Thursday, January 7, 2010

An Impossible Standard

I knew a girl in junior high, let's call her Elizabeth, who was my friend, kind of.  We had been friends in elementary school and we still said hi in the hallways but due to our schedules we never really saw each other.  I used to dream that I was Elizabeth.  She was tall and skinny with big green eyes and I just knew that if I looked like her my life would be so much easier.  No more fat jokes, no more being embarrassed because I didn't fit into stylish clothes (there was no plus size teen department in those days), no more awfulness.

In high school and college Elizabeth and I became good friends.  One day we were talking about Junior High and she told me that she had always wished that she was me.  I burst out laughing - why would anyone want to be me?  Especially in junior high?  I told her how I had been teased and tormented and the only thing I wanted was to be like her.  This caused Elizabeth to start laughing.  Why would I want to be her?  She had been teased and tormented too.  She was too skinny, her hair was too frizzy, she was flat-chested - the insults went on and on.  I was shocked - Elizabeth came closer to the ideal than most women I knew - at 5'6 and 115 pounds she was tall and thin and gorgeous.  But apparently I was wrong.  I suppose you can be too skinny.  I remember reading somewhere that Gwyneth Paltrow was teased for being too skinny.  Here is a woman who defines beauty in our culture and she was teased for being too skinny.  Really, we women just can't win.  We're never perfect. Even the most beautiful women in our culture are airbrushed to death.  There is no real woman that stands up to the scrutiny placed on her by society.  Heck, I could be a swimsuit model these days with everything Photoshop can do.  But why do we need Photoshop to be considered beautiful?  I just want to be beautiful as I am.

1 comment:

  1. Wendy, I LOVE your blog!! I'm going to have to come back later when I have more time to read. :D