Thursday, March 18, 2010
Numbers as Weapons
(Crocus in a front bed.)
I think most of us would agree that judging yourself by the amount of money you make is not just silly but rather unenlightened. If you are feeding yourself and your family, if you are sheltering your loved ones, if you are clothed, if you can generally pay your bills and have a wee bit of fun, we would say, I think, that this is just a number.
I think most of us would agree that judging yourself by your age is also in the category of "unenlightened." Again, it's just a number.
There are other numbers that we would say are a waste of our time: your height, the repetitions of sun salutations that you are capable of, the grade you got in elementary school on that math test, how much someone you love weighs, how much you weigh...oh, wait.
That one right there.
How much you weigh.
Yeah, it totally matters. I mean, how can you possibly think you have any self worth unless you weigh the "right amount?" Really.
Forget that you are beautiful by virtue of simply being a human being, a miracle of existence. Forget that. That's just crap compared to what the scale said to you last night or this morning or perhaps after you used the bathroom the last time.
Forget all the stuff that your body does for you everyday. Forget how your arms wrap tightly around those whom you love. Forget that your eyes see the sun rise and set and that they take in the daily beauty that is the coming spring. Forget that your legs walk you toward home. That your spine stands you upright when you hear your name called.
Forget all of that, because it's crap, I tell you, just crap compared to the number on the scale.
Okay. Enough. You get it, right? You get why you need to throw away that contraption. That Device of Self Torture that you willingly put in your house, step onto at the gym, step onto when told to at the doctor. (Yes, there are people who refuse the doctor this one number.)
What are you trying to tell yourself with this number? How healthy you are? Because guess what? There's a thing called Skinny Fat. It's a phrase about people who are thin but can't do a set of stairs. They are unhealthy on the inside.
And the inside is what you should care about.
Can you run up and down the steps and not get winded to the point that you have to sit down?
Are you physically active every single day?
Do you enjoy being inside this body?
There's the real question: Do you enjoy being inside this body?
No number is going to give you that. That comes from the inside.
Why have we intelligent women granted authority to this evil hunk of metal, not only over our bodies but over our minds? Only a good night's sleep, early-morning sex, or a nice vanilla latte should be allowed to wield so much influence over how we start our day.
--Leslie Goldman, Locker Room Diaries: The Naked Truth about Women, Body Image, and Re-imagining the "Perfect" Body
(NOTE: Again, if you can't see the comments, simply click on the title of this post. You will then have access. I apologize for any inconvenience; I am working to remedy this (WEIRD and most ANNOYING) issue.)