Thursday, March 19, 2009

Everything that's so shallow is everything about me

It's heartening to have the weather get warm, but unfortunately along with this phenomenon comes the incessant hum of the air conditioning unit in my workplace. All day yesterday and so far today I've been goosebumped freezing with a rush of cold air sweeping over me for 8.5 hours solid. I've taken to the blanket once again, which I had retired for awhile. It's a wool - I think, it's pretty itchy - patchwork blanket that my mother gave me when I was bitching about the freezing temps around here during a visit to her house. It's lap-sized, and came from my grandmother's house. I remember laying underneath it on her couch when I was too sick to go to school when I was a little girl. I never liked it because it was so itchy, but I have to admit that in my arctic office world, it is serving me quite well.

The above paragraph shows that no matter how great something is, like warm weather, bitches like me can always come up with newer and more exciting ways to complain about it. I just realized that. I didn't mean it like that! I don't want to bitch on this blog! I'm serious! I'm so tired of whineasses on the internets.

Let's talk about something nice. The roller derby. I went for the first time this Saturday, and I really liked it. Beforehand, I wasn't even particularly in the mood to drink, but I felt as if alcohol was kind of REQUIRED for the experience for some reason, so we bought a bottle of Seagram's whiskey, which we kept in the car and took turns going to sip. Because that's how we roll.

So, the derby. Never before have I wished to have a young daughter like I did when seeing those righteous ladies muscle their away around each other. Something about seeing all those women with such different bodies show such strength and guts made me feel empowered about my own womanlyness, my own body and its imperfections. There is nothing like believing in the power of our sex; it's something that I do with certainty every day, but an experience like I had on Saturday night makes it more real, validates it for me.

Speaking of bodily imperfections, I had a small revelation the other day. I was reading some comments on Jezebel... possibly on this post. Of course, I've been thinking about the media's mindfuck of women's body images for years now, and discussing it with fervor with likeminded ladies whenever I have the chance. But it wasn't until I was scrolling through these comments that I had the revelation: "This applies to you, too." I think I have always considered it well and good for other women to stop feeling shame, guilt, and revulsion over their bodies, but that when it came to me, the worse I felt about my "problem areas," the better off I was, because that guilt could serve as a reminder to keep myself in check. (Not that I do a particularly good job of it, but it is hard to live in a culinary climate like the city of Memphis sometimes! Fat = Delicious). And so it took nearly 28 years but I think I have started to learn that I shouldn't hold myself to the standards of the internet, or magazines, or even cute college girls on the street; the ones with smooth brown legs and tiny perfectly fitted dresses. If I am going to be a happy woman, and even more importantly, a good mother someday, I need to stop giving myself looks with such a critical eye and try to simply be strong and healthy.

End bodyhate women's studies rant. I was talking to Lindsey last night at the P&H, and we were discussing the women's studies classes at MTSU, and how they were basically group therapy. It was LT's spot-on diagnosis, and it had never occurred to me so exactly before. The conversation arose because I mentioned how I had once watched a documentary that intercut Jody Foster's rape scene in The Accused with booty-shaking rap videos. In turn, this snippet had arose, because unfortunately, on the TVs at the bar, Death Wish II was on, which has umpteen graphic rape scenes. This is rape-trauma #2 for the P&H and honestly, I don't know if I can return. I may have to start taking my occasional beer drinking to The Cove instead. I want to sip beer without seeing my worst nightmares being played out across 27", thankyouverymuch.

5 comments:

Chrystal M. Smith said...

First, you need a Snuggie. Look it up. I know you are not televisioned.

Second, I think you are a brilliant and strong woman. Motherhood seems suited to you. You will be a great example. I hope you do get to have a daughter, and I hope that when you do, you read this blog back to yourself.

Bette said...

Hear, hear! BTW, Chrystal always leaves the best comments.

Stacey Greenberg said...

why wait to have a daughter--YOU could join the roller derby, yk.

glad you had fun. next time bring the bottle in, we won't notice.

i was out of town but from what i hear you witnessed one of the best bouts of all time!

theogeo said...

I am a big "fuck the beauty standard" talker, but I waffle on that constantly and get hung up on all the shit about myself that I want to fix. And then I get all guilty for hating myself. And I hate that. Hate guilt hate guilt, it's fucked.

I'm not sure we can ever really fix that cycle and make it stop, because it's what we grew up with and it's goes so, so deep. But at least we can have these moments of clarity when we can remember to keep that bullshit in check.

Let's be posture pals, except with imperfections.

simon said...

did you take women's studies at MTSU? why are women's studies classes always like that??? because one of these days, hopefully in the not too far future, i want to teach women's/gender/queer studies classes, but do it in a way where it's not group therapy, but also where folks get to have the kind of personal revelations and discussions kinda like the one you posted. na'mean?

(this is short for "do you know what i mean?", which should alert you to the fact that i am dates with someone that grew up in the Valley. and i don't mean the TN Valley, like the one with blond surfers and shit. hot.)

ps. even though there's no girl's roller derby, hopefully by the time you have a wee babe, there will still be rock n roll camp for girls!

 

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