I’m feeling particularly empowered this week, which is shocking. (Because I am a woman.)
In a therapy session earlier this week I voiced frustration about not accomplishing the goals I set out to achieve by moving to Los Angeles. We dug deeper and it’s clear I have a severe lack of confidence which stems from a combination of fun things like puberty, men and unrealistic body expectations blasted by the media, to name a few. Before I knew it, my therapist pointed out that my fists were clenched in the air and she’s never seen me this fired up before. I cried out, “I’m just sick of it!”
Often times as a woman I feel the need to apologize and make everyone else in the room feel comfortable. If someone bumps into me in the street, I apologize. Even on the soccer field, if I make a good pass and my teammate doesn’t trap it well I say, “Sorry.” LITERALLY, a woman just came into where I work to give me a pamphlet and it got stuck in her papers and she apologized to me. What the fuck is up with that?! I’m SICK OF APOLOGIZING and you should be too.
It’s frustrating that women are seen as objects and in the country I live in the attitude is “Well, you have it better than a lot of women in other countries.” Great, but THAT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH. My apartment building is right next to a car dealership where only men work. Every morning and evening I need to walk past this huddle of men that stare, whistle and make crude comments in a language they think I don’t understand. I’ve been on crutches and a giant boot for several weeks and that doesn’t even stop them. In fact, it excites them! I picture they see me as a wounded zebra in the wild, them, a pack of lions zeroing in on their easy prey. One guy once shouted to his friends, “I’m gonna date her,” and honestly I felt relieved and thought to myself, “What a nice guy.” I hate that I’ve grown accustomed to this feeling of anxiety that arrives as soon as I step out of my building. I know it’s coming. The worst part is on the rare day it doesn’t happen I question myself. Do they not like when I wear a ponytail? Do I look fat in this dress? What isn’t good enough about me today?
I’m tired of when I make a joke in a room full of guys, they are shocked that my woman pea brain could come up with something so clever. They say, “Wow, that was quick.” Because it is actually astounding to them that a female could be intelligent and witty and pipe up long enough to spit out a couple sentences. And the next time you don’t get one of my jokes, I refuse to feel bad that I’ve bruised your ego. Heaven forbid, you don’t feel superior for two goddamn seconds of your life. Which leads me to this: Why do female comedians have to be funny AND good-looking to be respected? Why on a radio show was a male host ON A FEMALE CHANNEL congratulating a female comic for her ability to be funny and remain attractive to him at the same time? Why is this acceptable? Good for you, guy. You managed to find it in the goodness of your penis to be attracted to an intelligent woman. After this, she made a hilarious joke about Dove
congratulating themselves for putting real women into a commercial, ie., throwing a few “disgusting, fat slobs,” on the screen for thirty seconds, but in the same breath she mentioned she is a size 6. As if that’s heavy? I get it. It’s not a size zero, but it’s not exactly scale-shattering.
Why when I turn on the television do I not see anyone that looks like me? I am a healthy size 10/12, depending on how forgiving the fabric is that I’m wearing, and every woman on the screen is emaciated. The camera adds ten pounds and their bones are poking through their dresses. Sure, there are different body types and some women are naturally thin, but most of us aren’t made that way. I have muscles and I use them. If I lost every ounce of fat on my body, my hip bones would not fit into your skinny jeans. And you know those go-to statements some men spit out unabashedly like, “We want to have something to grab onto,” or “We like curves?” That’s bullshit. I know which curves you’re talking about and they are permissible to you only in two specific places. Unless I’m mistaken, I’ve never heard a man lean out his car window and yell, “Damn, girl. Those curves on your inner thighs are hot!” I know what you really mean and it’s not physically possible. Do you suggest I just concentrate really hard so I gain weight only in my ass and chest? Do you understand biology?
And guess what? I won’t feel bad about it anymore. I will not waste one more second comparing my arms with theirs, my ass with yours. I’M DONE and you should be too.
A scary thought was thinking about me on my deathbed, hopefully many years from now. Would I be upset that I didn’t lose those 10 pounds or would I be heartbroken that I verbally abused myself all those years and let other people tell me how to think and feel about my own damn body? I know I’m not alone in this and I want us to end this now. I don’t want another generation of girls growing up feeling bad about themselves because some boy in middle school told her, “The only good thing about you is your butt.” And she believed it. FOR YEARS. Think about that.
Enough is enough.
I’m tired of not feeling good enough because I was born with female reproductive organs. I’m not holding myself back anymore and you shouldn’t either.
image – Shutterstock.com