Friday, August 15, 2008

Another Woman Caves to the Weight Police

Last year actress Jennifer Love-Hewitt was ripped to shreds by the tabloids for not looking like a cadaver. She was by no means even remotely close to being overweight. She did however look like she actually ate a meal from time to know normal. Still skinny, but not totally emaciated. She said she was fine with how she looked...but low and behold the need to conform clearly took hold because she is announcing to the world that she.lost.weight dammit!

See, in this country we like to take on our own form of moral superiority like discussing how heinous it is that women in some countries have to wear a burqua. How barbaric. Those people, we tsk tsk thinking how much better we are. Well, we have our own version of ridiculous standards that only apply to WOMEN mind you. It's as if you are not validated as a woman unless you fit into a very narrow box. White, Blonde, Big Boobs, Weigh no more than say 125lbs. We must see your clavicle. Your thighs must not touch when you stand. Your hair must be long and a horse's mane.

See...I am none of the above. Far far from it in fact. And neither are most women. Even the women who do fit that profile don't feel free. Ever gone on a diet? Ever complained about the fit of your clothes? Ever felt you had to compete for male attention? So I walk around fighting the tape in my head that says I'm not worthy. It's a message that's been programmed from an early age and reinforced to such heights that we're all gonna fall off that cliff ANY DAY NOW!

I am saddened but not surprised by her actions. I can only imagine the pressure she was under. She was just living her life and was probably somewhat devoid of the behaviors of those with addictions and emotional problems. Perhaps not anymore. If she exercised more and lost weight, fine. She'll just be way more high maintenance in her personal upkeep....but if there's going to a food restriction list, a do's and don'ts requirement, a pending obsession then that just sucks! That's no example. That's no way to live.

I recall the episode of Oprah where Jill Scott was on discussing her role in "Why Did I Get Married". She is a beautiful full-figured woman and amazing musician. Her character was written as being even heavier than Jill is in real life so her reel character required padding. She spoke of cast members looking at her with pity at her increased body size and how she used that in her acting choices, but still. All health arguments aside what is up with this attitude? Why is a woman deemed less than simply because of her weight?

We all have insecurities, but we are children of God [insert your spiritual tradition]. We are precious. We have intellect. Compassion. We love deeply and freely. We are Amazons. Valkyries. Know your strength.

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