The skewed concept of “beauty”

Image courtesy of bodyheart.com

I admit, when I was sick I watched a lot of TV. I happily caught up on several episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation as they show it every day on BBC America. I used to watch that show all the time with my father and we even saw the movies together in the theater. So I don’t consider watching TNG a waste of my time. What I do consider a waste of my time is enduring endless commercials hawking cosmetic products and potions for women.

If I were to buy into all the nonsense cosmetic products say to women, I’d believe that in order to be considered beautiful I’d have to have no pores, no wrinkles, no stretch marks, no skin discoloration and no uneven skin texture. I’d also have to have long, dark lashes that stretch out like spider legs, eye makeup caked on so heavy I look like a peacock, lips smeared with so much lipstick it looks and feels like lacquer and hair that flows to my shoulder in perfect, gray-hair-free waves. Well I’ve got news for you, none of that applies to me but I still know with 100% certainty that I AM BEAUTIFUL!

What I found really interesting about the commercials is that many of them say “9 out of 10 women noticed a difference” “90% of women saw less wrinkles” and so on. So basically it’s just women who are worried about how women look. Ask a man if he notices a reduction in a female significant other’s wrinkles, pores whatever and he’ll avoid that question like the plague! Thing is, I don’t really believe men give a flying monkey about women’s pores or fine lines. I highly doubt they want the woman in their life so shellacked in makeup that they can’t even touch her without getting it on their face, hands and clothing.

I believe that the best kind of person thinks that the women in their life are beautiful just as they are without loads of cosmetics and creams piled on. People who see the genuine, inner beauty of a woman don’t notice or care if she looks like a drowned rat from being caught in the rain or that her body isn’t as impossibly thin and flawless as the photoshoppped women on magazine covers.

Seeing the quote by Kate Winslet that I posted at the top of this blog was a slap upside the head for me. I have two daughters and the last thing in this world I want is of them to feel bad about themselves. From the moment I read Kate Winslet’s words, I’ve stopped saying negative things about my body. I told my girls that I love my body and the amazing things it’s done and will continue to do. I don’t care what advertisers try to shove down my throat, I refuse to buy into their skewed concept of beauty.

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Ripped? Shredded? How about perforated?

Image courtesy of The Paper Mill Store

Image courtesy of The Paper Mill Store

Anyone who has ever read through a fitness magazine or even just glanced the cover of a fitness magazine in a grocery store has probably seen the words “Ripped!” “Shredded!” “Cut!” describing the bodies of people in rock solid physical shape. Slogans like “How to get ripped in 30 days!” “Shred 10 pounds by bikini season!” “Tips for a cut body in 3 weeks!” are meant to grab you, pull you in and shake you about until you’re amped up enough to start working out.

I agree that being in healthy shape, eating right and taking care of your body is important but sometimes it’s taken to the extreme. There are those who really want a hard body and they work diligently at it until they achieve their desired results and then there are others like myself who just want to firm up a bit and lose those infamous “last 1o pounds of post-baby weight.” I’ve been carrying this “baby weight” for seven years now and it’s fair to say that Jaycie really isn’t the cause of it anymore. My love of yummy, but not always good for me food is the cause of it as is my off and on dedication to exercise.

I’ve been doing the Les Mills Combat workouts for three weeks now and while I’m definitely getting stronger, I’m far from ripped, shredded or cut. I think perforated is a better term for it. As in, I’m ready to be torn, ripped, shredded whatever and I’m on the verge of it but it’s going to take a bit more work to get there. What’s important is that I know I’ll get where I want to be.

What’s also important is accepting the “imperfections” of my body and that I’ll never look flawless as though I’m chiseled from solid marble. I’ve had two children and I have stretch marks. Yes, I admitted it! No amount of working out, creams, potions or magic spells is going to make those disappear. But I don’t want them to disappear. As I’ve read in inspirational quotes they’re my “tiger stripes.” I fought through several hours of labor for each of my girls and they were worth every moment of pain. I wear my badges of courage proudly!

Darn right!!!

I wouldn’t mind being without the post-baby pooch but I do like my softness and my curves. After all, Greek and Roman goddesses weren’t originally portrayed as skinny waifs with bony hips and oversized bosoms, they had soft hips and thighs and meat on their bones! There is real beauty in being a real woman, even one who isn’t ripped, shredded, torn and cut. Being perforated means there is greatness in you and you’re forever ready to reveal your new and amazing inner glow.