Monday, July 14, 2008

I will not walk on tiptoes...

I read this on my friend Carrie Beth's blog and was blown away by her sheer honestly! She is an amazing friend - whom I've never met in person - but one which God continually drops in my life at exactly the right moment. She is a dear, kindred spirit. I asked her permission to repost the following...

What is a woman's worth, anyway? What makes a woman? Is it in her smile? The way she carries herself? The way she throws her head back in complete and utter abandon as she laughs from deep within? Is it the sweep of her eyelashes against her cheek? Is it her passion for the things that define who she really is and what she loves? Is it the fire in her eyes when she's so angry she can barely speak? Is it the love that she radiates for all those who mean the world to her? Who am I kidding? A woman is not defined by any of that. A woman is defined solely by her weight.

I've been reminded several times again this weekend that I'm not a "regular" woman. You may ask yourself, "What is a 'regular' woman? And who decides what a 'regular' woman is?" According to a good friend of mine, a regular woman is someone with the proportions of 36", 24", 32." Hysterical, huh? Do you know that a woman who measures 36", 24", 36" is basically physically disproportionate? According to fashion industry standards, a woman who bears that fantastic, dreamy body would be simultaneously wearing a size 4 (hips), a size 2 (waist), and a size 10 (bust). That's virtually impossible.

Somehow, our country has become obsessed with physical characteristics. It no longer seems to matter how intelligent a woman is, how personable she is, or how much fun she is to be around. All that matters is her size. I even asked two of my guy friends last night... "Other than physical characteristics, what do you look for in a woman?" Neither of them had anything to say to that. Are they looking for a paper doll? Looks will fade one day. I can guarantee you that. When we're old and gray and sitting on the front porch in a rocking chair, we will not be as beautiful as we were in our youth. What will matter then is much more than looks. When physical beauty fades away, all that will be left is the beauty of the human spirit.

More interesting statistics...
  • The average American woman is 5'4", weighs 140 lbs, and wears a size 14 dress.
  • The "ideal" woman--portrayed by models, Playboy centerfolds, Miss America, Barbie dolls, and screen actresses--is 5'7", weighs 100 lbs, and wears a size 8.
  • One-third of all American women wear a size 16 or larger.
  • 75% of American women are dissatisfied with their appearance.
  • 50% of American women are on a diet at any one time.

Yes, I'm overweight. I am bigger than the average woman. I've dieted... lost weight and then gained it back just to lose it again. It's a never-ending cycle. Genetics are a nightmare. I come from a family of larger people. However, I can say that I love myself. Yes, I'm not too fond of my "wobbly bits" as Bridget Jones referred to them. I don't necessarily love the fact that I have to shop in plus-sized stores. But the major key point is that I LOVE myself. I know that I have more to offer a man than a Playboy Centerfold.

I'm smart. I have a college degree, and I'm working on my Master's degree. I currently have a 4.0. That means all A's. And not just all A's in easy undergrad classes. I'm talking about all A's in graduate level courses. And what's even cooler is that I have kept a 4.0 all while balancing a social life, family, and a career. I teach all day and go to school at night. Several nights a week. Instead of taking a summer break, I'm taking three more graduate courses. I'm smart. And my students' state assessment scores can vouch for it. I know what I'm doing, and I'm dang good at it.

I'm fun. I laugh - with you, at you, and more often than the other two, I laugh at myself. I'm friendly. I never meet strangers, and I generally have a positive outlook on life. I love to have fun. I live for spending time with friends and family - they are some of the most important people in my life. Not only am I fun, I'm fun to be around. I'm the life of the party. The girl who radiates energy and enthusiasm. I have values and morals. I live my life according to principle. I hold myself accountable to the ideals that I treasure most. I'm intriguing. A little bit mysterious. I don't bare all or speak all. I leave something to be imagined. These things are what set me apart.

Not only am I smart and fun and and mysterious... I'm beautiful. Sure I may be heavier than the average woman, but I'm gorgeous. Look at my sapphire eyes, my full lips, my naturally curly hair. I have a sparkle in my eyes - one that can't be bought or recreated. I'm just natural. Naturally me. And if that's not enough for you, then that's ok. I deserve better. And you deserve someone as shallow as you.

And when you say that "less is better than more," you're saying I'm too much woman for you. I know the truth. I know that you're scared. You're scared of who I am and what I have to offer. You can't believe that you'd ever be attracted to someone as fat as I am. You play off that spark we feel as just a little bit of fun and flirtation. I know the truth. I've seen it in your eyes, and I've felt your response to me. But hey, it's ok. Let's just keep playing the game. You keep searching for that disproportionate woman, that woman whose measurements are virtually impossible to have. You'll never find her. Years from now you'll realize that I'm the closest thing to perfection you will ever know.

(And let's be honest here, I'm not really talking about you. Don't flatter yourself. I'm taking about every you out there. But really, it's not about you - or any other guy for that matter. It's really all about me.)

Any thoughts? Comments? Let me know.

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