I’m working out. Not because I want to change my body shape but because as I’m aging, I think it’s the best way to hold off the effects of time. I’m working out and I’m liking how I feel better each day I do. All good things.
Or so I thought. Turns out, I was wrong. As I’ve been diligently lifting my weights (my choice for most days) or taking my long walks (my choice on others), I’ve also been just as judiciously checking my weight. Worse than that, I’ve been getting upset that the numbers staring back at me haven’t been steadily decreasing. Our society’s standard of beauty is messed up and it messes US up in a pretty big way. F misogyny.
Yes. I know change takes time. Yes, I know it’s more difficult to lose weight after menopause. But that’s just the point! I didn’t go into this to lose weight. I wanted to make my body stronger and feel better. That’s all. And by all other measures, I’m succeeding. I’m increasing the weights I use. My walks are getting longer by the week. I’m making great progress in the areas that are most important.
But this society has planted so deeply in my DNA that my value as a woman is inversely related to the numbers on my scale, the higher the numbers, the lower my value. It does this to all women. And despite knowing in my soul that this is wrong, the imprint on me is so profound, here I am measuring myself against a warped, misogynistic standard that has no place in a fair and healthy society. Worst of all, I’m a privileged white woman; I can only imagine how women of colour feel when the ‘standard’ of beauty is so wildly ridiculous for them.
F*@< that. F misogyny. Stronger. That’s where I’m going.