I read a most interesting observation the other day.
As males go through puberty they begin to look more like the idealized image of a man. They become stronger, more muscular, voices get deeper.
As females go through puberty they begin to look less like the idealized image of a woman. Where the girl is beginning to develop hips and stomach “pooches” and breasts, the image we strive for looks more like the little boy men get to leave behind (with boobs).
I have always felt uncomfortable with our society’s images of womanhood, but it wasn’t until I read this little observation that I got angry.
I am angry about the assault on womanhood. How we are being set up to hate ourselves, starve ourselves, and kill ourselves to be something that doesn’t exist and never will exist.
I am angry that I want to see my hip bones when I stand. Want to see my hip bones. It is disgusting that I would want visible hip bones, easily a sign of possible starvation on a body like mine.
I am angry that I would ever disrespect my “pooch” and call it bloatedness, that I would ever wish it away. This “disgusting” pooch? This pooch is where I might carry my child one day. This pooch is the sign that I am a woman, a woman whose body was designed to carry life in it, to be feminine, to be different from men.
I am angry that activities that should encourage me to be healthy and active are, instead, framed as ways to “lose” parts of myself. Lose my belly fat. Lose my thunder thighs. Lose the junk in the proverbial trunk. Where are the activities that let me healthily keep all of me?
I am angry enough to eat cheesecake for breakfast… and not. feel. bad.