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Dance Your Ass Off August 4, 2009

Posted by januaryolympus in Uncategorized.
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I know, I know. I should hate Dance Your Ass Off because it’s a weight loss show, and it’s about making people think they can change their lives by losing weight.

But I just can’t make myself hate it. In fact, every time I watch, I feel inspired. Not inspired to lose weight (although I do watch it while working out every Monday! 🙂 ) but inspired to go out there and live a little.

I am very critical of my own appearance. It’s something I’m working on…but at this stage I can’t look in the mirror and make myself like what I see. Sometimes I do like what I see, a lot, but most of the time I look in the mirror and feel fat, and although objectively I know that fat=/=ugly, and I don’t really think that fat equals ugly on other people… on me, I hate it, and it’s something I’ve always hated ever since I started getting chubby around 3rd grade, so breaking that habit is really, really hard. [Side note: It’s also hard because I suspect that I have a distorted image of myself- when I see photos of girls who are size 16 or 18, I immediately relate myself to them and think that I look similar, but I am a size 10 (12 occasionally). Since said girls are almost always my height or shorter, it is highly probable that I do not have the same body shape as them. This is all related to my self esteem issues, methinks, and I’m not sure how to overcome it…]

Anyway, to get to the point: Looking as I do – and probably even if I magically became a size 6 – I would never have the courage to go on national television and dance publicly in small outfits. Most of the other girls and women I know who are hefty lasses have similar qualms about public dancing with nothing but bits of cloth attached to their wobbles. So I have GREAT ADMIRATION for all the people who go out on Dance Your Ass Off and seriously dance their asses off (not in the weight loss sense, although they do that too) and look fine and fabulous. I cannot and could not move like they do, skinnier or not, and I don’t think I could rock those outfits because I’d feel too self conscious to wear the outfits with pride…and that alone is halfway towards looking good in it, right? But when I watch DYAO, and I see these fat people dancing amazingly in amazing costumes, I feel like, if they can get out there and dance and look awesome and do it not JUST because they want to lose weight but also because it’s something they love, maybe I can wear cute clothing items and get out there and do something exciting too. Maybe I can look beautiful too. I won’t extend it so far as to say “Maybe I’ll be able to dance like that” (when pigs fly! lol) but.. Maybe I don’t have to feel ashamed to dance in public, either.

Anyway, I am looking forward to watching tonight…although I haven’t seen The Fellow all day and he’s meant to get back in a bit and might feel sad if I immediately run off to watch DYAO and work out… Maybe I should go work out now and watch America’s Got Talent instead, that’s on just before. Haha..CHOICES! HELP! 😛

This is a new blog July 29, 2009

Posted by januaryolympus in Uncategorized.
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But I am going to start writing in it immediately, because I have been reading so many blogs lately and I want one too. My first post actually started as a comment over at Kate Harding’s Shapely Prose.

Someone wrote that:

I was in a Panera Bread the other day, and this amazing-looking woman with long, blond, straight hair came in the door. Her fashion was impeccable, and her body was gorgeous. Hence I began to rip her apart in my mind, thinking that she was stupid, vain, uneducated, etc. So. Ashamed.

I realize that I do this because I struggle so much with the way I look–because I do not fit the societal norm of gorgeous. So I hide in my intellect and in my education. Sigh.

My thoughts on this:

Ever since I was a little girl, society, my parents, my teachers, my mentors, my friends, the media and I have all pit “beautiful girls” against “smart girls.” I was taught that I shouldn’t care about my looks because I am smart, and the pretty girls are vapid. Female heroines in the movies and books I read either seemed unattainably perfect – gorgeous AND smart – or just smart, in which case they would almost always have to outsmart/defeat the pretty, mean, stupid rival. Plain/average/ugly and smart is rarely pitted against ugly and smart, or even ugly and stupid, although occasionally it is up against pretty and equally smart. Ugly/smart and Pretty/stupid are portrayed as opposites, and plain women are never allowed to celebrate our imperfect bodies and looks. Instead, we are told that while some women get their worth from their looks, we get ours from our brains. As if we wouldn’t be worthwhile anyway. As if we can’t appreciate the bodies and faces we got. As if pretty women should be allowed to celebrate themselves for both reasons, but we aren’t allowed to because we violate some (false) law of nature by existing.

I don’t think that what we are doing is “hiding” inside our intellect. I think we are responding to what we’ve been taught – that if we don’t meet societal norms of beauty, we are to respond that “We are smarter, nicer, more interesting, etc” than the beautiful women who seem to be elevated above us. We are taught that we should have to “justify” our plainness/averageness/ugliness/whatever because we are smarter, and that we would somehow be totally worthless individuals if we were plain and not smart. But this is just another way that the patriarchy divides us…it’s not because we are cowardly hiders, it’s because we’ve been divided by a system that survives by keeping women divided and conquered.