17 October 2008

clavicles as a sign of beauty

In our country, thinness=beauty. It's our national obsession here in the U.S. (and in many other countries as well). I wonder if there is a correlation between the rising obesity crisis and our obsession with thinness and hating our bodies?

I am not obese. I'm actually considered thin. I like to think I'm athletic. My arms are thin (though they are growing muscles, which is very exciting), my legs are all muscle ("I want legs like yours. How can I get them?" "Run for 16 years, and focus on ultramarathons and marathons for at least 4 of those years."), but I've always had issues with my stomach. I've hated it, moaned, "I'm so fat," way too many times when I'm not. Why do I engage in this hating?

Recently, I lost a bunch of weight -- 7 or 9 pounds, which is a lot for someone my size. It become immediately noticeable, and I got a lot of comments. I was pleased, but losing weight was never my intention. (It was a combination of my stomach getting really messed up with food poisoning, followed by going to Burning Man and having no appetite, followed by a general lack of appetite. I'm eating though. I'm actually about to have a veggie burger, so don't worry about me.)

What happened when I lost weight was that I lost boob. I ended up having to buy new (padded, push-up! They were the only ones that fit!) bras.

I was staring in the mirror, moaning the loss of my boobs, when I thought, "It can never be perfect, can it? Will you ever be satisfied?"

I stared at myself, and saw my clavicles sticking out. I recalled a NYT article on how women were only considered thin enough if their clavicles were sticking out. After the article, many women began obsessing. "Is it sticking out?" I even stared in the mirror to see the protrusion of my clavicle.

Why do we do this? Why can't we just love who we are? I decided I'm sick of hating, and am trying to love and enjoy my body. Smaller boobs mean less fat so maybe I'll run faster? I know that beauty comes from within, and I wouldn't someone to not love me or want me because I was too small -- how shallow, and how obviously not worth my time.

Love yourself. Run, eat cake, do whatever. Don't let the fashion industry and the media tell you you are fat.


V said...

well said :) i've never hated my body, i guess i'm in the minority of women in the us like that....i guess i'm lucky. i've had my moments of being unhappy with it, but i'm usually cool with it.

i love yr body, chica! even though i lost 20+ pounds when i was sick (which is coming back, slowly) it's still not toned. you're all toned and healthy.

and, bellies are sexy. i love bellies! i kinda miss my little belly, which has decreased in size along with everything else (including my boobs!)

now this is turning into a ramble....so, i'll stop.

Ultra Steve said...

Hey Cheri,

Glad you could join us for the run on Saturday.

Nice blog!

Hope you can join us again soon!