Shoes. I was excitedly showing my mom this photo set on Tumblr. It was a collection of gorgeous shoe designs. They were tall heels with metal leaves wrapped around them. I’m not describing them well, but you can see them here on my Tumblr. After admiring them, she started going on about how it would be nice to have the shape to be able to wear those kinds of shoes. You know, tall and slender with long legs that go on forever. She points to the TV where Judi Dench‘s character is recounting past memories in “As Time Goes By” and then asks if she (meaning Dame Judi) would ever wear those kinds of shoes. My reply was a more colorful wording of, “I don’t think she’d care.”
I take after my mother in a lot of ways. We have a similar sense of humor, enjoy many of the same books, and have a bit of a temper if you poke us just right. She’s just a bit shorter than me and we are not skinny individuals. She used to tell me that some women had the bodies of supermodels and that others had the bodies of Eastern European peasant women. She apologized that we took after the latter.
We’ve never been particularly appearance conscious in my family. After having two kids, Mom stopped feeling inclined to participate in society’s beauty standards. As she’d always been a tomboy who preferred jeans and a comfortable shirt over any other form of attire, this was really an inevitability. She doesn’t like jewelry or makeup which, thanks to stereotypes, makes her really difficult to shop for when it comes to the gift-giving holidays. What do you give to a woman who thinks flowers belong outside and hates strong smells? Certainly not perfume or a nice bouquet, that’s for sure.
Mom’s always been self-aware about her weight and, as you can tell, is not against self-deprecating commentary. We don’t kid ourselves about our weight in this family. We know darn well that we’re overweight and Mom’s okay with that. At least I’m fairly certain she is. She’s never really appeared otherwise aside from being super-grumpy about whoever picks out the Women’s attire at Kohl’s. Oh man, she goes on rants almost every time we’re in there.
Me? I know I’m not society’s ideal in terms of appearance. I’ve known that for most of my life. I remember being self-conscious about wearing shorts back when I played soccer in elementary school. I was too pale and I thought my thighs were too big. There was nothing for the former (I can’t tan, I freckle) but the latter was something I could theoretically control.
I’ve never been a particularly active person and, I’m not going to lie, it’s been months since I’ve been to the gym. With all of the construction and apartment stuff happening, carving time out for the gym hasn’t been a priority. Now that things are settling down, I’m hoping to make it back. It’s just hard when you’ve gotten out of the habit, you know?
Where We Are Now
I don’t like to think of myself as fat. I prefer to refer to my gym-related efforts as an attempt to get less squishy. In a couple of weeks, I’m going to be going through all of the clothes in my room and getting rid of the things that no longer fit. I figured it would be a good idea to pour a bit of my weight-related angst onto this blog before I embark on that particular adventure.
So, sorry, not sorry.
See, time and again, I’ve seen so many bloggers out there expressing some of the myriad of emotions that we feel on a daily basis. We’re bombarded with all kinds of messages telling us how inadequate we are and how it’s our duty to be the best and most attractive person we can be. It’s just what people do, right? As a woman, it’s hard not to look at models and wonder what my life would be like if I was taller, thinner, and tanner. Would I be a happier person? It certainly appears that way.
It’s that kind of toxicity in our media that causes so many problems for so many people. I’m fortunate in that I am somewhat content with my body. I’m not perfectly comfortable with my skin and I would be lying if I didn’t say that typing this blog didn’t cause a few tears on my part, but I know that my weight does not dictate who I am on the inside.
The other day, I picked up a new comic book from Valiant called “Faith.” The remarkable thing about this particular comic and its titular heroine is that she’s plus-sized. She’s plus-sized and not ashamed of it. Do you have any idea how awesome that is?
If you go to your local comic book store and peruse the covers, you may see some variety in the body types of the male characters, but the women? They are all bombshells with long legs and curves in all of the right places (but not too many curves because reasons). Seeing someone like Faith up there is a huge deal, and I’m not trying to be punny there. Just so you know.
I read the book and couldn’t help but grin. Faith is a real, three-dimensional character whose weight is never a joke. She’s a person and completely at ease with who she is. She saves lives and has adventures while quipping about pop culture.
I’m so glad that she’s a character that exists now. We need more like her. I wonder what my life would have been like had she existed when I was younger. Seriously, though, it’s a good book and you should pick it up.
Anyway, I’ve gone on for almost a thousand words about this subject. After the conversation with my mom, this blog post just had to happen. I don’t really have any sort of brilliant closing statement for it. All I can say is that you should be and do what makes you happy. Unless what makes you happy comes at the expense of others. In which case, don’t do that thing because being a jerk is just not cool.