April 30, 2003

Better to be dusty than polished like some store window mannequin

I watched the film "Real Women Have Curves" the other night. America Ferrera is wonderful as Ana, a plus-size teenager living life with her traditional Mexican family in East Los Angeles. Her mother drills into Ana, who she refers to as "gordita" (fatty), that to embrace the American Dream, you must be thin, married and a mother. Ana is smart and wants to go to college, but her family insists she stay with the family and work to help support them. She finds love in a teenage boy who sees her as beautiful as they make love with the lights on.

I was most struck with Ferrera and the other plus-size actresses in the film who dare to strip down in their underwear for a dance scene in a hot factory where they show off their bodies, cellulite and all, seeing the beauty in themselves and each other.

I myself have fallen into the trap of believing that I have to be a certain weight to feel good about myself. I would often compare myself to other women and want to be as thin. Now I wonder how any of this matters. I eat well and exercise to feel healthy. If looking better is a bonus that comes with it, great. There are women out there who are overweight for many reasons, most often, stress and insecurity issues. (I know I've polished off many bowls of pasta when I'm jumping out of my skin). I hope that all women who want to lose weight can get a hold of themselves and start eating to feed their bodies and souls, and to be healthier. But in the mean time, if food is serving a purpose, leave them the fuck alone. Whos to say what beauty is?

I remember watching "Bridget Jones Diary" and hearing all the hoopla about Rene Zellweger gaining all this weight. In the scene where shes running down the street in her underwear, she looks beautiful. I actually think she looks more real and more beautiful in that movie than any other Ive seen her in.

We all need to stop letting other people set standards of what beauty is. If you're holding on to some extra pounds, there's more of you to love. If people can't see beyond the extra pounds, send them packing. Got cellulite or stretch marks? You're not alone. Even the women who grace the covers of magazines have their share. If you want to lose weight or spend money on beauty treatments, do it for you. As Janis Joplin says, "Don't compromise yourself. You're all you've got."

Posted at April 30, 2003 7:27 PM


This is so true. I just finished watching an episode of "48 Hours Investigates" on CBS that featured Christie Brinkely (along with some others), on the subject of weight and our perception of it in this country. Christie was saying that, if she was compared on the same magazine page to current supermodels of today, that she would be seen as "taking up the entire page" (due in part to the modern "wonder" of digital imaging that's so prevalant nowadays, but not back when she was modeling). Christie, at the age of 49, looks absolutely fantastic. She also looked fantastic in her 20's, when she may have been smaller then she is now, but WAY healthier-looking than the stick-thin supermodels of today. We need more role models like her.

Posted by: Zandria at April 30, 2003 8:59 PM

i 100% agree with you there toni.. people dont like what ya got. fuck um. im becoming more and more self-confidant as the days and months pass.. if they dont like they way you look and think you should look like a stick think woman.. with big boobies and a nice ass.. fuck um.

Posted by: cathy at April 30, 2003 10:56 PM

Zandria- I watched the same show. The thing that really struck me was the piece on Jamie Lee Curtis. I must admit that I was astonished when I saw the untouched photo of her, I guess I thought that she would always look like she did in True Lies.

And as outwardly confident as I am and no matter how many times my husband tells me how beautiful I am, I will admit to still gazing longingly at thinner, perkier women and wishing I looked like them. Maybe just not as often as I used to.

Posted by: gesikah at May 1, 2003 6:44 AM

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