After a long day at work or school, what are your favorite ways to wind down and decompress?
If I truly had my way with this, there are a couple of different approaches I would absolutely love to take (and used to take when I was single). Now, for the sake of the post, let’s just go ahead and assume that it’s been an incredibly long and exhausting day…
I would come home, have a very small and quick / easy dinner by about 6:30pm, have a long hot shower, jump straight into my pj’s, crawl into bed and then watch like four or five episodes back-to-back of one of my favourite tv shows.
I would come home, collapse on the bed and fall asleep. I would then probably wake up around midnight, 1am with my bag still on my back, roll off the bed and stumble around in the dark, only to get naked and crawl into bed. I’d find the warm spot where I’d previously been laying, and position myself for maximum warmth exposure, and then go back to sleep.
If I’d had a particularly shitty day at work, and was so unbearably bubbling with pure rage, I’d take myself down to the gym for a BODYPUMP™ class and channel all my rage into a weights class. I’d be the one towards the back of the class with rather light weights (well, compared to all the hardcore women in the class), and sweat my hole out for an hour. Breathing heavily through clenched teeth, totally regretting the decision to even come to the gym. Afterwards, I’d drag my sweaty self home for a nice hot shower, and then completely stuff my face with cheese and spinach sausage rolls, followed by either ice-cream or chocolate.
Nowadays, I live a life full of late nights, late dinner and early mornings. I’m a bit over it. I’m finding that Option 2 is regularly becoming something I wish I could do several times per week. Unfortunately, my husband doesn’t support such an idea.
Just thinking about it is starting to make me feel a bit sleepy….
Do you believe that beauty is in the eye of the beholder? Or do you think there is a basic standard of beauty that everyone agrees upon?
**WARNING: Contains stereotypes and generalisations**
I vaguely remember watching a Comedy Debate a couple of years ago on this exact same topic… I guess it probably would have helped if I had been paying attention more, then I could have relayed the messages from both sides of the debate.
There are so many different ways in which I could address this, so let’s just see how this all unfolds, shall we? I think I’ll break it up into a few different sections.
Is there a basic standard of beauty that everyone agrees upon? Yes and no.
Let’s take this whole concept of beauty back to the most iconic of them all, Barbie.
Barbie has gone through quite a number of changes over the years, but looking at the image above, it’s quite obvious that she’s had a bit of work done. Poor old Babs was stuck with that 50’s-esque body type and some people felt that she needed a bit of a change. So off she went to hospital, had a few ribs removed and come out looking like a brand new bitch.
The problem with Barbie is that although she may be one of the most fashionable ladies in the history of, well, ever, the fact still remains that some view her as a negative role model for young women. Girls all over the world have looked up to Barbie and told themselves that one day, they too will be just like her – blonde and plastic-fantastic. And unfortunately, some make it their life’s mission. Everybody knows somebody like this – the blonde dyed hair, the fake breasts, fake lips, constantly covered in fake tan. And they no doubt have their own version of ‘Ken’ – the tall guy with rippling muscles everywhere that can barely string a sentence together.
This brings me to my first topic:
Beauty and Fitness
Now that it’s the era of the gym bunny – these Ken’s and Barbie’s probably spend their lives at the gym, toning up the rest of their body in the pursuit of what they consider ‘perfection’. But to some people, the ideal of ‘perfection’ doesn’t necessarily equate to ‘beautiful’. Have a look at these lovely ladies and all their, um, fakeness. Some might consider them to be beautiful. Others, however, might assume that they’re all dancing down at the local Oompa-Loompa strip club for when Willy Wonka’s minions feel like a boys night out and wanna blow a wad (of cash!).
Some of the Barbie’s probably also do something called ‘Bikini Modelling’ which is apparently, a thing now… but basically it’s just these gym bitches parading around in a couple of strips of material which is smothered in diamantes and sequins in order to attempt to cover their pikachu, whilst they parade around in those ‘glass’ hooker heels. to show off all the hard work they’ve put in at the gym – and probably all the food that they haven’t been eating in order to help ‘shred’ those last few pounds.
Oh, I totally forgot – they’re also the type of person who is probably so narcissistic that they feel the need to constantly take selfies and share them on every type of social media account they have… just so other ‘models’ can message them and say ‘OH MY GAWWWWD… OMG GAWD YOU LOOK SOOOOO HAWT…’ and then flick their hair and give a little duck-face.
Let’s face it, she looks like she’s a heartbeat away from pole-dancing lessons.
I’m in two minds about this. Yes, I think it’s great that you’re going to the gym and working on your body etc… but are you actually fit?? Yes, you might spend 3 days a week working on your legs, but can you actually run? I’ve seen far too many people at the gym who look ‘fit’, but are actually quite the opposite. And to be honest, I secretly enjoy it. I love nothing more than going to a high-intensity interval class and seeing some muscled up jock there as well, and then see him struggling during the first track of a 30-min class, only for him to give up by track 2 or 3. Now, I’m not exactly a beacon of health and fitness myself, I’m somewhere in the middle. It just goes to show you that yes, you can spend every spare moment you have, of everyday, in the gym targeting each and every muscle group on your body, so you too can get to a point where you can’t buy regular clothes and you have to walk around holding invisible briefcases, but when tubbly ol’ me goes into a class with you, you’re expected to be able to wipe the floor with the rest of us, because you look the way you do. Nobody is anticipating on seeing you, not even half-way through the class, collapsed on your bench wondering if you’re about to have a coronary.
Like I said earlier, we associate muscle with fitness, when really it’s just strength, not actual fitness. Next time you’re at the gym, just take a moment and look at the people who are in a group fitness class. Look at their body types. They may be sweating and grunting and have their ugly concentration face on, but do you consider them beautiful? Now go for a wander down to the free-weights area and check out the people there and their bodies. It’s okay, I’m giving you permission to perve. Do you consider this group more beautiful simply because of their dedication to muscle definition? If you just said yes, don’t you think that sounds a bit shallow?
And don’t get it twisted, this is NOT what I mean by ‘cardio’.
There’s also a couple of different types of bodies that people consider fit. For example, the ripped guy who’s trying to look like The Hulk… some view him as fit. The triathlete / runner / cyclist etc. Some view them as fit whilst others just think their skinny. Yet, those who are simply swimmers, are a different body type all together. ‘Fitness’ (and I use the term loosely) comes in all shapes and sizes, and all are considered beautiful to all different types of people. To these people, the athletes, their bodies are treated like machines. They are all about the biomechanics of how their body works, how it needs to perform and how they can improve that performance. It’s no longer considered a body, it’s a machine. And to be an athlete is something that requires pure dedication, which in turn, becomes a thing of beauty (especially if it’s on film and being shown in slo-mo… moreso if it’s a hot guy without his top on hehehe).
An ex-boyfriend of mine was once part of the Victorian Institute of Sport, and I remember him telling me stories about some of the people who live there, and how much dedication they put towards what they do. Specific sleeping, eating and training patterns that would seem ridiculous to the average person, but is considered normal to those at VIS. He would tell me stories about the punishing training they put themselves through; the pain that they have to experience almost constantly all in the belief that it might earn them a gold medal, or better, Olympic medal. You might seem them competing at a national or even international level doing something that they’ve dedicated their lives to. Completely tortured themselves in the process, and there’s no denying that that’s not something truly beautiful.
I don’t think I could possibly continue writing any more if I didn’t at least address the most obvious topic – Ballet.
Ballet, I think would have to be regarded as the most beautiful form of dance in the history of the world. It’s so elegant and graceful, and let’s be honest, those skinny bitches know how to fly around on that stage and make it look so effortless. I remember when I was younger reading an article about fitness and sport, and there was a study done between all different types of athletes. Sprinters, runners, swimmers, footy players, soccer players, basketball players etc and a male ballet dancer. They were put through a series of drills to measure endurance, cardiovascular activity, Co2 etc, and who came out on top?? The ballet dancer. That article then went on to talk about how dance in general should be considered a sport, because dancers are a type of athlete… well, that, and dance is beautiful. Art in motion. Emotive.
They’re also a bit obsessive. The hardcore ones have either inhaled a bit too much hairspray over the years, and had their hair-buns pulled a bit too tight, because they are all striving for the same thing – perfection. The problem is, that like most sports, the pursuit of perfection is never easy. It’s long and it’s painful, but the result is beauty.
HOWEVER, this type of beauty does come at a cost. Especially for ballerinas. What is the cost?
How beautiful do you think ballet is now? Does it change your views at all? The phrase ‘pain is beauty‘ is no truer than right now. The ballerina, let’s face it, will go through the gates of hell in order to achieve ‘perfection’, but unfortunately, their concept of perfection may be rather different to yours or mine. These ladies, literally, torture themselves all in the name of dance, art, grace and beauty. Yes, the end result can be simply breathtaking, however, there is a trade off. That image above, is the trade off.
So everytime you see a ballerina doing this:
…I want you to remind yourself of this:
In this instance beauty certainly is in the eye of the beholder, because we don’t see underneath. We don’t see the mangled feet, or the bloodied pointe shoes. We don’t see the bruising, or the contorted joints. We don’t see the tears and the pain. We just see the elegance floating on the stage in tulle.
Beauty and Image
That is Rick Genest a.k.a. Zombie Boy. He is covered from head to toe and everywhere in between with tattoos. Most of it is all anatomical – bones, organs, veins etc. Most people would look at him and feel uncomfortable, or even scared, simply because of his tattoos. But that doesn’t change the fact that he’s still a human being like the rest of us, he just looks a little different. Why should he be judged on what’s on the outside, rather than what’s on the inside?
Some people would consider him ugly, yet others consider him living art, and yet he’s achieved quite a lot. He’s been featured in Theirry Mugler’s fashion shows, he’s done makeup campaigns, he’s even in the Born This Way video for Lady Gaga.
People wonder why others go to such extremes with tattoos – in today’s society, it’s quite common place to see people with ‘sleeves’, or tattoos on various parts of their bodies, and even that in itself has people divided, and I for one have seen some really ugly tattoos and some that are truly beautiful works of art. I might not necessarily agree that it needed to be tattooed, but it’s still a form of art, and art is considered to be beautiful, right?
I came across the following video when doing some research on Mr Genest, and came across a video campaign he did for DermablendPro, which is truly remarkable:
After seeing him covered in tattoos, and then seeing him with ‘normal’ looking skin, it’s quite a dramatic change, and almost makes you question why a person would do that to their body.
Personally, I think it’s fascinating, and I believe that he is a walking, breathing work of art. The amount of work that has gone into those tattoos, the detail, not to mention the cost and the pain, it’s all in the name of his image. And like the saying goes, ‘pain is beauty’ – or does that now only apply to corset’s and stiletto’s?
Beauty and Fashion
This brings us to the next topic – beauty and fashion. Hands up those of you who always dreamt about being a supermodel. Yeah, me too. I would sometimes dream that if I were born a girl, I’d grow up to become a Glamazon as well. Tall. Toned. Legs for days. I’d have an incredible body, and I’d use it to make a fortune.
As a kid who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, it was the time of the true supermodel legends – Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Helena Christensen, Eva, Herzigova. Gorgeous women who drove men wild with lust and drove women wild with jealousy. They were everywhere you turned – commercials, magazine covers, interviews, billboards on the sides of buildings etc. The world was obsessed with them and couldn’t get enough of them. They were the epitome of beauty. Ladies went to the extreme of drawing on a mole that looked like Cindy Crawford’s.
Imitation is the highest form of flattery, dahhhlings.
But then something happened, over the years the modelling industry took a turn for the worse and started to give off the image that only emaciated young girls could be models, and for quite some time, some designers would only use these types of girls in their runway shows. That was considered beautiful. Some skeletal bag of bones who looks like she’s been wrapped in couture and sent down the runway in a pair of stilts. Sorry, no. Not in the slightest. (Sidenote: if you’re looking for a laugh, do search for videos of models falling down. Guaranteed to make you feel better!)
Now, let’s fast forward to 2013 / 2014 and shine a spotlight on Carmen Carrera. Carmen is the first transgender model. I had never heard of Carmen before, until I saw her walk in the Marco Marco show.
Check out the full show:
When it comes to the modelling industry, it can easily be summed up in one word:
However, have you ever really looked at a fashion show, and studied the models, rather than the clothes? The models seems to all look the same, especially the male models. They all just seem to be clones of each other – they have the exact same body type, the exact same chiseled jaw, and the same blank expression that tells us there really isn’t much going on upstairs. I put them in the same category as all the other hot guys – you can stand there and look beautiful, but please, for the love of god, don’t say anything.
The other issue I have with the modeling industry is that even now, even after it’s cleaned up its act a bit and now actually wants people, rather than bags of bones in Manolo’s, it’s still giving people, primarily young women, this unhealthy view that in order to be accepted, you need to look like a model. You can’t achieve anything unless you skinny. You can’t be in the media. You can’t fit in with the cool kids at school. Boy’s won’t talk to you etc.
What a bunch of crap!
This, however takes me to my next topic:
Beauty and Weight
Women who are overweight, have always been made to feel bad about themselves, mainly due to mainstream media. It’s plastered with skinny bitches, and they’re always shown to be having fun – they’re on the beach with their (skinny) girlfriends, splashing in the water in their bikini’s and then get approached by a group of guys (ie: gay male models); or their on jewellery commercials, getting earrings, and bracelets from their male-model boyfriend / fiance / husband (again, gay!). Their the ones at fast food restaurants, stuffing their faces with a burger or fried chicken, and having a great time.
…but where are the plus-sized girls?
Why is it that even now, even in 2014, plus-size is still something that isn’t being accepted by the media. Despite the campaigns by various groups to have more ‘bigger’ girls in mainstream media, it just doesn’t happen. What kind of message is this sending to women? As a gay man, to me this says ‘you’ll never be this happy unless your skinny. You’ll never get these kinda of diamonds, or meet a man this attractive, unless your skinny. You’ll never enjoy fried food like this, unless your ski-…’ actually, I think that if you’re a bigger girl, you’re more likely going to enjoy that fried chicken soooo much more than some skinny bitch.
In my search for images of plus-sized models, I came across this little gem:
Who says that bigger women aren’t beautiful, or can’t be beautiful. Can you sit there and look at a plus-sized model and say she doesn’t look beautiful? The key word being model. She’s a model. It’s no longer a word for anorexic bitches on stilts. It’s expanded. It’s diversified. However, there needs to be more light shone on plus sized models to give them the attention, and the recognition they deserve.
I sit here and look at society and think that it must be really tough for anybody who’s a size 12 or bigger, because fashion in it’s purest form is targeted only to those who seem to not like eating, or prefer the taste of their fingers after each meal. What kind of fucked up message does that send to women? No wonder the ‘dieting’ section of supermarkets and health food stores etc is rapidly expanding. It’s like society’s way of giving the skinny bitches an All-Access Pass to life, whilst letting all the bigger girls wait in line behind the velvet rope. How is that fair? It’s high-school all over again. Where the skinny bitches are the cheerleaders fucking the quaterback of the football team, and the bigger girls are hanging out together eating their feelings. And why do they have so many feelings? Because of the skinny bitches being such haters.
Just look at her, curves in all the right places. She is BEAUTIFUL!! And anybody who thinks otherwise, can get themselves well and truly fucked.
Now, having said that, I have to address something. Being somebody who works in the health and fitness industry, there is something to be said for bigger girls feeling sorry for themselves. They too have the ability to lose weight, but it requires effort. It requires changes to diet, it requires exercise, it requires persistence and dedication, and not many big girls have that drive. They would like it to happen, but they want the results without the effort. Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that.
In my experience, I’ve had a number of bigger girls cross my path and I just love the fact that they’ve decided to get active and do something about their weight.
Now, before you start hating on me, I completely understand that everybody has their issues. You might struggle with your weight, it could be a thyroid problem, it could be a genetic condition, but you can’t just sit back, give up and accept it. Well, unless you’re truly happy with how you look and how it makes you feel. If you’re happy to own your size, then good for you. I’m talking about the other ones, the ones who are bigger and unhappy and just lazy. The only one you have to blame is yourself. Yes, I know that you feel like crap because of whatever reason, and yes, I COMPLETELY understand how eating that entire cake is going to make you feel better (trust me, I do it too!) but at the end of the day, it’s not doing you any good.
I only look at this from a health perspective and nothing more. It’s not healthy to be overweight, and any medical professional will tell you this. The problem however, is that what is considered to be a ‘healthy’ weight range, is still considered to be overweight. And that’s wrong. Have you ever checked your Body Mass Index (BMI)? It’s a calculation of your weight and your height and gives you a result. If you want, you can check it out here. I just put mine in, and because I’m 1kg out of the range, I’m considered overweight. For me, that’s somewhat upsetting, but at the same time I just brush it. My weight is always up and down, so I don’t really focus on it. If I’m happy, I’m happy. I know there’s room for improvement, but I’m too lazy to put in even more time at the gym for my own gains. i’m too busy working full time and teaching my classes.
For me, when I teach a class, I love the feeling that it gives me when a bigger person can come to me and thank me… thank me for a class, thank me for putting a smile on their face, thank me for helping them ignore life for an hour, just so they can sweat and dance and have some fun. I love that. I love it because it’s reassurance that I’m doing something right. We don’t often get real feedback like that, but when we do, we treasure it. I’m not there for the social aspect. I’m not there to see friends (it’s nice though). I’m there to positively change people’s lives, and make a big enough impact on them so they’ll want to come back again and again.
The one pet peeve I have about the gym are the posers. Those people who come to the gym, and stand there and stare at their own reflections in the mirror the whole time. Yes, I understand that when using weights you need a mirror to check your technique, but heaven forbid that those last couple of squats you did put a few hairs out of place.
You just just get the fuck out. Right now.
Or the people who do classes, and are always in the front row, doing the same thing. They probably have terrible teqnique, so sense of direction or timing etc, but they just stare at themselves the entire time, completely oblivious to what’s happening in the class around them. OR, they’re the people who go in full-makeup, but don’t want to sweat.
Sorry bitches, if you’re coming to my class, you’re here to work. Please don’t turn up and waste my time if you’re not prepared to actually do something. If you wanna go put yourself on parade for everybody to look at, go be a beauty queen.
Beauty and Events – Eg. Pageants
Beauty pageants. Ugh. Just the concept of a beauty pageant is so ridiculous to me. Basically, it’s a competition only for the pretty, skinny bitches. But it’s a competition to see who’s the prettiest! It’s nothing more than a glorified popularity contest. The only difference is, that these bitches get a cash prize, and the opportunity to parade themselves around the world, telling the world ‘Look at me, I’m the prettiest bitch in the WHOLE WORLD (Miss Universe)”… and then they can go off and blow every guy who says their pretty. I loathe these things. Miss America, Miss USA, Miss World, Miss Universe…
However, without them, we wouldn’t have things like Miss Congeniality, and train-wreck TV shows such as Toddlers and Tiara’s, and of course, Honey Boo Boo.
As much as HBB is one of those shows you just hate to watch, it’s like a secret indulgence. Like when you drive past a car accident, and you just want to stop and have a look, but you know that you shouldn’t – this is how I feel about HBB – you shouldn’t watch it, but it’s so bad, it’s good.
For those of you who don’t know, HBB is a pudgy little girl who does ‘Kiddie Pageants’. Which, are pretty much one of the worst things for a girl to get involved in – well, unless you’re anorexic and your overbearing parents (usually the mother) have tens-of-thousands of dollars to just throw away on costumes and glitter (OMG the glitter!) in some vain attempt at getting you to win the local popularity beauty pageant.
What I love about HBB is that she’s not the skinniest, she’s not really that talented, nor that intelligent, and she sometimes refers to herself in the third-person, and she doesn’t really give a shit. That certainly doesn’t stop her from entering these ridiculous competitions, and in a way, I actually kind of admire her for doing so, because it says to the other tubby kids out there ‘hey, if I can do it, then you can do it too!’ I’m not saying that it’s necessarily easy for her to enter these, but she enjoys herself, and hell, she’s got her own ridiculous TV show out of it.
This is what I like – the overweight people with the fuck you attitude. The ones who aren’t afraid to put themselves out there, even if it’s going to open them up for ridicule.
There needs to be more of this. If the world is going to insist on continually promoting these skinny-bitch pageants, then why can’t full-figured women enter them as well. What has happened to our society where we only want to promote and focus on the pretty thin girls. Like I said before, just because you’re pretty, doesn’t make you smart. Anybody can parade around in some hooker heels and a bikini (See – Bikini Models), but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can string a sentence together.
Beauty and Intelligence
Well, wasn’t that just a lovely little segue? Paying so much attention to the media, I am of the general view that pretty people are only that – pretty. Pretty certainly doesn’t mean intelligent. As is the case with the youtube clip above, you could be trying to win the vote for the prettiest girl in all the land, and you might not necessarily be able to construct a sentence, but men don’t care about that. As long as you stay thin and pretty, and don’t talk, they’re happy. Oh and as long as you blow them on command and make them a sandwich afterwards, everything will be great.
Hmmm… anybody else suddenly feel like we’ve travelled back to the 50’s??
I am fortunate enough to know a number of people who have both brains and beauty, because, well, generally the two don’t go hand in hand. Well, that’s not entirely true. They do go hand-in-hand, it’s just that it’s actually quite rare – like unicorns.
But I think in society nowadays if somebody is quite good looking, there’s almost a pre-conceived notion that they’re a bit simple. I know that whenever I have somebody who’s really good looking comes up to me and actually deliver a proper sentence, and manages to do so without a grunt, or a hair twirl, or a pout, I almost die of shock. And don’t even get me started on the use of ‘LOL-speak’ – i’ll end up in a table-flipping rage. Seriously, USE A PROPER WORD FOR A CHANGE!! WHY IS IT SO FUCKING HARD… soz, i mean uze props wrdz 4 a chng. Y s it so fckn hrd?
Just. Kill. Me. Now.
I’m not saying that pretty people can’t be smart, I just think that my personal experience is that pretty and smart people are quite rare. They’re an endangered species. We need to get them all together and start a breeding program for them, so they can multiply and we can release them back into our dysfunctional society. I also think that there are a number of smart-pretty people who are just dumb. They do dumb shit. They ask dumb questions. The stuff that makes you wonder how they manage to make it through the day without killing themselves, or killing others. I think these people are everywhere. You can be academic and book smart, but still not have any concept of common sense. I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt and just assume that they’re actually idiot savants, because if they’re not, then they’re just dumb, and that’s so much more disappointing.
There was this one woman whom I used to work with. She was attractive, highly intelligent, was doing her Masters in Law… but she’d ask me the most stupid questions. But she had been working at the same place for a number of years, and still had to ask things. Where did we keep the pens? How do I send a fax? Can I email a book? (Okay, so the last one is actually true! It reminds of the scene in Mean Girls when the guy leans in and says “Last year, she asked me how to spell ‘Orange'”) so it is actually possible to be quite intelligent, but still so dumb at the same time. Needless to say, we didn’t necessarily see eye-to-eye very often. I had my moments where I would point out stupid stuff she said, immediately after she had just asked it… then it was ‘on’!!
Beauty and Self Esteem
Thanks Xtina. You’re one of the people who has always been scrutinised because of your fluctuating weight. One minute you’re skinny and then suddenly you’ve ballooned to twice your size. But you know what, even overweight Xtina is still beautiful, regardless of how slammed she is in the media. And it doesn’t affect her ability to sing either, because that girls has some pipes on her. And really, why should anybody give a fuck about your weight, when you can sing like that. This is another reason why I love Adele. She’s a bigger girl, and she’s got an incredible vocal talent as well. Her’s is in a much lower register than Christina’s, but it’s still beautiful and incredible.
Ahhh, Dem Lovato. So pretty, and yet such a mess. From punching a dancer, to self-harm, drug addiction, rehab… you sound like you need to be hanging out with Lindsay @ Rehab. You can braid each others hair and talk about boys… and who can get you the best coke. Demi, to me, seems like another one of the manufactured Disney bitches who, yes, looks pretty, but has been built up into a superstar without actually having that much talent. Oh, so you say she’s been in a successful TV show, and sold millions of records? Yes, well that would be because of the Disney brain washing machine + gullible youth of today = overnight success + millions of dollars. Hell, they could market a lump of shit, and everybody would want to buy it – it’s the age we live in. Teens and tweens going batshit cray-cray over some overrated ‘celebrity’ and having this overwhelming urge to own anything and everything with their face on it.
Just like Pokemon: you gotta buy it all!!
So, if you look at the above for long enough, you might start to think that Demi seems a bit forced in what she’s saying. Yes, girls, you ARE beautiful, but only because my agent tells to say so. I personally think that you’re all peasants and you’re beneath me. If anybody should be doing something about self-esteem issues, it SHOULD be her. She’s one of these girls who’s got problems, but is also int he public spotlight, and that shouldn’t be deterring people from whatever shit they’re going through, if anything, they should be owning it and shining a light on it, and telling the rest of the world, ‘well, hang on a sec, actually, I kinda feel like shit for this reason and that reason’.
Whatever happened to people actually helping people??
But this is about beauty and self esteem. And the first thing that springs to mind is high-school. High-school is such a cruel place for anybody who doesn’t fit a specific mould of what teenagers are supposedly meant to be. But because everybody is so different, AND because society has become so multi-cultural, it opens itself up like a gaping wound, just waiting to have salt and lemon juices smeared all over it.
Enter the topic of bullying. Who remembers the fat kids in school being picked on? Yep, I certainly do. I was friends with them. Did any of you actually stick up for them when they were being bullied? Can’t say I did, and I feel shitty for not standing up. Back then, I was also the one being bullied. I got bullied for being a dancer. I got bullied for being smart. I got bullied for having a big nose. I got bullied because of my name (!!). But worst of all, I got bullied for being gay. For being flamboyant. But it wasn’t just from the boys, it was from the girls as well. The girls who I actually expected to at least be some kind of ally, and yet they turned on me without a second thought.
It’s hard growing up in the country, surrounded by dickheads.
And as a result, I turned out like this:
I felt sorry for anybody who was different. Just like in Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion, our school also had an A-Group. They were all the popular kids, with wealth parents who bought them everything (Read: divorced), who were all good-looking, great physiques, and really bad attitudes. Basically, they were a bunch of cunts who took far too much pleasure in destroying other people’s spirits.
And the worst part of it now, is that this type of bullying is no longer confined to the playground. It’s online. It’s cyberbullying. It’s fucking sad. If you’ve never been bullied, then you truly have no concept of how horrible people can be to one another. Yes, sticks and stones my break my bones, but your nasty words will destroy my spirit. And the problem is that people aren’t willing to talk about the problem; parent’s aren’t prepared to take it seriously; schools don’t want to get involved; and at the centre of it all is some kid who’s full of so much pain they don’t know how to handle it, and are more likely to suffer in silence and do shit like self-harm (Hi there, Demi Lovato!) or worse, take their own life.
Nobody, NOBODY SHOULD EVER BE MADE TO FEEL LIKE THAT. To tell somebody you don’t like them, or their not worthy of being around you because they’re different in some way, is one of the worst things you can ever say to somebody. You might laugh it off, but these kids have real emotions. You’re just simply a horrible, nasty person with a blackened soul. If anything, YOU’RE not the one worthy of their company. Yes, you may have your clique of skinny bitches, with your platinum-blonde hair, super-jock boyfriend and drive a convertible, but you have no substance. You go out of your way to knock people down in order to make yourself feel better, but where does it get you?
You might not like somebody because they’re overweight. Or because they’re cross-eyed. Or they’re disabled. Or they’re not as financially secure as you. Or because they’re a different race. Or because they don’t speak English very well… but who cares. Hating on them is not going to achieve anything. You don’t have to like everybody, that’s totally fine, but you don’t have to go out of your way to make sure they know that you dislike them. All you need to do is accept that they’re different, and move on. The least you can do is acknowledge them as a human being, and respect them for who they are, where they are and what they have. Maybe, just maybe, you could go out of your way to try and have a conversation with them? It’s not going to kill you, and who knows, you might even find that you have something in common with each other.
So much time and effort is spent on people trying to bring people down, even as adults, but let’s face it, it’s still just bullying. It’s still high-school, except we’re all just older. Some people haven’t learnt lessons, they’re just older bitches. Some people will never change.
But regardless of who you are, where you are, every single person is beautiful. Some have beauty both outside and in. Some others… just outside. All you need to do is acknowledge it, and take a small step to make your world, and somebody else’s world, a little bit better.
And if I’ve just wasted all this time writing this damn post, then at least I’ve shared it with the world, and left you with one last image for the day:
Eleanor Roosevelt said: “A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” Tell us about a time you felt your strength.
I remember when I was in my early twenties. I was still in a period of recovery from a spinal injury, and I had moved house, and I’d finally plucked up the courage to look at joining a gym.
There was a gym down the road from where I lived, and up until that moment in time, all I’d ever done was dance. But now that I couldn’t go back to dancing just yet, I had to begin a very long and slow process of rehab and strength training in order to get my body properly functioning again.
That process was initially quite painful and frustrating. Frustrating because I ended up going through three different trainers before I found one that would actually cater a program to what I wanted to do and what I could actually do. The others just had a set basic program that they gave to everybody, but because I had so many physical limitations due to my spinal injury, I was very limited in what I could and couldn’t do.
This particular trainer came along and was very thorough in her assessment and her program – she took things slow and gently pushed my limits, and over a couple of months, my progress became quite noticeable and I was quite surprised at what I was able to do.
Just as I was beginning to make real progress, my trainer left, and none of those other wankers stood up the standard that she had set… they just seemed so…. dumb.
They all offered the same generic information, but then I soon realised that they all had completely different opinions about what I should be doing / eating etc. In the end, I just threw my hands up and thought ‘fuck this, it’s too difficult’ and just continued to do what I’d been previously doing, and every now and then increasing the reps before I started feeling too comfortable. I still took my time, and used the mirrors to make sure that my technique was always right, but for me, just being in the weights area was always so intimidating, because everybody else there was already so fit and muscly and ripped, and I was just a skinny little weakling by comparison.
I hated going to the gym, but it was something that I had to do in order for me to recover and get better if I wanted to have any possibility to get back into dancing.
Until the day I joined this gym, I had never done any weight training whatsoever. I’d never even set foot inside a gym, or lifted weights. I felt so completely out of place. Then all of a sudden, I find myself doing leg presses and I’m pressing 90kgs. That was heavier than I was. I couldn’t believe it.
I also struggled to walk for a couple of days afterwards.
Achieving something like that was incredible. I was so impressed with myself, and I realised that, you know what, I actually can do this ‘working out’ thing – I can feel the changes in my body, and I can see those changes as well. I felt great.