So my butt is weird. It’s because I am short-waisted, so there is only an inch between my waist and my butt. This makes it look like my butt starts like a foot higher than my crotch, so from the side, I perpetually look like I am sticking my belly out, ie pregnant.
Only, it doesn’t.
Because I am the only one in the whole wide world who has ever looked at my body long enough to see this. And because I have seen it, I have obsessed over it. That obsession has convinced me that everyone else must see this flaw the moment they gaze upon me.
Thus, I desperately want to lose 20 pounds around my middle to compensate for the disproportion and suck in my stomach if anything like a camera comes close to me.
Only no one sees this when they look at me because they have not obsessed about my body flaws since my boobs showed up at the ripe old age of nine. Just like I don’t see the flaws that they obsess over in the mirror.
Our flaws are our own. Our friends, family, potential mates, all men, ALL OTHER WOMEN, do not see these things like we believe. Our loved ones see a smile, feel a hug, share a laugh. They see how the color of the sweater sets off our eyes while we obsess about if it covers up our back fat. Strangers barely register more than enough to make sure they don’t walk into us. It’s the nature of the observation-less human.
But to sell stuff, companies have told us the opposite. Everyone sees all your flaws! If you use our product you can totally hide them or even rid yourself of them. Then everyone will think you are beautiful and you will be happy just like this perfect human specimen in our advertisement. We should rue the day the air brush was invented. Because that specimen? She/he has some flaw obsession too. And I get their levels of happy go up and down just like everyone else’s.
You can’t fault the ad guys because we eat it up. We buy this stuff frantically, hopefully, with religious fervor. Our society has built an altar to it, the industry of beauty. The god that wants all the flaws hidden behind a mask of make up and beneath Spanks.
And that is not all a bad thing. We do live in a society. Rules about how we present our outer selves to the world are going to be made. It’s part of life if you don’t want to live like the Uni-bomber. Styling our hair, wearing make-up, finding the right outfit, makes us feel good. It can make us feel more confident and ready for the world. Social norms and situation, by nature, will dictate our appearance choices. Even if the choice is to go against the social cues.
Only those choices should not be the only way we are judged. And too often they are. We have put an importance on appearance that makes each of us feel that we are not worthy of anything good because of the flaws we have on the outside. The flaws that most other people don’t even seen, but the ones we have been taught to give a level of importance great than our intelligence, our sense of humor, our capacity to love.
We talk against it. We like, share and retweet the viral videos and letters from dads to daughters that say all the right things against the impossible standards.
And we still spend billions a year on beauty products.
Which, again, fine. I don’t wear make up. But I do go to the gym. I do want to lose 20 pounds. I can pretend that it is only because I want to be healthy, but really, I want to look better. I want to wear a smaller size. I feel better and healthier. I want to look better too.
And, really, that’s OK too.
But I need to cut myself a break. Because my butt is not that weird. It is a butt that I have inherited from some pretty amazing women who I am sure didn’t have time to obsess over it. They used it to work and survive and live in the mountains of Greece.
We should all cut ourselves a break; Own our flaws that aren’t anything but our imagination running on product placement.
In fact, I like my butt.