Monday, December 8, 2008

Boycott

Little girls wear pink dresses.
Little girls talk sweetly and play with dolls.
Little girls are "cute" and "pretty".
Little girls learn early on everything they are supposed to do to fit in, I know I did.

I remember begging my mom to let me shave my legs. That's what girls do. When I was 10 years old I started using anti-wrinkle cream. When I was 12 I started drinking my mom's Slim-fast and following diet cookbooks. I figured I was getting ahead of the game in a race I was expected to run the rest of my life.

I started dying my hair, wearing make-up, and buying trendy clothes, all supposed marks of womanhood, or so I thought.

By my freshman year of high school, I quickly realized that to succeed in high school I didn't have to be smart, funny, or talented. I just had to be thin and pretty, so I was.

Obviously the striving for beauty and thinness led me down a long road I'm still walking. But it's a journey I continue learning from, so it has been 100% worth it.

Our entire culture breeds behaviors in us we are often completely unaware of. It's not just girls either. Growing up little boys wear blue. They are told to be tough and strong.They are told not to be sissy's or pansy's and god-forbid, never, ever cry. They have their own set of standards they are supposed to uphold. If they do anything remotely feminine such as, appreciate the beauty of a flower or take an interest in something artistic, they are picked on endlessly. I know, I've seen it.

From the female perspective, I'm living much differently now.

I refuse to purchase women's magazines anymore, except for Oprah or Self, both soul-nourishing. Instead of magazines that tear me apart with cellulite busting diet tips and the top 10 ways to be hotter, sexier, and all around better.

I will never again set foot in a tanning salon. What a useless waste of money. Is the shade of my skin so darn important?

I will not set foot in Abercrombie and Fitch among other stores because they use sex to sell their products and I do not want to support that. I will never look like their models and I'm ok with that.

I spent most of my teenage years straightening my natural and insanely curly hair. I'm done fighing it. This is what it is. And as much as hollywood fails to represent any movie stars with hair quite like mine, I'm ok with that too.

I've started deciding which clothes to purchase based not on the brand name or sex appeal, but on their ability to let me sit cross legged on the ground or say, climb a tree. Ya know, just in case. I want to be comfortable.

What's the deal with high heels? They are one of the most ridiculous inventions of all time. Why does elevating my heel a couple inches make me any sexier? They are donwright dangerous to walk in! Too many sprained ankles and hurt feet. Have you ever heard a girl say, "Oh I love these high heels, they are as comfortable as slippers!" No, they take them off as soon as they get to church. This is a 95% boycott because sometimes, I have to, but I don't do it happily dangit.

I wear significantly less make up than I did in high school. What exactly am I supposed to be hiding anyway? Me?

I've vowed to never ever get Botox or plastic surgery, denying my right to age only supports the idea that we are not supposed to. Why is that the golden years of 20-30 are supposed to be held onto desperately the rest of our lives? This is silly.

I don't always feel so confident and recovering from an eating disorder has brought me many places. Some times I look in the mirror and think, Are you kidding me? This is what I'm stuck with? I'm disgusting.

But that is exactly what the culture has raised me to believe: I will never be enough.

I may spend the rest of my life boycotting this particular aspect of our culture, but that's a battle I'm very willing to fight.





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