Category Archives: Women’s Issues

Brushing My Mustache

I knew that this day was coming. I knew that, one fine day I would casually glance in the mirror and see it. There. Above my lip, a misplaced eyebrow. A sign of “the change”.  Well, today is that day, my friends.

Maybe it was the sunlight streaming in through the small bathroom window that glinted, just-so, off of the nicely rowed, baby-black-hairs creating their conversation across my lip. Maybe it was a shadow there that caught my eye. Whatever it was, I now have a mustache. I have now crossed that invisible line from fertile nymph into wrinkled crone in an instant.

And, I’m cracking up about it. Why? Because my ego cannot stand the thought of sporting this soup strainer out in the real world; my ego cannot stand the thought that other people will see it while simultaneously knowing that I’m going to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about it (except to accept it).

Lizzy_&_Her_FurdinandSo, this is my plan: I’ll brush my mustache and cackle like a hag in my house. I will wear this mom-stache with pride, even bravado. I will stroke my stache thoughtfully while I think at my desk. I will name it (I name everything). I’m thinking “Furdinand” (get it? FURdinand?) Hahahahaha! I will wear this stache because my body made it and she must know that I need it.

So, for all of my sister-crones out there who think that a chickstache is not useful and to be controlled or removed, let me assure you, there are some real positives:

It’s natural. These things happen. As we age, our hormones lessen and change. Men lose hair and women gain it. But, this is perfect and right. We crones get to take out our revenge on the male of the species for their endless objectification, the near-constant and often unwelcome attention, the male bravado, the ego. We get to sport better hair than them and prove that we are still very much capable of doing what they can no longer do. (You all know that this is tongue-in-cheek, yes?)

It gives you a cloak of invisibility. As I have gone completely grey now and become much more hairy, fewer people look at me. And men? Almost never. What a relief! I no longer have to impress the people with whom I interact. I no longer have to seduce them with my wit, my humor, my sexiness. I get to rest now. The woman-stache is a huge signpost that indicates the beginning of the crone’s journey. We women can now stop looking outward and go inward, travel through the layers of the self on a much deeper level instead of concentrating on others and giving away much (or all) of our energy. The mustache frees us from the attention of others and affords us the time and space to go inside our souls.

It’s liberating. I no longer have total control over my appearance and no amount of essential oils or other healthy skin care products can hide the fact that I am middle-aged, liver-spotted, and hormone imbalanced; there is nothing that I can do about this but walk through the self, accepting all the way. I am liberated by this mustache because I can be even more authentic now. I can be more real. I can show the world what inner beauty looks like. I can let my soul do the talking. What sweet relief.

So, my new motto is: If it’s there, it’s there for a reason! And, if we women can’t grow it on our heads, let’s grow it on our faces! Let’s wear our crone signposts with pride. Let’s leave all of our hair out there and see how it triggers us, but more importantly, let’s celebrate every little hair for helping us do the work that we invited in this lifetime. I, for one, am going to celebrate this hair-lip of mine and laugh all the way to the grave. Now…where did I leave my comb?

Breaking News! Participating in a HuffPostLive Body Image Discussion Today!

Hi, body-lovers! Quick post to tell you that I’ve been asked to participate in a conversation about body image today on HuffPostLive at 10:30 am, pacific, 1:30 pm eastern. Woop!

The panel of women will be discussing how the “Love Your Body” campaigns are or are not working. One of the panelists, Isabel Foxen-Duke feels that the campaigns are not helping women overcome their body issues and posted a compelling HuffPost Women article on her stance.

So, so excited to be doing this! Thank you, universe. Thank you, my loyal body-lovin’ peeps. Thank you, HuffPostLive. : )

“Fat Talk:” Most Women Do It

Body lovers! I just read a very interesting article on something called “fat talk”. What is fat talk? According to psychologists, fat talk is a social phenomenon in which most women and girls routinely engage; it consists of the negative body comments that we females make during conversations.

fat-talk

While men also engage in this activity, it’s far more prevalent among women. Quel supris! Fat talk is the stuff that we say to each other about our bodies when trying on clothes, for example, or the things that we utter when talking about the latest fashions (that we know we will never fit into) or what we say when we compare our physiques to other people’s. We say things like: “I wish my butt wasn’t so poochy” or “One of my boobs is bigger than the other and I hate it” or “Why do I have to have such thunder thighs? or “You look so good in those pants; I wish I looked as good as you.” This kind of talk is very, very common among women and it’s super damaging to our psyches and I argue, our actual bodies.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that women (many, many women), heavily dislike their bodies or aspects of their bodies and they talk about that fact. Often. This makes me so sad. In the past, I also did this a great deal with my girlfriends. I remember uttering phrases that were incredibly cruel about my body. I complained about how muscular I was and how “German-looking” I was. I complained about being fat (when I weighed a mere 155 pounds). I complained about being  too big of leg and too small of boob. **sigh**

I absolutely cringe now to think of all of the negative thoughts and statements that I hurtled at my beloved body and her various parts. It seriously creeps me out and sends a dark **chill down my spine** to know that for years I thought nothing of openly and vocally criticizing my body for various real and perceived “problems”. If you are a woman and reading this, I bet you have similar recollections of similar discussions about your body.

In my opinion, here’s the worst part of fat talk: Our bodies listen to us. Intently. It’s true. They hear every word, every thought directed toward them. If the statements that we make are negative, our bodies suffer. They do. In my belief system, our bodies have their own consciousness. Yes, it’s a consciousness that is closely linked and entwined with our psyche, soul, and ego-based personalities, but the body has its own gig and agenda. The body has its own ecosystem, it’s own management system, it’s own reality that’s largely disregarded and consciously unavailable to most of us.

Because the body has its own life, wishes, desires, reactions, and solutions, they are often frustrated with the person inhabiting them and the choices that that person is making. For example, I used to know a psychic holistic health practitioner who could readily connect with a person’s body and tell them what their various body parts were saying when imbalance had set in. It was fascinating to hear her say to me: “Well, your knee is really displeased with you for the the things you’ve been saying about her. She can’t help the damage that you did to her in your early 20s. She is pretty ticked off at you.”

I sat there stunned and thought: “Wait! I didn’t come in for a problem with my knee. But, yeah, I was just telling Susan about how my ‘bad knee’ affects my ability to do yoga. Son of a gun!”. This experience displaced my entire understanding of the body. Going to see this health practitioner deepened my dialog with the body. And, it helped me to see that yeah, our bodies actually listen to us and have their own reaction to the things we think and say out loud.  When I followed the practitioner’s advice and assured my body that I was listening and addressing the problems, things really calmed down. I could feel a shift inside from some deep place and my inflammation would go away, sometimes pretty miraculously.

Here’s the thing: We are inhabiting these immensely complex, elegant, and miraculous physical bodies that respond to every thought that we think. We are here in the physical to do something in the spiritual. We know this whether we have an organized theology or not. The body is the part of the path through our process of expansion as souls. There is absolutely tons of evidence out there, in an exhaustively wide variety of scholarly and spiritual media, which confirms a very real and visceral mind-body connection.

We know that that the mind is capable of eliciting tremendous feats of strength, endurance, and even healing from within the body. We know that we are electromagnetic beings who emanate energy into the ether by way of our physicality. If you don’t believe me, walk into a room in a bad mood and watch your dog or cat’s reaction to you. Ya! it’s real. We know that the thoughts we think affect our health because we can measure it, quantify it, and document it. We know this. We have proven that negative thoughts negatively affect water molecules and positive thoughts positively affect the structure of water molecules. We understand that our emotions create reactions inside our bodies for good or bad.

Doesn’t it then stand to reason that the words we use to describe our physical bodies would affect not only our physiology but potentially trigger other people’s reactions to their own bodies? Think about that. The words that we so carelessly push into the world are registered; they are recorded. They are chronicled. They are living. Where? In the body. In the ducts, cells, and ligaments. These statements live in the mind of the body. They are stored in the gut. They travel the circulatory system. They are tiny emotional pockets of destruction (or creation) depending on intent. And our bodies are wise to our sh*t.

Why are we women so flippin’ adversarial with our bodes? Without the body, we can’t be here. Without a healthy body, we cannot easily achieve a happy life. Without the body in all of its various states of health, we cannot expand as a consciousness. It’s time for us all to think about what we are saying to the body and think about what we are pushing into the world with our words.

Let’s teach our young women this. Let’s individually and collectively send a message to other females that it takes all kinds of bodies to be here and we are all beautiful and miraculous. Let’s stop talking and start asking the body to tell us what it wants. My body at the moment wants cake, but that’s just me. ; ) Please help me help the women of this world feel good about themselves. Start with you. And, I’ll keep working it from this angle.

Recent Articles on Various Plus-Size Shenanigans

Hey, my Big Body Beautiful peeps: check out the following articles, posted in various locations, on topics of interest to the plus-size community:

Solving the Problem with Plus-Size Clothing. The following link takes you to an article on Yahoo Shine that’s about two college kids who have supposedly solved the “problem with plus-size clothing”. Although the article does not get into real specifics of how the college kids did this, it’s still interesting and great to see that these issues are being taken up by the young. I am all for breaking down the fat phobia in this thin-obsessed, and frankly, body-dysmorphic culture of ours. Read the article here.

Plus-Size Models. The following link, from refinery29.com takes you to a slide show of plus-size models working in the industry today. These women are hot. I don’t care who you are; they are gorgeous and healthy big women. It’s about damn time we see more of this in the media. Check out the slideshow here.

The Other “F” Word. This is another excellent refinery29.com article (can you tell that I just love them?) on the word “fat” and how it evokes such strong negative and positive reactions from the plus-size community. I loved this article and for the record, I embrace the word fat and all of its luscious permutations. Read the article here.

Actress, Christina Hendricks Throws a Hissy about being Called ‘Full-Figured”. Um…ohhhhkaaaay. By the way, I had to include this link in the list, even though the article is nearly a year old, because this actress can’t figure out what she wants and her wishy-washy-ness typifies the struggle we big girls have with our shapes. On the one hand, Hendricks has been quoted as saying that she’s finally happy that her curves are being celebrated and she’s no longer being asked to lose weight and on the other hand, she stopped an interview cold and called the reporter “rude” for using the term “full-figured” to describe her. Make up your mind. Are you happy about your curves or not? In my opinion, anyone who routinely walks the red carpet with that much boob showing (and we’re talking ALOT of boob) cannot complain about being called “full-figured”. News flash, Christina: you are full-figured (if for no other reason than your ginormous 38 DDD breasts), but that ain’t the same as being called fat. You are gorgeous. Now, get over yourself. Read the article here.

Welcome to the Quiet Revolution

you don’t know me yet, but you will. soon. my name is self-esteem. i hang around at the periphery of most people’s lives, especially women’s lives. but, that is all going to change, eventually, because this entity, self-esteem, is going to start a quiet, earnest revolution, a ripple in people’s thinking, a wave of new consciousness, a profound shift.

how, you ask? simple. i, self-esteem, am going to remind other people of their decisions, their freedom, their energy, their attitudes, their power and show them that all of these become the body. body is beautiful, body is necessary to expansion, to exploration of the earth plane, and thus, it should be celebrated, not hated. join me. let’s change our thinking. let’s change this world. let’s love instead of hate. yours truly, self-esteem.

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