Tonight, while texting with @this503girl, she sent me a picture of a SkinnyGirl cosmetics display in Wal-Mart. It set me off.
Where the fuck does some stuck-up, worthless piece of shit reality TV "star" get off adding to the mountain of already overwhelming societal messages that tell women they aren't pretty unless they are skinny?
Everywhere we turn, there is some spokesperson, model, actor/actress, doctor or goddamn Oprah espousing via one medium or another that we must find our value in a number on the scale. And instead of standing up together and saying, "Fuck you and the bag of bones you rode in on," we turn on one another and whisper about who's packed on a few holiday pounds, the freshman fifteen, never lost the baby weight and OH MY GOD YOU DON'T NEED TO BE EATING FRENCH FRIES YOU FUCKING COW!
I've had enough. I'm tired of living in a culture where every time I go to the doctor I feel like I have to hurriedly explain that I do eat right, if not better than most, and that I'm working hard to take care of myself and have lost weight lately so please don't judge me and why I'm here by the number you see on the scale. Or when I go shopping for clothes feel like I've achieved a personal victory because I'm now an XL instead of a 1X. Or catch my reflection and compare it to the vision I have of myself in my head (which at one point seemed to be permanently stuck on the 16-year-old version of me) and think, "Oh, right. I forgot," and walk away defeated.
Because the sad thing is, when I was the 16-year-old version of me and nearly 80 lbs lighter than I am now, I did not enjoy my reflection then. In fact, I was surrounded by voices telling me I was unacceptable. My parents being the loudest and echoed by the popular girls in school and by what I saw on magazine covers, TV shows, movies, church, successful business women ... it never stopped. If you wanted to be considered pretty, you MUST be skinny. No ifs, ands or buts.
Yet, there was a part of me that believed what the mirror showed me. And the mirror said I was a knockout, easily equal to any beauty queen out there, just with more muscle and stronger curves. And when I closed my door, turned up my music (long live Skid Row, Bon Jovi and Slaughter), I was free to preen, pose and walk the imaginary catwalk my mirrored closet doors created. No matter what my parents said about buying me the stereo I wanted if I'd just lose 20 lbs, or the girls at school who made up nicknames so they could talk about me in front of me, or the Oprah's of the world who celebrated the last diet they were about to fail spectacularly at, I couldn't make what they said about me equal what I saw during those precious moments. I was beautiful. But those were fleeting seconds and my eyes were constantly drawn away by images I could never attain.
And when 20 years passed and I had long since become the fat person they accused me of being, I lamented that I wasted the time when I did have a perfect body worrying about the flaws others tried to give me. Flaws that I internalized and allowed to infect my own value system.
But that's not right. At all. Now that I do not have the perfect 16-year-old body, I have finally found my truth in the mirror. I am a beauty queen, BECAUSE I HOLD MY VALUE IN MY MIND, NOT IN SOMEONE ELSE'S. I look at my reflection and refuse to let my eyes follow the distractions that society would have me define my worth on. I see each stretch mark, fat deposit, thick thighs, cellulite dimple, flabby upper arm and understand that none of those outside attributes make me who I am, nor do they detract from my beauty.
I choose to live a Beauty Queen State of Mind.
And if you come sniffing around trying to take that away from me or any other woman or young girl, you'd better bring backup, because I'm bringing an army of me. And we will fuck your shit up.