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Christian and Socially-Conscious…One Woman's Expression

Archive for the tag “body image”

Those Lyrics

I ended my relationship with him because his music of preference degraded, devalued, and denounced women.  How did we get to this place?  When did I become his enemy?  Surely, he did not think of me as a friend!

“Oh, the lyrics are not about you,” he would say.

Ughhhhhh, my frustration rose with every point he missed.  Of course the lyrics are not about me specifically, but its collective implication is placed squarely upon my shoulders.  The weight is heavy.  The conversation is lacking.  Maybe if I were not a professional woman, I would not notice?  Maybe if my life did not require me to be in situations where I am the only one, I would not be bothered?  How have we gravitated from R-E-S-P-E-C-T to O-P-P?  Perplexed and tired, I ended the relationship.

If you are wondering, yes we are still friends—the one, he says, “that got away “.  What an interesting choice of words when considering the bondage his ideology would have placed me under.  Walking away, I was left wondering if he would ever know A Woman’s Worth.  I can only hope so, but I still don’t know.

peace

Unless empathetic, people only seem to understand “a thing” if it has a direct impact on them.  Have we become so desensitized that we only have empathy when catastrophes occur?  Don’t we know that by the time we see the physical manifestations of inequity, inequalities have already run rampant?  Many seem to think that if they do not have a dog in the fight, then the fight is simply theater.  “Get over it”, they say.  “It’s not that serious”, they insist while attempting to bully via shame.  “You are too sensitive”, they sing.  Their perspective, however, does not change your reality nor how such attitudes affect your life.

“Oh, the lyrics are not about you” become about me when I show up to defend someone in court and have to check a dude who calls me honey.  They become about me when I am in a meeting and the males are addressed by their respective titles and I am by my first name only.  They become about me when the salary being offered to me is less or when I am overlooked for a promotion, not because of my work product, but because of this rule that a man—and many times a white male—is simply worth more.  How could he not be worth more, right?  People like to do business with people like them and most big business deals are done between men—white, wealthy men.  Now, you know like I do that most people are not white and wealthy and male.  Yet, the oppression amongst those of us who are not continues to pit ally against ally.

Women Sitting Across From Each Other

Although at times slow to make mainstream rotation, songs empowering women are being written and played.  Their vehicle is not limited to the radio, but more readily seen in life.  So, what songs do you turn up…or turn off?  Are the lyrics being sung about you?  The big picture, most miss.

Mommy Messages

I saw this Dove commercial and found myself thinking about what body image messages I may have internalized from my mother. In case you have not seen it, this is the commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pqknd1ohhT4
Truth is, I don’t remember my mom talking about her body much. This is not to say that she didn’t have insecurities. I just don’t recall her talking about them. I do remember, however, her commenting on how she loved her calves. It wasn’t like she walked around and said this a lot, but I can recall on several occasions when she would speak positively about them.

My mom played tennis as a child. When she would talk about her calves, she would also mention her involvement in sports. I, in turn, interpreted her conjunction to mean that the development of her calves were the result of her playing sports. Who knows if she meant it that way?

In high school I played sports. It was then when people would first begin to compliment my calves. All of those running and weight-lifting drills helped to bring them out (I guess). Admittedly, I have always loved my calves because they (are and) look strong like my mom’s. It’s funny how children pick up on the slightest things, both spoken and unspoken.

In thinking about it, my mom never made a big deal about wearing make-up. If she puts some on, it’s really light. This is probably why I have no problem being in public without make-up. I love my skin color and embrace my smartness. Yes, my mom loves her skin color and she’s pretty smart too. On the other hand, it did not take long for me to understand the importance of getting my hair straighten. I don’t know which came first, watching my mom get her hair straighten or sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen getting my hair pressed. Either way, I understood its messaging. Today, I do not put any hair straighteners on my hair. I actually prefer it in its natural state and have not worn it straighten in any style in years. This is not to say that I am opposed to it; I just have not. Again, I made this hair decision after my mom made hers.

These examples could be coincidental or they may illustrate that even in adulthood mothers are a powerful influence on body image messaging. I think mothers are more influential than the messages we receive from society and from our peers. I am not so sure if all mothers realize this, that it is a part of their legacy. Dove does and I appreciate its commercial. It made me think about myself and about the state of girls today. I wonder if they were asked, what their responses would be. I wonder if some mothers, based on their daughters answers, would try to rewrite the script.

Mother-Daughter

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