???????? of the day
She slumps onto the couch; hot, hungry and exhausted from a hard day at work followed by a strenuous cardio session at the gym. Only two kilograms to go…then maybe she can fit into those size six jeans that call her name every time she walks into that iconic fashion store on the main street. Two hours of her day today was consumed by running, cycling and rowing, followed by a simple salad in a lame attempt to satiate her starvation. Let’s call her Madeline. She is thriving to be the image of perfection in a huge proportion of today’s world – slim, gorgeous and wanted.
Sarah, what the…? What are you ranting about this time? Well, as a matter of fact, I got sunburnt yesterday. I just couldn’t help it! The outside world was sunny and warm with the slightest breeze, it created the ultimate place to relax and recuperate between all the hard work I was doing… Who could pass the sunshine up?! My arms and face have been a little, well, stung today, which indeed has put a real downer on things. But then I thought “Wow, I really need to get a tan, I can’t possibly let my snow white limbs be seen by the public eye”. It has since occurred to me that there are just so many things wrong with that harmless thought that made its way down the path of my mind in the way that any rational thought would have done. That thought sent a massive proportion of my world into an even tighter downward thought spiral.
I know, it’s true. I have a very fair complexion, and being as ‘white’ as I am is just not seen as fashionable, or dare I say it, sexy, in the world we live in. So I genuinely need a tan. I would like to develop a nice, natural (as opposed to fake) sun-kissed glow. And this frustrates me to no end. As Summer approaches, tiny girls will wander around in little shorts and midriff tops – and this scene will become so abundant you simply stop noticing…but whether you pay attention or not, these tiny girls are still likely to have bleached blonde hair and solarium orange skin. This over-tanned, celebrity wannabe look is sought after by too many of the women that inhabit the generation I belong in. I do not find it attractive or glamorous at all.
But people do. They must! Otherwise WHY would they all continue to pursue this look after more than just one summer, so we can’t simply fob it off as another fashion mistake?
Why does this annoy me so much, I hear you quietly ponder? Well, let me explain to you. I’m annoyed that body image is so important to such a large percentage of the Western society – more important than say, one’s own health. Like our friend Madeline – she is not the only girl that puts herself through that torture. Look around you. Sure, there are as many average people as there are gym goers, or health buffs, if not more. But being ‘average’ does not have the potential to consume you completely. It may be easier to live, but who wants to be just another person when there is the chance out there to rise above ‘average’, to become beauty in human form? How could you possibly be happy with yourself? Beauty envelopes all of us in the forms of things we actively consume – namely TV, music, and movies. There are superstars and models and just simply gorgeous people out there, living the red carpet life, and we all know it is far, far from the glamorous beautiful world they try to make us believe in.
There is a not so fine line between the amount you care about how you look and the lifestyle you live. I respect that everybody is different, but those of you that have overstepped the line just annoy me. It’s the human race in general that I’m at my wits end with. It’s not okay (healthy) to want to be like darling Madeline, and count every individual calorie you intake only to make sure you cycle off twice as many, because you need to lose just two more kilograms. Nor is it okay (healthy) to be 120kg and choose pizza with garlic bread and a can of coke for dinner because you don’t care about the way you look. Mate, seriously, what about your heart and your liver and your cholesterol levels? This is how people die every single day! The problem is, in my eyes, the not-so-fine line exists completely isolated and alone under the world’s bright lights in an over-crowded place, because so many people avoid it and make it invisible. As much as TV, magazines, and other forms of media advertise their beliefs that they are over rake thin women, and that bigger certainly is better, I find an alarming contradiction when I turn the page to see Mischa Barton “looking sexier than ever” – gaunt features, sharp angles and all. How can society be so obsessed with this look? It doesn’t matter as it’s basically the higher power these days.
I believe I have a fairly sound understanding of the way it all works, and of everything that eventuates out of everything else. I appear confident and comfortable enough with my image/weight to live my life with a bounce in my step and a smile on my face. But I’ve fought my own evil demons – that mentality that I’m not pretty enough, or I’m too fat, or my legs aren’t long enough for me to be beautiful since before I can remember. I have, for lack of a better term, ‘come of age’ in the last 4-5 years. In this period I have gained seven kilograms, lost about seventeen, and then gained about nine. If it wasn’t for my loved ones constantly instilling me with self confidence, combined with my almost anal eating habits, those demons would surely be red hot and most likely endeavouring to devour my entire persona. I’m just like everybody else out there that cares about the way they look more than they should. I’ll never stop. And there’s not a whole lot I can do about that and be happy simultaneously. Call it a religion, if you like, or just think of it as teetering on the edge of the not-so-fine line. It’s ultimately my higher power. I have found the balance and realised that to abuse this power by either treating it or tormenting it is going to end badly…it’s all about compromise.
All in all, Somebody needs to flip the coin and have it land sideways, as this discussion has two very clear, very defined sides. And if you aren’t the sideways landed coin, you’re clearly, obviously heads or tails. Nobody wins. Nobody loses, either. Think about it, decide for yourself what side has the better argument. And let me know.
No digging, I have no opinion of you. I don’t know you, so why should I be entitled to?
Have a splendid day.