Are We Done With 'Dieting'?
I was in the middle of a serious game of Tug-of-War with my dog, a very important part of our day, when I heard it. There is little that would cause this bonding time to be interrupted but I dropped the bone and ran to the living room as fast as I could. The TV was on and a man was saying "I guess I'll just have to learn to accept it - I've got my mother's thighs!" A few other guys appeared, lamenting similar gripes. I just about fell over with laughter (thanks to years of training with an adductor machine, I don't have to say "Just about peed my pants...") especially as it turned out to be nothing more than a commercial. It went on to say that men don't really sit around and whine about such things so why should women? Oh yeah - nice try, I thought. Women are focused on their weight and the size of the jeans they wear, something that's always bored the hell out of me, especially at gatherings where women end up in one room and men in the other. It has to do with my greatest fear in life: girlie stuff. I'm a girl alright, but I'm no girlie man! I've always been fearful of ruffles, lace (unless it says Victoria's Secret on the label), the color pink and discussions about babies. I can't help it; I was Daddy's girl and I thought I could be a better daughter to him by being the son he didn't have. I've never felt comfortable chatting hair and make-up with the girls because of the intense seriousness these topics are discussed with. Women will get into a huddle and act as if the subject matter is of the most highly sensitive and privileged nature. While I love mascara and lipstick (my make-up weaknesses) as much as the next woman, we need to remember that true beauty comes from the inside. Men - please remember this when you spy that beauty in the centerfold: Take away the airbrush, the make-up and any cosmetic surgery and you're left with the Real Thing. The point is that we have become such a look-ist oriented society and struggle constantly with the shape of our bodies. A short 50 years ago, women were considered sexy with Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe type physiques.Then along came that tree part, what was her name - Twiggy? A new definition of femininity began to emerge and along with that has come a growing trend toward crazy diets and eating disorders. We forget that who we are is about so much more than how we look yet we make ourselves ill over our looks. I was struck by how much this obsession is simply due to extremely effective marketing by manufacturers. How nice for them that we have become a society so insecure in how we look that we will buy almost anything and pay any amount of money to achieve an ideal (which is completely arbitrary and currently defined by a point in time that is outdated and a passing fashion). What are some of those messages that have caused us to turn against common sense and better judgment and instead embrace a multi-billion-dollar-a-year industry that preys on our vanity? Stay tuned and see if you have fallen victim to marketing-mania!