Tuesday, March 24, 2009

When it's all the same.

I was cruising my google feed reader (handiest thing ever) and I came across this post(not totally sfw) lauding Cindy Crawford and her graceful aging.

Yes Ms. Crawford looks hot. We know this. I think we've known this for what twenty years now?

But what bothers me is the idea that one must remain youthful and largely unchanged, to stay the hot young things we were when we were 20. As I've said before I find that whole idea unnatural and plain icky.

What bothers me further is the inference these days that self care automatically means you must remain trim and toned. That taking care of yourself means staying or getting thin.

I think this bastardization of the idea of self care is harmful to people in general.

I don't like the idea that the only path to self care and therefore visible self love is to eliminate your vices, shed those pounds etc.

Why is it that in reading about self care it's always presumed that the ideal is where you must want to be? I believe that this thin centric, tunnel vision of self care is harmful and in the end for a lot of us another fount of misery.

If you haven't read it I'll point you to Kate's post about the Fantasy of Being Thin.

I bring that up because the going definitions of self care seem to fit right in don't they?

I fully believe that the idea of self care is in desperate need of rephrasing and rethinking.

Instead of self care being all about retaining your appearance of youth, being thin, appearing to be fit (because if you do a little googling it's very apparent that you can look fine and not be fine), we as humans might want to focus on being good to ourselves.

By that I mean don't exercise yourself into pain or injury. You'd think that's common sense but if you watch reality weight loss shows, listen to people talk about weightloss it's just not.

Instead of looking to remake yourself into some image of perfection that is unattainable, why not just be nice? Be nice to yourself. Learn to love your foibles, love your insecurities. Love who you have spent your time on earth becoming. And then, maybe you know what you might discover that you don't need to change.

Or maybe you do and that's okay. That's great. What I'm saying is changing because you think you're defective or because it seems like the thing to do is not good for you.

Further let's teach our kids this way. Instead of just letting them absorb all the bullshit let's fight it. Instead of letting your daughter hear how much you think your ass sucks and what a bad person you are for having that cookie, squash it. Think about all the children suffering from eating disorders. About the children suffering depression.

Think about how it might have changed your life if as a kid someone special to you showed you what a healthy body image looks like and is.

I believe that we are all fucked up. There is stuff wrong with and weird about all of us. I also believe that is not in and of itself a horrible no good very bad thing. I believe that we can love ourselves as fucked up and weird as we are. I believe that when we love ourselves it starts to get easier not to be fucked up.

It's hard.

These are lessons I take to heart because I struggle. I am not bullet proof.

I fuck up.

Sometimes I am angry with myself for not being up to my own standards.

Sometimes, I hate my ass.

Most of the time I don't. Most of the time I fight for myself. I fight to feel good and practice thoughtful self care.

So what are we going to do about all this?

You tell me my darlings. How do you love yourselves? What helps you to care for yourself in a loving manner?

Homo out.
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