A few thoughts on beauty and judging others.
Every night before I go to sleep I go through my UK Daily Mail app on my iPhone. I read the celebrity gossip section. Yes, I know I just lost my imaginary points with you, but the reason I do it is that it’s such ridiculous information it shuts my brain down and I go right to sleep. There’s nothing for me to want to write on or ponder on. I just read it. And I’m out like a light.
But the one constant on the UK Daily Mail entertainment section is always, always, always, something to do with Kim Kardashian. What she wore that day. What she dressed her kid in that day. If her ankles are swollen. And of course, whatever her selfie du jour happens to be.
It makes me completely INSANE! But long ago I realized, what Kim Kardashian wears, how she dresses her kid if she’s having a ‘fat’ day or ‘skinny’ day, and any and all of her selfies are….NONE OF MY DAMN BUSINESS.
Would I like to live in a world with fewer Kim Kardashian selfies? Oh sure. I’d like to go just one day without seeing her naked. But guess what? I can turn that app off at any damn time. What she wears and does and how she is truly is her choice. And if it makes her happy and that’s what she wants, then more power to ya mama!
Social media has enabled us as women, and men, to be afforded the opportunity to have a platform. One of our complete choosing. I think what we share and say tells different little insights into our souls. I think some people paint a facade of who they are and what they believe. Which again, fine. Not my business. But I also think that says something about that person. Why do they feel the need to paint any picture other than their true authentic self?
And I don’t know about you, but the one thing I believe this world needs more than anything is for us all to be exactly who we are. Without shame. Without guilt. Without trying to break ourselves and mold and bend and change into whatever the social majority says we should be.
I love the designer Betsey Johnson. If I had to describe her in one word it would be, wackadoodle. She seems like a complete nut. A beautiful, pattern-mixing, bow-using, colorful, limit-pushing NUT. I would have a glass of wine with her any day of the week. She dresses like an 80’s rockstar. She wears fluffy pink tutus a lot. She has platinum blonde hair with shaggy bangs and she normally dons bright red lipstick. SHE’S ALSO 72 YEARS OLD!
How freaking cool is that?
I’ve been working on a book forever. I see all these pundits in their sleek dresses holding a gun or with their arms crossed leaning against a wall. But I’ve always had this vision for the cover of my book to involve a pair of Chuck Taylors and a big fluffy pink skirt. Do you know why? Because I can. And because it’s none of your business either.
Here’s the dealeo. I see woman after woman after woman on Facebook or other social media in general criticize and say what they think other women should wear, do and be. Like the whole leggings debate that’s been going on for two months in conservative circles on Facebook. A few months ago a friend of mine was basically shaming women who have had breast augmentation. Or women who wear too much makeup. Today it was a friend posting a pic of a rather large woman in flesh-colored leggings. Which I will be the first to admit, didn’t flatter her. But when did women decide that it was okay to shame other women incessantly for how they look or the choices they make? Women have enough enemies, they don’t need criticism, they need love and acceptance. EVEN when you don’t agree with their choices.
And so who made each of us the judge and jury on who’s allowed to wear what type of pants. And who should or shouldn’t have plastic surgery. Or who should or shouldn’t post their selfies.
With the boob one, I remember reaching out to my friend. I had a breast disease that basically destroyed the tissue in my breasts. After I had my kids I decided to do something about it, especially when my rib cage stuck out further than my boobs. And they turned out pretty freaking awesome. But guess what? Even if I hadn’t had a breast disease that caused me issues and I just wanted to have them done because Boobs=Fun, then guess what? Again, IT’S NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS.
Life is fully and wholly subjective.
One of my workmates turned 30 this week. And these words came out of my mouth. “Omg, you’re just a baby!”
Yup. I am now of a certain age that I consider 30 a baby.
But you know what? To an 80-year-old. I’m the baby. It’s the same way with size. My friend said I could get away with yoga pants because I have thin calves. Well, to a size 0 wearer, I doubt my calves would seem all that small. To a size 20 woman, I would be considered rather petite. So who are we to say what is thin or what is fat or what is acceptable or what is not.
I loved a show Jessica Simpson did several years ago about beauty standards around the globe. They spent time with a bride in who-knows-where-Africa, who was preparing for her wedding. For several months she sat in a hut drinking extremely high-calorie milk and not moving so she could gain as much weight as possible. Sounds like a typical weekend for me. She wasn’t allowed to see the groom until her wedding day. So when it arrived, she emerges from the hut with all her glorious badonkadonk, and I’ve never seen a man smile so much in my life as that groom did. It’s ALL SUBJECTIVE. That was his idea of beauty.
This life is so damn short. I had to have 5 biopsies today. I literally got the best of the worst-case scenario. But it really makes you realize how short life is. Don’t you want to just leave people better than when you found them? And you never ever know someone else’s story. The woman was mocked for her choice in clothing, sort of any woman mocked for her choice in clothing, may not love herself very much. She might not make the effort because she never knew she was worth an effort to make.
When I am older. And my hair turns gray, I’m dying it pink. I’m going to get it cut like dame Judi Dench. I’m going to randomly hug people and tell them I love them which I oddly already do. Because it makes me happy. And it makes others happy too.
Last week, I posted a photo of Patricia Arquette that I found on the UK Daily Mail, wearing a pair of jeans that she didn’t pull up nor zip up. I can post meaningful things all day and not get a single like, but it surprised me how many people commented on that photo. And I felt really bad about it. Maybe it’s her favorite pair of jeans and she’s trying to fit back in them. Maybe she just wanted to do it that way. Either way, it’s none of my business. So I can judge her or I can not. It’s my choice. And I judged her. And I don’t think it was the right choice. How was I helping anything? How was I leaving someone better than before I found them?
One night on one of my runs downtown a homeless man smiled at me and told me I was so beautiful. I can walk into any bar or cafe where I live and never hear that. I don’t care it came from a homeless guy. He left me better than when he found me.
That’s all I want. I’d love people on social media to begin seeing the beauty in people instead of trying to hold them to their own pain and their own standards. Beauty doesn’t just come from someone who looks like Kim Kardashian. Beauty even comes from a dirty, grungy, homeless person who offers a word of kindness. It comes from a toothless grin. It comes from sparkly eye shadow. It comes from the soul.
And to be honest, I hope all of us can come to a certain place of courage where we choose our hearts over the opinion of others. Because if there’s freedom in anything, it’s in the choice to free yourself to be exactly who you are.
And on a side note because invariably one of you will say, “Well with this line of thinking what if I want to just go naked because it makes me happy.” I’d say fine then go find a nudist colony. I still believe what we choose to wear when we are out in public will say something about us. I’m a big fan of no shirt, no shoes, no service because people’s feet freak me the hell out. Yes, we still have to abide by certain standards. We can’t walk in someplace naked. But we do have the right to dress badly. We can not match. We can look like something that just stepped off of Hollywood and Vine. But yoga pants are going to offend an Amish man likely. But my yoga instructor won’t think twice about it. Again, it’s subjective.