Sunday, May 27, 2012

MissRepresentation

I viewed the film MissRepresentation with my class a couple of weeks ago. I have seen it twice now, and as a woman in this society I was impressed, shocked, and saddened by the statistics around body image, cutting, eating disorders and depression among my sisters, sisters in the global sense, on this planet.

There are too many points made in the film to remember and recount them all in one, or two sittings. This is clearly a movie I want to see many more times.

However, there was one statement made by Gloria Steinham (my hero), about body image. She said "You know, every time any of us walks past a mirror and denigrates our own appearance, a girl is watching and getting her self-estimate from that."

Yesterday I went clothes shopping with my fashion consultant (thanks dear sister), and found myself having to disrobe many times to try on a variety of outfits: skirts, pants, tops, dresses, and a bathing suit.

Gloria's words kept ringing in my ears. So I was kinder to myself I think than I normally would have been. It was interesting over-hearing women in the other change rooms talking about wanting to hide their tummies, or their back fat, or their arms, or their necks.

My sister and I talked about colours, and how to dress things up, or down. Mostly we talked about the good prices - we both love to buy on sale and get good deals! And, by the way, we did.

The interesting part of the day is that I came home with a pair of jeans, a pair of khakis, a new bathing suit, a long dress, a skirt, a new shrug, a beautiful scarf (that was my impulse buy of the day), a camisole, a pink sweater, and two tee-shirts. Only once in the day did I look at my 56 year old, scarred tummy, and think that I need to lose weight.

None of my new clothes make me look 120 pounds. All of my new clothes look good on me. Me, a 56 year old woman who carries weight. To many I carry too much weight. But, truly, for the last four years I have been more at home in my body. More comfortable in my own skin.

This is what I, at 56 look like. It is ok. It is better than ok. I am loved. I have friends. I want my class to remember a woman who was comfortable in her own skin. Who wasn't afraid to wear a bathing suit, who when she looks in a mirror smiles her beautiful smile, sees a twinkle in her blue eyes, tossles her gray hair, and gets on with the day.

Thanks, GLoria!

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