Okay my darlings I hope you've been ruminating because I have.
We've already covered the fact that none of us will ever be beautiful in the Western Ideal sense of beauty.
We talked about questioning those who tell us what beautiful is.
Today I want to talk about what do we do with these questions.
Now I want you all to do an exercise with me.
Let's think about the reality of not being Cosmo cover beautiful.
What does that mean in our actual day to day lives?
It means that we don't (most of us anyway) have stylists to follow us around fix our hair, pin our clothes and be the eye of an invisible camera to make sure we look flawless.
It means that most of us don't have an army of people to retouch each and ever picture of us until we don't recognize ourselves.
In terms of mainstream idealized beauty, that has no real bearing on anything.
It really doesn't.
The actors, actresses, models etc who are shown to us as being the beautiful people that is their job. You know what? I could be that kind of beautiful if I had nutritionists, plastic surgeons, stylists, chefs and personal trainers at my beck and call.
For 99% of us, we don't have the time nor money for all of those things.
The next thing we need to think about is how much bullshit is shoveled at us from the mouths of supposedly self loving people?
If you read or follow lady mags how many times have we seen an actress declared HOLYSHITFAT, who then says FUCK YOU I LOVE MY FAT ASS, who then two months later appears on another magazine cover (most likely a fitness magazine) with their miraculous brand new body?
Now I need you to be honest here, do you see those pictures and really believe that it's as easy as just eating more veggies?
It's bullshit my darlings.
The initial I love my fat ass comments are bullshit and the subsequent "life style changes" are often bullshit.
Why should we model ourselves after that kind of behavior?
Why should we try so hard and torture ourselves to attain something that really even the "beautiful" people can't attain without the aforementioned army of stylists etc?
We all know that even if one is close to the western Ideal as in, close enough to be considered "attractive" there are privileges involved.
If you're White, somewhat symmetrical in the face, proportionate in your body (even if you're fat to a degree. Also please note we're not talking self esteem yet) you will benefit from that privilege.
Take Fat acceptance as an example.
There have been many many criticisms of FA over the years I've been involved with it on the internets that, often the "Face" of fat is pretty and white. That the "voice" of FA has been pretty, White and educated.
I'm going to use myself as an example.
I am not a pretty well educated white lady. However after my initial feelings of trepidation, I realized that all I can do is add my voice.
I also needed to not take it personally in that, when somethings needs a face, that face often needs to be for purposes of the mainstream taking it seriously, an easy to take face.
It is easier for mainstream America to listen to a pretty white lady than it is a pretty Black lady.
Does it suck?
Is there fuckall I or you can do about it right now?
So we end up with what?
We have the truth, we have knowledge.
Say the adage with me, knowledge is power.
Now we need to take the power out of the retouched images.
That is hard.
It's a process.
We have to teach ourselves to look at the Cosmo cover and say, she looks pretty and not judge ourselves or others against that standard.
Your homework my darlings.
Go to the grocery store and look at some lady mag covers. Appreciate the hair, appreciate the styling. Appreciate the make up artist and the stylist. Appreciate the photographer who captures an awesome shot.
Look at it like this.
You are you. You were born, you perambulate around the world in your body. Maybe you are fat. Maybe you're not. Maybe you are in a wheel chair, maybe you are disabled. Maybe you have an invisible illness.
You have this body in whatever state it is in and it is the only one you get. You are the closest to your body, to your outward appearance and you are the one who gets to make decisions about it.
You get to decide if you want to wear make up, get your hair did, get tattoos, wear pants etc.
Being that you make those decisions, why would you let an imaginary thing, in this case this Western Beauty Ideal dictate to you how you feel about your body and your face?
In case no one has ever told you before, you don't have to.
That is what I want you to think about.
Coming up we are going to start learning to not give a fuck.
Not. One. fuck.
We are going to start learning (or if you already know reinforcing) the ways we can stop or lessen how much we care about what other people think of our looks.
So tell me, how are you doing?
Have you had any HOLY SHIT type a ha moments?
Now go do your homework and feel free to report back.