I am not talking about weight loss (and other conversations I’m missing out on)

This year I made a pact with myself (and my fellow man and woman) that I will no longer participate in conversations that discuss weight loss, weight gain and other some such chatter that places the value of the person in their appearance.

Needless to say I don’t stand around the water cooler much any more.

Our seemingly inane chatter about our appearance has become so pervasive that by making a conscious effort to not participate has starkly highlighted its insidiousness and made it all the more irritating to me!

I have grown tired of people evaluating others on their appearance. Of course, appearances are the easiest thing on which to judge a person; the visual (unless you are visually impaired) is the first impression you receive of another individual and appearance is something we can all relate to.

Why is it that I know so many talented, intelligent, articulate people whose self esteem is undermined by the number on a scale? I know perfectly healthy women (BMI-wise) with university degrees, high-paying jobs and wonderfully loving husbands whose day can be ruined by 500g weight gain.

Ridiculous? Yes, I think so, too.

I then see articles such as Our Obsession with Plus Size Role Models which purports to empower women to ignore the stereotypes of plus- or minus- size and embrace the norm, only to have the goal of this thinking presented to me as feeling attractive. To whom? 

When will women stop comparing themselves to celebrities, models, etc. whose job it is to look good? If I spent as much time on my appearance as I do at work I’d look freakin’ amazing (and I’m sure you would too)! But I don’t and I wouldn’t even if I had the time (and the money). There are better things to do with this life than to spend it in the gym, make up artist’s chair, hairdresser’s.

I have a daughter; a grave responsibility in this day and age. I hope that she won’t obsess about her looks and concentrate on contributing to society instead. However I know this is a pipe dream.Growing up in this image-obsessed era it is unlikely the preoccupation with appearance will pass her by. I will take the time to remind her of the fads and phases of “what makes a woman attractive” through the ages; in Mediaeval times it was “in” to be plump (as it demonstrated wealth); in the 1920s being flat-chested was the “thing”; in the 1990s (when I was young and impressionable) it was heroin-chic.

Call me hypocritical. Yes I wear make up, dye my hair, etc. but I will endeavour to equip my daughter with a sense of her own worth beyond the disappointment she feels when comparing herself to (manipulated) pictures in magazines.

I hope her sense of self worth is placed beyond the physical and into the intellectual and societal as those contributions are so valuable.

What will you tell your daughter?

[Constructive] criticism is always welcome.

5 thoughts on “I am not talking about weight loss (and other conversations I’m missing out on)

  1. 598740 893285Its not that I want to duplicate your web site, but I truly like the style. Could you tell me which design are you utilizing? Or was it custom created? 73455

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  3. This article had some awesome advice from successful, inspiring women to their 15 year old selves. http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/11/world/gallery/international-day-of-the-girl/index.html
    If I had a daughter, I would share those with her, pointing out that not a single one of these women said they would tell their teenage selves to lose weight, be more popular, wear cuter clothes, or change their appearance. It’s your attitude, your treatment of others, your hard work, and character that matter. Those things make you beautiful. Not your weight, appearance, or clothing size.

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