it’s more than skin deep

Remember my post from yesterday? Well here’s @specbubble‘s take on the matter…

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I got into a really interesting conversation on twitter recently. Despite the moaning and groaning we all do, I remain devoted to twitter and sometimes when something like this happens, I remembered why I joined, and just how many fascinating, intelligent and brilliant people I’ve been lucky enough to talk to.

I’ll be blunt with you, being a woman can be a right pile of rubbish at times. For a start, women generally don’t support one another. I’m the pot calling the kettle black here because I do it myself, but really, we can be astonishingly evil sometimes. It’s a base instinct we all have and one we find very difficult to break- if your life is not like mine, how on earth can you be happy?

The basic premise is- if you’re happy, then no-one needs to interfere. If you’re happy because you have 5 children and you’re devoted to them, great. If you’re happy because you never intend to get married, have children or even live in one place for more than a year, that’s brilliant. If you’re gay, straight, bisexual, or you don’t know, that’s fine.

One of the worst things that happens to me is when I tell other women, and I am sorry to say this but it is only other women who do this to me, that I don’t want to have children. Every single one nearly always tells me that I’ll change my mind. I have heard this refrain so often I could scream. I am not a child, I am 26 years old. I know what I want out of life, and children are not it. I do not judge women who decide or decide not to have children. That is your personal choice and it is indeed a very personal and sometimes very private decision. Next time the conversation just comes up, just think for a second, what if that woman you’re talking to has been trying desperately for 4 years to have a child with no luck? What if she’d just had a miscarriage? You just don’t know, and you really shouldn’t be commenting so boldly on something so private. My boss told me yesterday “I used to be like you before I had children, selfish”, which is an unbelievably cruel and very judgemental statement to make. You’re damn right I’m selfish, it’s one of the reasons I won’t have children. At least I recognise it, and don’t stumble blithely in to what is an incredibly difficult and lifelong commitment, by which I mean a child!

This lead to an interesting conversation about the Daily Mail. You don’t need me to tell you what a disgrace that newspaper is. It’s only fit for lining litter trays. It’s one of the few papers at work that isn’t blocked, so I was reading the articles. One was about how most women who are happy and in a long term, loving, fulfilling relationship are also overweight. The majority of reader comments were from women who said that they would never dare gain weight in a relationship because they were almost certain their partner would leave them. I honestly don’t really know what to say to that. If your other half is only with you because of the way you look, let me tell you now, you’re doing it wrong.

It’s a nasty and negative ideal to promote. If you are not attractive, no-one will love you. That is basically what a lot of people seem to believe. That love is something that only happens to the worthy, to the beautiful. That if you dare to be ugly or overweight, you may as well chuck in the towel now because your life is doomed.

There is so much more to people than the way they look. The way you look is also largely beyond your control. The colour of your hair and eyes, your skin tone, the shape of your nose and mouth, how your teeth grow. Thanks to cosmetic and cosmetic surgery, you can change all of this, but for the average Joe or Josephine walking the street, they can’t. The only person to whom your appearance should matter, even more so be judged by, is you. If you look in the mirror before you go out and think “Yes, happy” then that’s a job well done and the end of it. But like a little boy tugging on the pigtails of a little girl, the world is unbelievably cruel if you dare to be overweight or unattractive.

Take Kim Kardashian for example. Now, I honestly don’t know who this lady is or what she does, I rarely read gossip type things, but I did see all the press about her while she was pregnant, taunting her for her weight. Let me run that by you once more time- this lady was pregnant, with her first child, she was going through the difficult and stressful period of growing another human inside her, and she gained weight. The newspapers and magazines taunted her for gaining weight. She was pregnant. She was expecting a child. What are we doing?

I have seen it many a time in the press. A blown up picture with an animated ring around cellulite, around body hair, around facial hair. That a celebrity stepped out to the shops with greasy hair is a newsworthy story.

Let me tell you this- I gets spots. I have stretch marks. I have body hair. I have love handles, wobbly thighs, droopy boobs, arm fat, facial hair. My hair is sometimes greasy, my make-up sometimes looks like I climbed into the washing machine with a palette and hoped for the best. I am human. I am not a porcelain doll. I poo and wee and fart and burp and pick my nose and do all these human things. I am not a bad person because I don’t always look beautiful, and neither are you.

So tiddlyompompom and I hit on the genius idea. A magazine that celebrates people for what they do, not for the way they look. Some of the things people do out there will take your breath away with their kindness. Some quotes are so perfect you’ll want to cry. Some people are so damn funny, it’s incredible. It is time to stop treating people like cardboard cut outs and realising that they are human, living, breathing people who deserve to be judged by what they do, not what they look like. We want to love Misha Collins for his charity work, Robert Downey Jr for his devotion to his fans, Jennifer Lawrence for her care and love for her family. Let’s celebrate Victoria Coren and Sarah Millican for being some of the sharpest and funniest comediennes. Let’s show our adoration for Morgan Freeman and Christian Bale for being amazingly talented and wonderful actors. We want to show our respect for people whose talent and personality are what makes them shine like a star, not because they look snappy as hell in a spangly dress or a sharp suit.

There are so many people out there whose talent is beyond comprehension. Writers and playwrights, directors and producers, teachers, doctors, vets, social workers, nurses, paramedics, fire fighters and police officers. The way these people look has no bearing on their ability, and it shouldn’t have.

We want to celebrate people who are amazing on the inside, whose personality is stunning, whose words and action are beautiful, and whose kindness and courage are stunning. What do you think? Would you read a magazine like this?

 

 

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