Monday, December 10, 2007

Gender Disrespect, or Low Self Esteem?

Why are so many people dis-satisfied with who they are?

After numerous false starts to this blog post, I open with the above question: is it true self dis-satisfaction, or is it reactionary immediacy that brings people to spend huge amounts of money, and risk unhealthy side effects by changing their looks?

With sarcasm and humor I approached this topic because as a woman of middle years I too find that I spend more time being concerned with this wrinkle or that streak of gray in my hair. I often justify this by saying I have lived with this face and hair for 55+ years and I am taking observant steps at retaining the looks that I have appreciated all of my life. Yet is are my small vanities the same as augmentation or full plastic surgery? Is taking care of what you have the first steps to altering who you are? I personally don't think so - I think there is a line to be drawn between keeping up your appearance and altering it because you can not stand to live in your body.

Is it disrespect for gender that rushes women to breast enhancement? Is it disrespect that makes people think that they must look one way or another? I recently watched a program about employment opportunities in China. The program followed one young professional woman who believed that she had reached the Chinese equivalent of the glass ceiling in her career. The reasons had nothing to do with her gender, they had to do with her appearance. The woman profiled believed that the competition in the work place was so fierce, in order to get ahead in her field, she would need to have exceptional looks. In Chinese white collar hierarchy, that translates to "a more Western look". The woman in the program under went plastic surgery to improve her skin, give her eye folds more of a westerners look. She also had extensive cosmetic surgery done to her mouth, so her 'bite' would not be so prominent.

The problems of dis-satisfaction with who we are are not confined to the United States. Plastic surgery and body enhancement is a bigger business in Asia than in the USA or Europe. How did the Chinese so quickly come to the same spot as American woman have? Is it pursuit of money that makes people desperate to conform to whatever the populist concepts of 'beauty'?

Does this have anything to do with beauty at all?

No one, especially when young, is perfectly happy with how they look. People with curly hair pay to straighten it. People with straight hair pay to curl it. People with too little hair seek to thicken it, those with lots of hair seek to reduce it.
And no one likes their body when it first goes into bloom. However, many of us grow to appreciate who we are, we like our small physical idiosyncrasies, we embrace our individuality. Once we develop our own sense of style, we become more ourselves.
We do not understand how so many people can be searching for the perfection that is truly, nonexistent.

It is difficult to ask of Americans, who have been pampered for decades from whence comes this dis-satisfaction when China, the land of equality for all comrades has fallen prey to the same problems. If China was not able to instill self worth in it's citizenry, how can it be expected of 'gotta have it now' Americans?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Tits Up

Somehow the topic of TITS has been pretty high on the list of many people these days.

My friend Staci Backauskas of Tampa emailed to talk about something she was working on, an essay about a promotion being done on either a TV or radio station in Tampa FL. The promo, actually a contest, has the dubious title of "Jingle Jugs".
Apparently, 12 "lucky" women will be chosen from all entrants, to receive breast augmentation, just in time for the Holidays!

Where to start, where to start....

A local group of concerned mothers, calling themselves The Carmel Moms, have appealed to Victoria's Secret to tone down the soft porn look of their display windows in a local walking mall. The "Moms" are concerned because they do not wish to explain the clothing on the mannequins in the store windows to their toddlers or preteen kids. The Moms also believe that while trying to teach their kids sexual values, it is hard to do so when sex and what to wear when or to have sex is confronted by those same kids in the ubiquitous store front windows. Personally, censorship is a touchy issue. I don't like being censored and our constitution says that we all have the right to free speech. I am not sure if that right extends to inappropriate clothing choices being flaunted in malls though. My take on this is if the clothing can't be worn in the mall, then it doesn't belong in the store window at the mall. It is inappropriate attire for that time and place - so why market it out in the open. Surely, every adult man and woman knows that Victoria Secret sells intimate apparel.
They also know that if someone wants to pump up their tits, (or lack of them), they can buy just such a product at Victoria's Secret (VS). I have never been able to purchase anything from VS other than panties. But since I can buy a half dozen pair of panties at a department store for what one pair from VS costs, I don't shop at VS. Not personally having a lack of breast, I don't need a pump up bra. VS is, in my opinion, one step away from having breast augmentation. It is a cry from women who feel they have missed the tit bus to get on board.

Why is it that so many people are so utterly dis-satisfied with their own selves that they would endanger their lives with breast implants anyways? And when did immediacy take precedence over common sense? Will those same plastic surgeons that implant fluid filled bags in the chests of American women also help those same women hold those droopy bags up in 15 years? Will they help those women deal with backaches that come from tits that are too big? Or will they help with the medical costs when those bags deteriorate and fill the chest cavity with saline solution or silicone?

Now we'll take this one step further: recently I read a blog by someone who said "I am now officially a FATTY. At 150 pounds I now qualify as a FAT person". Is this idiot for real? Well yes, HE is. He is considered part of obese America at 150 pounds. Now, honestly, the author did not say how tall he was. Unless he was REALLY short, there is a chance that he isn't fat at all. He is simply succumbing to the labels being applied to those of us walking the earth whose thighs touch each other. Or who have tits, or hips or an ass. I am not talking about people who can't get up because they are considered by the medical professions as "morbidly obese". I am talking about real people - people who might be five and a half feet tall and weigh about 150 pounds. 150 pounds on someone of that height is about a size 12, maybe a 10. Until recently, a size 12 was considered NORMAL.
My conspiracy soaked mind has begun to believe that "FATTY" is a label invented by people who used to be called things like BEANPOLE, or SKINNY, or TOOTHPICK, or QTIP.
Yeah, you people who are SOOO 'thin' are still beanpoles. And how funny are you all going to look with tits as big as mine perched on your chests?

Why is it that when I walk into a womans clothing store, I can not find shirts or 'tops' that are cut generously enough for my tits? My tits are not humongous. They are cup size C. Yet, stores such as J. Jill do not carry tops that button over my tits. Clothing THAT HUGE must be ordered from the catalog. Hey, come one - are you stores afraid some fucking beanpole is going to come in and be offended that you sell clothes for FATTIES? Can someone tell me where all the breast augmented women are going to be shopping? If a cup size C is just too big to stock in a retail store, where will all the DD cup enhanced women get shirts to cover those jingle jugs?

Are Americans so disenchanted with intellect that they willingly trade it in for foolishness? Is what we are, less important than how we look? What about liking yourselves? Is that too much to ask? Can we please stop dissing those with things we'd like to have, as being less than we are - even as we scurry about trying to lay our hands on those very things we have laughed at and labeled? BTW, keep your hands off my tits as you hunt for the perfect pair. I may not have much use for them, but they're mine and I like them and have never wished for others. I could hope the same for you and yours but my gut tells me that this is just the beginning.

Next, we'll talk about face lifts - you know, those things ALL the celebrities (and the wanna be celebrities) are getting which make them look like their made of plasticine, or at best, like they are suffering from Bells Palsy.