much consideration, the easiest route to looking in the mirror and feeling okay – is what I am calling the shrug. It’s the who cares, nonchalant attitude to how your thighs look in your favourite pair of jeans or the shape of your boobs, that ultimately will lead you to feeling okay. Indifference really is the way to beat it, because really, what does it ultimately matter? You have two legs, arms and a heart – the shape of them is so laughably secondary, quite in the same way the socks underneath your shoes are. If we as women can find it in ourselves to remain complacent about far more important things, such as you know, unequal pay, our perceived inferiority to men and all the other frustrations that feminists have long fought hard to change..then surely we can find the strength to stay indifferent about the sizes and shapes of our body parts? It is in this complacency we will find strength, and strong, as women, I know we are. We are so strong. Surely strong enough to shrug.


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