Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I think I look great...

Yesterday, I watched Oprah. I don't usually watch her show, but I happen to catch the rerun of her most recent Jessica Simpson interview....the post Mom-Jeans-John-Mayer-Sexual-Napalm interview. I had nothing better to do, so I watched it.

I used to love Jessica Simpson when she was married to Nick Lachey and on Newlyweds. It saddened my heart when they divorced. I haven't really followed or supported her since. However, I became a fan yet again after this interview.

The premise was to discuss how the media has scrutinized her for "gaining weight." As I listened to her talk about how even in a size 4, the media called her fat (though the "mom jeans" were a little unflattering). I know how I feel when Luke alludes to us needing to get whole grain bread instead of white, or we need to add a salad to our dinner...I typically blow this out of proportion and say, "What, you think I'm fat?!" I can't imagine how I would take it if magazines printed the most unflattering pictures of me on the cover with headlines such as "PORKING UP" or "EXPLODING." All just to make money...and shamefully, I have joined in on such criticisms in the past.

We tend to forget that celebrities are real people with real feelings. All the money in the world doesn't keep your feelings from getting hurt, especially when you are a woman and being called fat. This insult stabs any woman in the heart, whether you really are fat or not.

I teared up a couple times during the interview because I saw how hurt it Jessica was, and I was really in awe of how she could just brush herself off and move on. She made a lot of good points, talking about how we live to tear others down and criticize others. I also liked how she said, "I think I look great." This is something that women are afraid to say. We are afraid we will look full of ourselves or conceited. We are afraid that someone will say under their breath, "Please...did you LOOK in the mirror?" I know that I am the first one to turn down a compliment...whether it's from my husband or a friend or my parents or a colleague. However, most of the time, compliments are what I am trying to collect when I put on a new outfit or spend extra time on my hair.

Just a week ago, I felt humiliated because a girl I don't even know criticized my hair on TV. I wanted to crawl into a hole and die. But if I like my hair, why the hell should I care what she thinks?

There is such pressure on us as females to be perfect...to look perfect...to be the perfect weight. I scrutinize every crumb that goes into my mouth. I have been busting my ass at the gym. No, I am not suuuuuper happy with the size that I am, but why can't I just be satisfied that I am a healthy, young woman who had a baby 4 months ago? I might have a flabbier belly than I did when I was 16, but I also have a lot of things I didn't have when I was 16...like...a job, and a bank account with money in it, and a house, and a car that I pay for, and a husband, and a daughter. Why would I want to be 16 again anyway?

I made a pact with myself after that Oprah episode that I would only workout if it was FUN for me and I enjoyed it. I wouldn't torture myself for no reason. When it stopped being fun, I would quit. Life is too short to dread going to a gym...let alone pay good money to go do something I hate. This is why I love Zumba. I look forward to it, and I get a good workout. I also told myself that I wouldn't hate myself for eating a piece of pie that I slaved away over while following a recipe from my grandma's 1956 Betty Crocker cookbook. I should be proud that I made it and enjoy that it tastes wonderful. I shouldn't hate myself for eating it. Should I eat a piece every day for a week? Probably not.

We can all have goals to look like swimsuit models, but chances are, we are not going to achieve them. All we can do is the best we can do...and we need to love ourselves along the way. I really think we call could benefit from saying what Jessica says as we look in the mirror. "I think I look great."

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