Thursday, March 30, 2006

One For The Ladies

I'm sorry guys, this has turned into another Pussy and Make-Up post. For those of you just joining us, that's a post that doesn't involve Hoop. *Gasp*

There are two things a woman should never own: a scale and a full length mirror. I used to shop at a grocery store with a huge scale at the exit. Every visit I would weigh myself and every time I got done I would feel horrible, always berating myself for buying those ice cream bars or cookies. But no matter how much I cut out of my diet, I always fluctuated between the same eight pounds. So I stopped going to that grocery store. What sick fuck puts a scale at the end of a GROCERY store anyway? Isn't that kind of.. I don't know, counterproductive?!

Last night I went to Target for T-Shirts. It never stops at T-Shirts though. Soon enough I was trying on dress pants and skirts too. That's where the full length mirror comes into play. There have been numerous mornings where I've pined for a full length mirror. Anything to avoid having to stand on the toilet and throw a leg into the sink to see if my shoes match my pants. But last night as I stood in front of that mirror all I wanted to do was cry... Or throw a serious temper tantrum which involved accidentally decking the perfect bodied eighteen year old in the stall next to me.

I haven't seen myself in a full length mirror for four and a half years. I knew my desk job had softened my tummy a little. I knew my jeans were fitting a bit snug in the butt. But I never imagined the puckers and dimples that could form on ones body simply from going up a size or two. I stood staring at my reflection from all the most disturbing angles, smushing and sliding my body back to the way it used to be. I found myself thinking, "If I could take a knife and just slice off this chunk of fat right here, I'd have great legs again."

It disturbs me, and not because of what I saw in that mirror last night. What really disturbs me is what that image made me THINK. Jesus, I can start exercising and eating right if that's what's necessary. But no woman should ever feel so demoralized that she considers cutting herself away with a knife like a piece of meat. That's not normal! It's not healthy. I stepped out of that dressing room with new eyes. I stared at every woman that passed me and wondered, "Does she feel this way too?" It was like someone sucker punched me. I had two choices. I could leave, or I could finish shopping.

So you know what I did? I bought lingerie.

Standing in the middle of the store I came to this realization. This is MY body damn it. I HAVE to love it. It's held babies on its hips and friends in its arms. It's been kissed and caressed, beaten up and broken down. It's pushed lawn mowers, furniture, swings and cars. Come sickness and sadness, it's always come through. It was just the right size for snuggling around my little brothers. It's still the right size for being snuggled around by Hoop. It's cried, laughed, yelled, hoped and loved. It's made dinners for twelve and drawn pictures by candlelight. It's curved, dimpled, wrinkled and rounded. It's utilitarian. It's a work of art.

I tried the lingerie on when I got home, doing circles in front of the bathroom mirror. I put it away before Hoop came back from school. He'll get to enjoy it too, I can assure you. But I didn't buy it for him... I bought it for ME.

On A Lighter Note...

Hollywood Smut: I usually stay off the celebrity topics because frankly, I don't really care. But
this is just too crazy to ignore. A LIFESIZE statue of Britney Spears giving birth?! "Oh my God, sign me up. I want one right in the middle of my trailer!" Surely the artist understands that she CHOSE to have a C-Section right?

Which leads me to another disturbing conversation. Why did she choose to have a C-Section? Why did no one stop her from having unnecessary major surgery? Was she scared she might stretch her Hooha out and then dear sweet adulterer Kevin wouldn't want her? Because we all know his turnoffs include being poor, not being famous, and pregnant women.

Laugh Lines Are The Best Lines: A woman and her boyfriend are out for New Years having a few drinks. While they're sitting there having a good time together she starts talking about this really great new drink. The more she talks about it the more excited she gets, and starts trying to talk her boyfriend into having one.

After a while he gives in and lets her order the drink for him. The bartender brings the drink and puts the following on the bar -- a salt shaker, a shot of Baileys and a shot of lime juice. The boyfriend looks at the items quizzically and the woman explains. "First you put a bit of the salt on your tongue, next you drink the shot of Baileys and hold it in your mouth, and finally you drink the lime juice."

So, the boyfriend, trying to go along and please her, goes for it. He puts the salt on his tongue -- salty but OK. He drinks the shot of Baileys- smooth, rich, cool, very pleasant. He thinks - this is OK. Finally he picks up the lime juice and drinks it. In one second the sharp lime taste hits. At two seconds the Baileys curdles. At three seconds the salty curdled bitter taste hits.

This triggers his gag reflex. But being manly, and not wanting to disappoint his girlfriend, he swallows the now nasty drink. When he finally chokes it down he turns to his girlfriend. She smiles widely at him and says, "So, how did you like it? It's called... 'Blow Job Revenge.'"


At 30 March, 2006, Blogger Chris said...

Thanks for sharing your body image thoughts, Tink. Here's the scary thing - it probably IS pretty common thinking in the US, whether it's normal or not. Ugh. I periodically have similar thoughts - particularly now, at the end of a long and rather slothful winter. Fewer at the end of a cycling summer... It seems like getting to the point of loving one's body isn't something that just happens once - for me, at least, it seems to be something that I have continually work on...

Heh, loved that last joke!

At 30 March, 2006, Anonymous TB said...

Body image is so complicated. It's wrapped up in our past as well as our present and I think most women in our society have issues, some worse than others based on the high rates of eating disorders and elective plastic surgery.
I think your attitude of doing anything you do for yourself first is really healthy.

At 30 March, 2006, Blogger Arabella said...

I, too, have thought about just trimming a little off the thighs...we all feel that way sometimes. I'm glad you recognized the feeling for what it was, and thought about all the wonderful things your body has done.

And, Tink, that is the FUNNIEST joke ever.

At 30 March, 2006, Blogger Arabella said...

One more thing I forgot to add...not all full-length mirrors are created equal. I have one that's all old and grainy, that someone else on my block was getting rid of, that I refuse to replace because it makes me look a good five to seven pounds thinner. Store mirrors are terribly unflattering. You probably look much, much better in real life than in that mirror!

At 30 March, 2006, Blogger Carrie said...

I feel the exact same way about my body. Thanks for making me look at it from a different perspective. Sure it's soft, jiggly, wrinkled and stretched, but it's birthed three babies, dammit! LOL!

At 30 March, 2006, Blogger Mrs. Harridan said...

I agree with Arabella about the mirrors. I have definitely encountered mirrors that were like funhouse mirrors, making me appear heavier and shorter than I "know" myself to be. Dressing room mirrors are notorious for this, especially when there's harsh lighting.

As to the C-section thing, this was being discussed on NPR this morning (god, I'm old). Apparently this is being regarded as more of a choice thing, to prevent bladder problems and so on, but of course it's not all good. Here's the link to the story.

At 30 March, 2006, Blogger FA said...

Tink -- thanks for the thoughts on body image. There is such a disturbing trend as to what people SHOULD look like, both male and female. Most of the things you read say you should have a healthy image of your body, etc, etc. All these things paint some high level warm and fuzzy picture of how you're supposed to feel. It never really made sense to me. They way you put it into words was utterly fantastic!!! It finally makes sense.

At 30 March, 2006, Anonymous Alexa said...

Um, the body image part of this post just made me tear up at work. I would have raised my fist in a power-salute to your brilliant cataloguing of the things your body has done but, well, I didn't want to frighten my coworkers.

And there is a mirror in the bathroom nearest my office that makes me look much...squatter. I go out of my way to avoid that bathroom.

At 30 March, 2006, Blogger Alien said...

I think we all feel that way about our bodies. Sucks, doesn't it?

And as for the joke... that drink is called a "Cement Mixer" around here. And I've had one and swallowed the whole damn thing on a dare. Ya know... cuz I'm smart like that. LOL!

At 30 March, 2006, Blogger mama_tulip said...

I thought my body image was bad...and then I had two children. *sigh*

And the whole Britney Spears statue thing grosses me out. I didn't want to see my own two children crowning. I don't want to see hers crowning, either.

At 30 March, 2006, Blogger Tink said...

All of your comments just further confirm how COMMON this body misconception is. Which makes me feel a whole lot less lonely and a whole lot more sad.

The joke is one of my favorites, although strangely never a favorite of the males I tell it to. I wonder why? ;)

Alexa: Welcome to my madness!

Mrs. Harridan: Thank you... Ya know, for that thing you always do. I'm going to start calling you my wonderful link lady.

Alien: You brave woman. The real question is, would you do it again?

Mama T: I NEVER want to hear the word "Britney" and "Crowning" in the same sentence again. Unless it's "America is crowning Britney as the stupidest woman ever."

At 30 March, 2006, Blogger Tink said...

Oh, and Arabella: The mirror did make me look a little like a hobbit. I mean, I'm short but I'm not THAT short. I think the people who make those kinds of mirrors should be subjected to living in a house made of them.

At 30 March, 2006, Blogger Foo said...

I kind of feel like an intruder here, but I can't help myself.

Putting the scale at the exit of the grocery store isn't nearly as counter-productive as putting it at the entrance, before you've actually selected and paid for those Chips Ahoy cookies, Ding Dongs, rocky road ice cream, and pork rinds.

From the grocer's perspective, at least.

At 30 March, 2006, Blogger EE said...

*Everyone* has body image issues I believe. The hot models, the VS models, the porn stars......I truly think they all can find things they really don't like or feel badly about.

Good for you though Tink!

LMAO about that drink!

At 30 March, 2006, Blogger Tink said...

Foo: You're not intruding. It's still a unisex blog in here. And you're not the only guy. FA's a dude.

Which reminds me. FA where I live is an abbreviation for "First Access." It's in reference to a beach. I think he's got a hidden surfer in him.

The scale's still a little counterproductive because the next time I go shopping I always watch what I buy a little closer.

At 30 March, 2006, Blogger Mignon said...

You know what sucks? I'm an extremely competitive person, and all my friends are thinner than I am. I don't begrudge them their nice, normal bodies, I just obsess about my larger one.

That joke sounded a little like my 21st birthday. Except the drink was called a Cement Mixer and (luckily) it caused me to barf up the 5 or 6 other shots that my friends had (kindly) ordered for me that night.

At 30 March, 2006, Blogger Jay said...

Tink, just always remember that attractiveness and, yes, sexiness really has very little to do with body shape. Outside of Hollywood anyway.

The fact is, intelligence, sense of humor, creativity are what makes a person sexy. And that's why YOU are damn sexy.

I hate how shallow we are as a society. I blame MTV mostly for celebrating stupidity and ignoring substance.

Like Ron White says "you can't fix stupid".

I didn't find that joke at all funny. hahaha.... just kidding

At 30 March, 2006, Blogger Peevish said...


This was a really lovely, honest post, thankyou!

At 31 March, 2006, Anonymous sweatpantsmom said...

I'm with you on the full length mirrors - pure evil.

But I applaud you and your body affirming lingerie purchase - bravo!

At 31 March, 2006, Blogger Alien said...

Yay Mignon! They're called Cement Mixers where you live too! AND I'm not the only fool that drank one. That makes me feel better. LOL!

At 31 March, 2006, Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

Arabella is right about the mirrors. One time (and I could swear it was target) when the kids and I walked by we even stopped and started doing goofy stuff because the mirror was so warped. It made me look like a midget.

But, you are right! We need to embrace ourselves - JUST THE WAY WE ARE.

I have to go to the store now. SHOPPING LIST : lime, salt, Bailey's.

At 31 March, 2006, Blogger Foo said...

Tink: I never would have gotten "first access" from FA. I guess I've been hanging about in cyberspace with too many Brits, because to them FA "f***-all".

But wait... there's more!

At 31 March, 2006, Blogger Foo said...

Gack! A dingo ate my "means"!

At 01 April, 2006, Blogger eric said...

the body is a vessel of the soul. i like the conclusion you came to.


At 01 April, 2006, Blogger mrspao said...

Thank you for that post. I've never been really happy about how I look but I realised that if I was going to do something about it then I would have to do it for me and not someone else. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.

At 01 April, 2006, Blogger The Gradual Gardener said...

There's an old toy museum not far from here that has BOTH kinds of funhouse mirrors, the kind that make you look short & fat, and the kind that make you look tall and skinny. They're outside, attached to the side of the barn. You don't want to know how many times I've contemplated stealing the tall/skinny one!


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