Wonderland had been a delight for Alice. It always was, but she expected that when she returned to the real world, she would come back as herself — her correct size.
Instead, Alice stepped through the looking glass as her regular 5’7″ height and found herself the size of one her mothers miniature ornamental figurines. Moreover, when she had taken a few steps she found herself falling from a tremedous height before making a great splash in what she discovered was a tepid cup of green tea.
She didn’t recognize the face of the sullen man who was drinking from her mother’s rose china teacups. His hands surrounded the cup Alice was in and he hadn’t even realized when she landed in his tea, sloshing it all over his hands.
Alice was soaked and feeling warm, the tea wasn’t as tepid as she thought. The man sighed and she heard her mother’s booming voice talking to the man about some cause she was recruiting donations for.
She screamed shrilly as the man lifted the cup to his mouth, struggling in the water and flailing her tiny arms. The man didn’t see Alice and as she continued screaming, the cup moved closer to the man’s mouth. As tea surrounded Alice covering her head, she had no choice but to bite the man’s lip. She sunk her teeth into his flesh, biting as viciously as she could with her minature teeth.
The man gasped, suddenly in pain. Blood dripped from his lip where Alice had bit him. The tea and teacup flew out of his hand in surprise and Alice was flung out into the living room landing beside her mother on the couch.
Her mother gazed at Alice with wide blue eyes before gently stroking Alice’s soaking body with her pinky finger.
Does what you wear reflect your soul? Are you the jeans you wear, the hair spray you use? Are you that special pair of black underwear? The polka-dotted tights? Are you snoopy boxers? Or white Calvin Kleins? Are you your stripped power suit? A silver tie with little checks? Are you a svelte tight black dress? A teal wool coat with a swirled collar? Mismatching socks? Or a wife-beater undershirt? Are you a pink Victoria Secret bra with double padding? Are you light-blue silk dress shirt from Armani? Are you Agent Provocateur stockings with garters? Are you Ralph Polo Blue? Or Chanal Chance? Are you a baby pink sweater size 3 months? Are you a baby blue Gap sweat-shirt size 18 months? Are you a woman’s size 8? Size 16? Size Large? Small? Are you 6″5 and need pants with a 36″ inseem? Are you a size 30″ inseem? Are you xxxs? Are you size XXL with a 32″ waist? Is your hair blond? Are you a true blond? Are you a fake blond? Are you both? Do you shave your head? Why do wear such a long beard? Why do your wear a moustache? Do you have grey hair? Is it real or fake? Do you have a cat or a dog? Do you cringe in a movie when the dog almost gets hit then shrug it off when a man dies, just some screen filler?
My point is this: she may have worn black like her soul, but what you wear or any descriptive aspect about you is a terrible comparison for a soul. Though it be black, and dark, and dank, and poisoned; a soul is the essence of a human being. And if you’d like to say it didn’t matter because her heart was gold. Many men have been led astray by gold. Perhaps, she just had the Midas touch from a golden heart. Or maybe her heart was turned to gold by someone or something that had the golden touch; And even if you are as good as gold, you know what they say: the road to hell is paved with good intentions. So, her heart was not much good being gold, when a black soul like shale came apart layer by layer; and chipping down past the smoke and filthy intentions, we found a tiny chip that made her worth saving; because she was a person who loved and was loved; so deeply, she found redemption.
I wanted to write about a topic I’ve written on before but it seems to receive a welcome response every single time I write about it. The topic is being satisfied with our bodies and maybe even more than that, who we are as a person.
Recently, I avoided running into someone I knew who made the comment that I was 30 lbs heavier than the last time they saw me (university I think) and that even though I was still pretty I didn’t look very good. I thought this was a completely rude comment to make especially as you were walking right past me and come on, did you actually think I wouldn’t recognize you? And to be fair you weren’t so thin yourself mister, but that’s not what I’m here to do, make those types of comments, because making those comments would lower me to his level.
I could go onto explain to you (and him) how psychiatric medications put a great deal of weight
on a person either by increasing your appetite or I have found in my case, simply by taking these pills. I could say that I have Chronic Fatigue and that it’s extremely hard for me to put the energy into exercising I need to lose weight. I could tell you how carefully I eat at home and how I have tried programs such as herbal magic and tried all kinds of herbs to aid me in keeping my weight down. I could tell you that the most current thing I am trying is something called Plexus. I haven’t had the opportunity to try it for a full month even because I have had other health issues though. And I could tell you even though I try these diet supplements, medications work against me to hold the weight on my body and that for all the medications I’ve tried I’m actually doing well.
I could say all those things but the truth of the matter is it doesn’t matter why I put weight on, I simply did, and I put enough pressure comparing myself (when I go shopping with someone who is a small size) dealing with the fact that I’m a size 12 or 14 and a size L in the top while a friend is a size XS and fitting into size 26 jeans.
It’s not her fault she is small she was born this way, tiny; but I find that there is a certain distance between two people when one of you barely fits the sizes that are available because you are too small, while the other of you barely fits the sizes that are available because you are too big — you don’t quite get each other when you shop or shop the same way. But then I see other women who are taller and bigger than I and I wonder what size do they fit? Or is for them only fitting into clothing at stores such as Additionelle and/or Ricki’s, what they do, when the rest of us have the utmost variety on most items of clothing. This scares me, that I could become one of these people next time I try new medication.
What I am trying to say is that I think the fashion industry has to have some mercy on the average
sized women who is a size 12 to 16 and give her and those who are larger than her more variety to wear and show more models that are not 16 or 17-years-old and not fully developed. Some of us have just reasons for not being able to be a smaller size whether it was because we are women who had kids, have health problems, or were simply born bigger. Slowly, we are getting there, but too slowly I think, if a trip to the mall into all the stores that I like, makes me feel like I am large and don’t belong there. The same must go for extremely tiny women, where do they shop? How do they feel when the emphasis in fashion currently is to be a “curvy” 4,6, or 8. And do those who design stores do something to the mirrors at the mall because I swear I look fatter there, then in any of the mirrors I have at home?
My point is, as before, we should love our bodies and be happy with them, however, they are. And we should not be ashamed of them because other people can’t keep their opinions in to themselves or because we are comparing ourselves to someone who is smaller or bigger than us. Yet still, we are people who are conditioned to think a certain way and that is bigger = bad and thinner = good so I think we need to be reconditioned so that just like we don’t judge people on ethnicity in Canada we don’t judge people on the size of their bodies; rather, we leave it up to the person to love and manage their own body and we be supportive of them in all stages of their body, in all weights and sizes. We can’t be anyone else other than who we are at this moment! So don’t expect us to be someone else –let us be comfortable and unique — let us be whoever we are in whatever size we are.
I’ve read an awful amount of material online and in magazines about body shaming lately. It seems that many celebrities are inadvertently body shaming such as Melissa McCarthy who chose to where a big coat (that she loved) on the cover of Elle or Mindy Kaling who is a size 8 (above the average actress’ size) and chose a black and white photo of her head instead of showing her entire body on her Elle cover. I just read another piece that Katie Perry was body shaming and daily there is another story written, usually by women, on body shaming.
So what is body shaming? Simply, it is making another person, usually a woman, feel ashamed of her body. You can body shame by what you say and what you do. You can body shame without intending to body shame at all. In fact, I’m a little tired of reading about body shaming because it seems that every where you look someone has an opinion on someone else’s body and whether this is an opinion right or wrong, you can be sure somewhere in this world people are going to make comments and show pictures of other people’s bodies in magazines, newspapers, and many types of media. In fact, you and your friends are going to have opinions of other women’s bodies (and men’s) and your 78-year-old neighbour woman is going to have opinions about women’s bodies and so is her 83-year-old husband. In fact, I think it might be human nature for us to justly or unjustly have opinions and make statements about other people’s bodies. And often we don’t even mean to make these judgements we inadvertently do.
Take Melissa McCarthy. Many people said that she was body shaming bigger woman because she chose to wear a big coat for her Elle cover, a coat she loved and chose herself for her body. But because what Melissa chooses to where on Elle influences what many bigger woman will wear, this was called body shaming because the coat was draped and loose. It didn’t hi-light Melissa’s curvy figure. Melissa had a choice of what she wanted to wear and thousands of woman projected themselves onto Melissa and said, “She’s making curvy woman look bad, she is making me look bad.”
Really, it was Melissa’s choice what she wanted to wear and she wasn’t thinking about all the woman who would see this cover negatively. She was thinking about what she loved and what would make her comfortable – the same kind of idea many woman have when they try on clothes from their closet or their favourite store. So, how can this be body shaming? I think a large amount of women out their need to leave Melissa alone and worry about their own bodies, not Melissa’s body. Sure we like to look to celebrities for ideas of what is stylish but there is nothing forcing us to wear what they wear. If you don’t like what Melissa is dressing in for her Elle cover then don’t wear a coat like that. Use your own sense of fashion and pick something that you feel is more flattering on you. Melissa, having an opinion on what she wants to wear is not body shaming and neither is any women’s opinion on what they choose to wear.
The same goes with Mindy Kaling. The average celebrity is a size 6 so Mindy is not that bigger than the average size at a size 8. Even if you consider her huge compared to your other favorite actresses, it’s Mindy’s choice to just show her face in black and white on her Elle Magazine cover. She has a beautiful face and because she chose just to show that face, not even in color, and the thinner actresses with Elle covers had full body full color covers, does not mean that Mindy is body shaming women who don’t have ideally sized Hollywood body types. It is often harder to be a Hollywood actress with a bigger body but Mindy is not doing anything purposely against the regular woman who is a size 8 or 10 because she only chose to show her head in her Elle cover. She liked her cover and chose it because she liked it. Again, people need to stop projecting themselves onto an actress and figure out how to wear clothes for their body type, not only according to an actress or models fashion choices.
I know this is difficult. That although we are trying to show more plus sized models, magazines and brands are loath to do this. They use size 8, 10, or 12 sized models to represent woman who are size 14 or larger. The persistence of models who are unhealthily skinny, so much so that you can count ever rib they have, occurs still. But there are many women in the world who are skinny too.
I think that whatever the case, we need to be the ones who are happy with our bodies and need to stop listening to what the fashion industry says is the ideal sized woman. The ideal sized woman is healthy. She eats a healthy diet, exercises regularly, and indulges in treats such as most woman do. She does what she can to keep her body healthy no matter if she has a few extra pounds on her, stretch marks from having children, or a stomach that isn’t flat.
But the main idea is that you as an individual need to decide what’s healthy for you as a woman (or man) for you and your family. Not
everyone is ever going to be thin and toned and not every body is curvy. The onus for body shaming is on us, the regular woman, and not just the media. Sure we can blame the media for giving us some unrealistic goals of what they think woman should look like. But we don’t have to keep looking at these images and we don’t have to tell our daughters and nieces that they should look like these famous people. We our the ones who need to stop body shaming ourselves and other woman by our actions and our words. Although, we will all undoubtedly have opinions about how other people look, lets keep them to ourselves and focus on living healthy lives and looking and dressing just as the beautiful people we are and wear what looks good on us.