Sell Out

I buy into the whole beauty complex thing while recognizing how stupid it is. This is a great fault on my part.

All of the pretty things on the drug store shelf promise a little bit of relief from the soul-encompassing fear that you, too, could be secretly very ugly and most everyone is too polite to tell you so. So here, smear all of these things on your face and your inner thighs, and they will save you the embarrassment of being an inadequate woman.

Over the past two weeks I have made it my mission to eat a lot cleaner, and work out every day. I also gained four pounds and that completely freaked me out–regardless of whatever legitimate reasons there could be for the weight gain, I had unrealistic expectations for my (hopefully permanent) lifestyle change.

As the not-so-terrible looking daughter of a beautiful woman and the sister of a beautiful young girl, I wanted what they had so desperately. As increasingly satisfied I’ve become with my body over the past few years, sometimes I still feel like that durpy potato of a child as I scour the shelves for something that will make my blotchy skin creamy, or my waist as trim as I could want it to be.

So the gym. The gym is the thing I am doing now, and to be honest at first I started going because I’ve internalized those notions of weight = ambition/determination and wanted to prove to the world, finally for all time, that I am a First Rate Person Who Can Do Anything. But after the first thirty minutes, I remembered why I actually love going to the gym. I suck at pretty much all of the activities, but lifting weights or running for farther and faster than I thought I could makes me feel powerful. And I’m there holding this embarrassingly light weight over my head, grinning to myself and entertaining this very childish notion that I’m going to do something cool like be a space captain saving my crew from very certain danger.

I don’t pretend to be any better at being a grown up than I am at being an athlete.

I’ve never had much use for decorative people, and I’ve never wanted to be one. The idea of getting through life with no scars and no fight annoys me. Why exist just to take up space? Why be if you’re not going to be anything at all? I’m trying to turn into this or anything (though this wouldn’t be all that bad). I’m not interested in being a lady, not all that interested anyway, and the girls that think they will blossom into a muscle fetishist’s dream by lifting a 30-pound barbell every once in a while get on my last nerve. But when buying things, I want to buy pretty things, and I want to buy things that will make me a pretty thing wait what the fuck?

It’s a troubling thing when your feminist views can’t keep you from objectifying yourself.

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2 comments on “Sell Out

  1. Pat says:

    You *can* have views that conflict with your overall philosophy and there’s nothing wrong with that.

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