Sunday, September 23, 2007

Diva princesses

Have you ever seen the Diva Princess phenomenon? It is also called the Barbie Doll phenomenon? (phrases coined by yours truly). This phenomenon drives me nuts. Baisically it is the rich, or apparently rich, female young adult with perfect, expensive clothing, jewelry, hair and dye job, high heeled boots, makeup, and handbag. They often order high maintenance, low fat drinks at Starbucks, and never any food. They smile a lot in a way that makes one slightly naseaus and very suspicious, if one is of the non-Diva type. But watch your back. Actual conversation between two Diva princesses behind me in line at Starbucks yesterday:
"Ohmygod, did you know that Jinny wears the same size jeans as me? She's WAY fatter than I am, I don't get that at ALL."
"Ohmygod, that's weird!"
Gag, gag, barf, barf.
90% of me feels the loss for humanity and the world that these girls have chosen to be so plastic and not contribute in more positive and meaningful ways, what a great waste of resources (as in, these girls are sure to have many God-given gifts and talents meant for positive and meaningful contributions and not as in, waste of air or space...I don't tend to think of anyone as a waste of space so don't get me wrong); 10% of me feels frumpy and dumpy and fat and inadequate. This type of Diva princess presentation/behaviour tends to make me feel suffocated and short of breath.
I'm so glad my parents raised me to be an individual thinker, a creative person, a trend avoider, an individual who looks beyond the surface shell or the way things appear. Props to my parents for showing me that the value of humans is embedded deeper than their hair, their mascara, or the size of their ass.
That said, I do think the size of my own ass could use some moderation. It is interesting to me that I accept and affirm my friends and acquaintances in all shapes and sizes, but hate my own size. I would cheerfully take a butcher knife and slice three inches off most of my abdomen if that wouldn't then make me ugly because my skin would be missing. And likely make me quite sick. I could slice the stretch marks off my hips and legs, too, and the saggy bottom half of each of my breasts. And the hairs that sprout from my chin. Let us not forget also the cottage cheese on the legs.
When I see other women I think, "Gee, how wonderful and beautiful and how outrageous that they think otherwise! Boo on society for training women to think themselves less than beautiful!" But when I see myself I think, "Fat. Jiggly. Lumpy." In fact, I should really be thanking my body for all the things it can do, like grow a baby! Nourish a baby! Nourish a toddler! Run 21.1 Kilometers in 2 hours, 38 minutes! Dance! Warm my kids' cold hands on my tummy! Give a million hugs a day! Walk! Drive! Save lives! Comfort sick people! Learn! Play! Swim! Paint! What amazing things my body can do. I should be thankful. If I added up all the minutes in a day I spend thinking about the inadequacies I perceive on my body, and spent that energy on something positive, I wonder what cool things I could do. But I want to be skinny. I want to be small. I want to have smooth skin without cellulite. I think I feel that if I could only get this body, I would walk around comfortable. But I remember that when I was a skinny dancer, I did not walk around comfortable. I wonder if, in my entire life, there will be a time that I don't walk around consciously sucking my tummy in. I did it when i was skinny and I do it now.
When I look at other women I see beauty! I see character! Variety! Vitality! Sparkle! I wonder why I don't extend that same grace and acceptance to myself.


Roboseyo said...

isn't it funny how we internalize others expectations . . . (and not even ACTUALLY others' expections: just what we THINK others expectations are) of us.

I keep feeling that nagging thing too: "I should look for a higher paying job/wear nicer clothes/lose my pillow-tummy/whatever." Humans are such strange creatures because we are both intensely social, but also intensely individualistic, at the same time. A tiger hunts alone, period. Wolves hunt in packs, period. But a human ultimately hunts alone, but still worries about whether the wolf-pack thinks his/her hair has a nice sheen.

the other funny thing is how we look at others' qualities, but our own flaws -- even just if you think about looking in the mirror as opposed to looking at a friend. Look at a friend, and your eyes go to their eyes, smile, expression, and good features; look at yourself in the mirror, and your eyes immediately seek out blemishes and flaws.

Dont know how to fix it, but ain't it weird.

a.j. c said...

Add to the list of 'thankfuls' in your body: an intelligent brain that fuses together beautiful stuff from your sparkling soul into thoughtful, moving, articulate prose!

You are amazing Mel, I love your blog and I'm so glad we've gotten back in touch!
love, April