Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Monday, September 19, 2005

I am so angry about this

Yesterday I was reading my favorite blogs and I came across a post that just threw me for a loop. I don't know the author, but I've been reading her blog long enough to know that something is very wrong with our society for a woman as interesting, bright, and loving as Melissa to feel so badly about herself. To compound the situation, her husband has been acting like a complete jerk about her weight, making her feel even worse about the situation. I wrote a comment last night, but came back to look at the comments other people had written as well. I was floored by what I was reading. How does it happen that 120 women (so far) all have the same lack of self-worth because of their weight? When did weight become the most important definition of who we are as women? What has happened to us that we don't even think about how smart, or interesting, or funny, or even intellectual we are, we first think "Oh, I'm SOOOO fat!" How did it happen that so many women have such lousy self-esteem once they have given birth and their bodies change. Just what has society done to us? Are we all so mesmerized by the media's ideal women that we honestly believe that like Gwyenth Paltrow, we should lose our baby weight in only a couple of weeks? Are we all insane?

I'm just seething about this. Last night at the Emmy awards, Heidi Klum made an appearance only 6 days after giving birth. This woman must have been wearing maxipads in her bra to absorb the gushing milk flow, but there she was in a gorgeous gown. Lets get real, people. This is ridiculous. Who leaves a 6 day old baby to go off to the Emmy awards? And yet we're all supposed to be talking about how great she looked, like that is the primary issue. The woman left her baby, for God's sake! Why aren't we alarmed at this? Why are we focussing on what she looked like?

Ditto the Britney pregnancy. Now anyone that knows me knows I can't abide the trailer trash pop queen (now thankfully deposed), but even I got a bit ticked with all the comments on how fat she was during pregnancy. She was pregnant, folks. You get fat when you're pregnant. She's not going to lose that weight like a normal person. She's going to have it off in weeks because she can afford personal trainers, nannies, and a gym in her own home. We can't. We aren't ever going to look the same way, and I want to go on record right now as saying that we have to accept the changes in our bodies and revel in them because we are Mommies and we brought lives into the world, and we did it with our own bodies, and we should show the scars of birthing. We deserve the extra weight because we pushed a giant head out of our vaginas (or we endured surgery and permanent scarring to get that baby to live) and if some man thinks we're too fat, then screw him. Screw him to the wall.

When I was a kid I read Lysistrata and I thought it was one of the most brilliant ideas ever. I say, if your man is being a complete jackass about your post birth weight gain, then get him where it hurts. If he finds your increased weight unattractive, then I guess he doesn't want to sleep with such a fat slob, does he? You fatties sure isn't going to pleasure him either, are you? I say, lets go on strike and refuse sex until men get their collective acts together Are you with me?

I think all women are a bit dysmorphic at this point. I don't see how we can't be with all the messages that are shoved down our throats about how size matters. But why do we buy into it? I try not to. I'm not thin by any means, but I don't obsess over my weight. Before I got sick I never owned a scale, and I often forget that I have one. I don't diet successfully, but who does? I don't believe that my life is going to change if I lost weight. I don't believe that things would be better if I wore a size 11, the smallest adult size I've ever worn. I'm 5'9" tall and very big boned, and I'm never going to be a size 2. I'm fine with that. I don't care much about what I wear, and I don't have a Mom Ass because I don't have an ass at all. Honest, flat as a pancake back there!

Please, my female friends. Lets support each other as Moms and accept that we get a bit more padding as we age. It's natural, and it's not a bad thing.
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Blogger Belinda said...

You asked, "Are we insane?" In a word, YES. Collectively so.

I'm a little more fortunate that my husband doesn't love me less as a size 16 than he did as a size 12 (and that size looked REALLY good on me, though when I was younger I was an 8-10 and slim as can be).

I'm sure he'd be thrilled if I had a tight, buff body...just as I would if he were suddenly one of those Blowflex hunks or a Calvin Klein underwear model. But the catch is--it would just be "gravy", ya know? Just a bonus, not a main course of our relationship.

Maybe it's that way for us because we have been through some major bad S**T together. Maybe having HUGE problems gives you a little perspective on sweating the small stuff like that spare tire.

20/9/05 11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YES, we are all insane. I do stand-up, and when I make jokes about being fat and not being able to fit into a Mini Cooper without liposuction, no one laughed. You know why?

I DON'T LOOK FAT. I just feel it because I want to have a body like Charlize Theron.
This one area my PITA DH shines, he actually has a clue about what to say about modern bodies. I point out this or that starlet, or good-looking woman on the street, and say "how do you like her?" and he invariably says:
"Ahh, too thin."

LOVE that man. Sometimes.

20/9/05 1:08 PM  
Blogger margalit said...

I guess I just can't get over how so many bright, attractive women can be so browbeaten by society's image of what the "perfect body" is that they actually buy into it and hate themselves for being different. I have a friend who is perfectly thin, wears a 6 or an 8 depending upon the outfit, and we went coat shopping and she went right over to the size 14s and started trying on coats. They swam on her but she couldn't see it! I was so upset with her I was almost screaming in the store. I don't get it. I look in the mirror and I see the double chin and the back fat. I know I'm fat. I am not shocked when I see photos of myself (a rare occurance, I admit) because I'm aware of my size and shape. How can someone be so unaware of who they are, so lost in the perception of size matters more than anything else. To me, what matters is honesty, integrity, kindness, and generosity of spirit. I don't give a flying fuck what someone looks like if they fit into that mindset.

20/9/05 2:56 PM  

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