Saturday, November 13, 2010

The heartbreak of being a woman

Ok, I won't always aim for being all deep and shiz, but this has been weighing on my mind. Worst part: It's inspired by "Glee", of all things. "GLEE"! The most fun show on television, whose title's sole purpose is to inspire happiness, has made me haz a sad.

I know, up is down, left is right, Rush Limbaugh is making out with Nancy Pelosi... it's just WEIRD.

So what about "Glee" has made me so sad? It was the second storyline, the Bieste as Boner-killer storyline. Not that it's more important than the main storyline - bullying of any kind is horrible, and I get especially p.o.'d when it's brought on by homophobia (not to mention HOW CUTE was the "Teenage Dream" sequence? You bet your Pop Tarts that song is on constant replay right now). I just felt more of a connection to the Bieste storyline as I'm not a gay teenage boy... although, quick sidenote, I would kill to be as awesome a teenage boy as Kurt on "Glee" if I were to be a gay teenage boy. ;)

So why did the Bieste storyline make me so sad? I identified with her. Now, I have been kissed (and then some), so that part I didn't identify with. Nor did I enjoy the smooch from Schue; yeah, what every woman-who-feels-undesirable wants, a PITY kiss. Don't even bother trying to convince me otherwise, that was not an attracted-to-her kiss, that was PURE PITY. I throw my own damn pity parties just fine without your white boy Jheri curl, Schuester, keep it in your damn pants!

I identify with Bieste because I know how it feels to not fit in that "pretty" girl stereotype. I'm 5'10", a lot of pounds (sorry, I still have some vanity; my BMI is in the "obese" zone for sure, ok?), and I am not a dainty, feminine girl. I am a lumbering dork with a huge head, hands, and feet. Yet from birth, what are girls bombarded with? Whippet-thin, perfect-hair, sparkling-teeth Disney princesses, and as I've aged, the Hollywood standards have gotten stricter and more impossible to reach. How the eff does a girl who's growing faster than all the boys while still keeping a belly on her frame compete with that? I have been "blessed" with a slow metabolism, and then raised with poor eating habits that I'm not great about breaking for long enough to make the permanent change (which is admittedly my own fault) and lose weight. Even when I was thinner, my body is just built bigger. I will never feel dwarfed by a guy unless I date a guy who is about Shaquille O'Neal's size.

Add in years of rejection from boys for not being that "pretty" stereotype, and the few who did look beyond my supposed flaws making me feel like I was being done a favor. (one "winner" in college was kind enough to inform me that I was really lucky he was into "fat girls", because most guys aren't and I'd be alone. YEAH. I KNOW.) One thing that really chapped my ass as a teenager was being the girl that could be brought around the boyfriends because I was "safe" to have around. (Go figure: two of those situations resulted in my hooking up with the boyfriends I was supposed to be "safe" around... HA!) The OTHER thing that chapped my ass is that in the two church youth groups I was in during junior high/ high school, I was never the "crush" of my male counterparts 'cuz I wasn't "pretty" enough for them. Well, how the frig was I supposed to find a Godly man if none of the Godly ones wanted anything to do with me?! Then when I did start dating guys finally, they didn't go to church - and all my youth group members INTERVENED because they didn't think I should be dating a non-believer! *facepalm* Anyway, this isn't a rallying cry against youth groups, it's just the statement of the annoying.  The few guys that did seem to be into me usually seemed to be attracted to me as a person more than a physical lust object; in reality, this is obviously preferable, but when you're raised to believe that you are only worthwhile if you are deemed attractive by society at large, it's not as much as a comfort as it should be. As I previously mentioned, I didn't exactly date great guys, either; not only did most of them suck as human beings (I won't name names, as TEMPTING as that is ;p), but they weren't always the hottest guys, either. Not that I'm completely superficial, but a fair amount of them were attractive to me because they seemed to be attracted TO me, and I was so desperate for love that it was strong enough to overcome my initial lack of attraction. Maybe that makes me a hypocrite, but rarely were my past love affairs built on two equally attractive people who genuinely found each other to be awesome, and I was rarely the worst-looking of the two. It would've been nice to have the "hot guy" want to throw me a bone once, y'know - and not out of effing pity like Schue did to Bieste! (Ok, now I'm a TOTAL hypocrite, hahaha - don't care, being honest!)

So I GET Bieste's hurt at being seen as unfeminine and unattractive, and my heart broke for her. It broke a little for me, too. The only reason I suspect that I'm not in Bieste's situation completely was because I am zealous about winning people over with my personality (since it seems to be the only thing about me that's tolerable, as all other reactions to me has been implications that I'm hideous), and I'm almost overly girly at times as an overcompensation for my uncontrollable manliness in mannerisms. (I'm also incredibly grateful to have a feminine voice.)

The worst part of all this? I always thought I was pretty. Like, I think I have nice facial features, good hair (when it cooperates with me), decent rack, good tush. Yes, I'm fat in a way that people could find unappealing, but... well, is that really a complete deal breaker? When I look in the mirror fresh out of the shower, I often think I look simple and lovely. Apparently, I'm in my own minority. I'm not saying I don't look better with a little fine-tuning like eyebrow grooming, make-up, and blow-drying my hair, but even when I do that, it doesn't seem to make a difference. (Well, not to people MY age; I put a little effort in at work, and you'd think I was a model if you heard how my students rave. One nice side effect of teenagers being completely focused on looks, I guess ;D)

So how do I completely break the self-negative talk when everything else that is thrown at me in pop culture worships the lithe 5'7", 120 lbs. creatures that only look that way when they've spent 2 hours in a makeup chair being worked over by professional? How do I not look at pictures of myself and prevent tears from falling? (Not ALWAYS; I have good and bad days when it comes to my self-perception.) The biggest fear is that if I lose all the weight that seems to be the consummate deal-breaker, what if that WASN'T the problem after all? Then I'm thin, but still ugly?

I'm damn near 30 (ok, "near" being over 330 days away), and I still feel like the 16-year-old insecure teenager who just wants a boy to genuinely love her for who she is AND what she looks like. I'm MARRIED to a husband who has never said anything negative about how I look, but I still feel like that's not enough, because the rest of the time I'm ignored and undesired by the rest of the world.

I just want to find my way to where I look in the mirror and, more often than not, KNOW that I am an attractive woman; and know it not just for myself, but for the population at large. I know I'll never be breath-taking, but I want the confidence to be present more often than it's not. (Interesting sidenote: a co-worker with whom I carpool pointed out to me that he believed me to be very confident, and was surprised to hear my negative self-talk that day. I pointed out that I am confident in my personality; it's the outside that causes the insecurity. We then proceeded to discuss some of what's mentioned above... it just made me think.)

Lest you think I'm just whining about being ugly, please be reassured that I am trying to do things that make me feel better about the outside (which will hopefully fix the damn inside). My general life stress has been easing, which has motivated me to focus more on this issue. My fixes are to take an extra 5 minutes and slap on some makeup, and I'm wearing my hair down more. I've also boosted my wardrobe a little, which also makes me feel pretty. Now if I can just afford a damn eyebrow wax and start working out more (I'm going to try and get 30 minutes in 4 days a week starting tomorrow, but I'm planning on doing it in the MORNING... so we'll see), maybe we'll start to see that ego improve a little bit.

Just watch, I'll get too good at it and then I'll have the opposite problem of being conceited. Heh. That'd be something.

1 comment:

  1. Hey cousin-in-law, you forgot to mention that while you didn't get the typical body type, you got the brains of three of those typical people... which could make up for why some of them are so dumb.

    You are great and you got someone who loves you for you - and I totally get what you said because I have always had the same problem (i.e., not the typical and not attractive to others).

    Buck up and do what you can to make yourself feel better, but don't get totally depressed over it, you are pretty darn wonderful overall and what better beauty is that!?



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