But I do have internet access, which means that I am kinda sorta aware of what's going on in the world around me. I guess, earlier this week, Victoria's Secret had some sort of runway spectacular, where a bunch of emaciated-looking, scantily-clad women trotted around making approximately 99.74565% of the women watching this thing feel like utter and complete shit about themselves.
It didn't help that the show advertised that the sexiest women in the world would be modeling.
Really? Really?! These are the sexiest women alive?
This is a rhetorical question, really, but when in the hell did Victoria's Secret become the standard to which all beauty must be held?!
When did this become beautiful?!
|Image taken from http://ednosgirl.wordpress.com/thinspiration/|
But it's not her fault. Not really. She's just as much a victim of fashion's pervasive hold on our aesthetic psyche.
And when Victoria's Secret touts this as one of the sexist women in the world, the world is clearly sick. As far as I'm concerned, this is socially sanctioned abuse of women.
Worst of all, we allow it to happen. We allow ourselves to be abused.
As a student of history, I know that women have almost always been expected to shape their bodies to someone's ideal of perfection. We pluck, we tuck, we paint, we dye. All in the vain attempt to look different from ourselves; to be desired not for our inner worth, but our outward appearance.
Even the Rubenesque ideal, as more honest a depiction of real women as it was, was still not attainable by the average woman of that time:
|Paul Rubens - The Three Graces|
I spent the last 11 years of the 13 I spent with The Ex concerned about how I looked, lest I get too heavy for him to love. I knew -- intellectually -- that I was better than that, but still allowed myself to feel less than because I couldn't get rid of the baby weight. I knew that I was intelligent, beautiful, witty and charming. I knew, on some level, that I was, in fact, sexy. But because I was heavy; because I didn't still possess my swimmer's body, the value I gave myself was close to nothing. Any worth I had was closely tied to his opinion of me.
It's bullshit, really, but it's a mindset that isn't easily shaken. Even now, I have an adoring loving boyfriend, who finds me ridiculously sexy, and I still won't let him see me naked because I don't look like a Victoria's Secret model.
I even have a hard time finding this picture of me sexy, because I know that I deliberately positioned myself so my mom apron wouldn't be in the picture. I made Miguelito take the picture using the whole depth of field trick so my stretch marks wouldn't show. I wore the shirt so my droopy, saggy boobs wouldn't be too obvious:
|Yup, this is me. Picture taken by Michael Barnard|
What's worse, is that I still have a hard time finding myself intrinsically valuable despite all indications to the contrary.
There is something inherently wrong with that. Fo'reals... how am I not one of the sexiest women in the world? How is The Best Friend (R) not? How is The Nancarita not?
Fact is, we are some of the sexiest women in the world!
I can't change the world over night (until such time as I become the ruler of the world, which will happen. Mark my words), but I can change how I view the world -- and myself.
All of you fabulously un-airbrushed women out there! Those of you without personal trainers and personal chefs. Those of you that stay at home raising your children, or are out in the world working your heinies off to feed your children. Those of you without children, or with grown children, or with grandchildren. Those of you who can comfortably wear a size four and those of you who squeeze into a size fourteen. And everything in between -- all of you, join me in declaring yourselves THE SEXIEST WOMEN IN THE WORLD!
Because YOU ARE the sexiest women in the world! Let your light shine through and LOVE YOURSELVES. Turn off the TV and go stand in front of the full length mirror and love the hell out of those curves and stretch marks and saggy boobs. Worship yourselves for the goddesses you truly are!
Then, when you're done, remind yourself that it's what's INSIDE that makes you truly beautiful!