Wednesday, November 8, 2006

I'm reading an interesting book

I'm not quite halfway through it yet, but there are some very valid points in it.. the overall point so far being: If we are the most privileged generations of women in American history, given the most opportunities ever, why are we so unhappy with ourselves. The answer is simple, if womens magazines sell us unhappiness with ourselves then their advertisers can sell us happiness in a jarbottlespashoedresshandbagordietsystem.

I have been thinking about myself.. what I am happy with what I am unhappy with about me...  One of the quoted surveys was how many women would give a year of their life to be their ideal weight.... and I thought what if the "deal maker" collects that year just as your child is getting married, or having your first grandchild? I know I'm not my "ideal weight" and guess what... unless I get a personal trainer who makes me literally work my rear off for 8 hours a day....I'm not going to be.  The ideal weight for my height is 100-120 lbs.. never going to happen. I worked on a horse farm doing manual labor for 8-12 hours a day in college.. (loved it by the way) and at my smallest i was 124-130lb and I was a thin as I get. I'm not going there ever again.. am I  crazed by this thought .. nope.. do I need to lose weight.. yes.. a significant amount. But a healthy amount... if I lose 50 lbs.. I wont be near my "ideal".. but I will be much healthier... and that is what I'm aiming for.

How did I manage not to get caught in the trap? I don't rightly know. The trap caught my sister and my sister in law.  We all played with Barbie Dolls.... Well.. when my sister wasn't making me be Ken.. :P And we all grew up in white middle class suburbia. (Peoria mind you not Chicago) What made the difference?  I don't know for certain, but I suspect part of the difference has to do with  my Dad.... My sister didn't seem to have an interest in anything my Dad did on the weekend home from work, growing up. And my sister and my Dad where at odds  all through her teen years... (she would disappear from school functions only to turn up hours late in the company of some boy) There by making my Dad crazy. My sister in law has issues with her father .. abuse , emotional and physical.  Both need a man for validation, and need to be skinny. 

Sometimes I think I just got lucky, but I know there is more to it than that.

Boy... that train of thought jumped the tracks...

The book.. yes.. in case you are still reading and you actually care. The book also talks about how stress is so hyped. How we are all under such stress like never before and every little thing causes stress in such major and dramatic ways. Like Every generation of American women didn't have stress. Like we should believe the Pioneers who shot wild animals from the doorstep so they wouldn't eat their livestock weren't a little harried and frazzled at the end of the day. Or all the Rosie the riveter's who worried their husbands and brothers wouldn't make it home and left their kids alone to take up jobs in the factories, weren't a little on edge some days? Yeah.. I just had a Moms group meeting where they gave us a stress test... out of 30 I scored  4 or 5.. I'm not stressed... I get some eustress going on in my life.. the good stress that propels you to achieve, but real stress. No, really, none right now. But I don't insist on keeping up with the Joneses, frankly the I have enough to do to take care of my kids, I could not care less what the Joneses are doing.   And the history of studying the effects of stress...  enlightening, very enlightening..  it deserves a whole post to its self.

At any rate,  I'm off to read more about the crap those magazines are trying to feed me. I'll let you know what I think.

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  1. Thanks for sharing. You've got me interested in reading it.

  2. You made a very good point. I've discovered that the more I get over my father, the less I need his approval, the less I care about having a perfect body, the less I freak out over the surgeries that perminently deformed my stomach. Interesting. :-)

  3. Thanks for sharing. I almost picked this up. Will do so, now. Also good: 50 Ways to Improve Woman's Lives.A bit elementary, but it does serve to elevate the discussion from a whine to an act.

  4. I'm still reading and I'm thinking I may never read another womens magazine or watch another news show ever again. Some of the points made in this book are kind of scary. One of them about a news story where all the victims were victims of a home silicon party... think tupperware but with needles and chemicals.Travelling "gypsies" come and inject you and all your friends lips and such to rid you of little laughlines and give you big pouty lips... And I'm thinking what the author says.. they let some roaving stranger inject them with god knows what.. and the are helpless victims? I'm thinking you get what you pay for...... and if you pay a discount price to an uncertified person to inject you with god knows what.... why are you so shocked when it backfires?
    there is some scary stuff going on here. and I could chat about it forever

  5. Thank-you for sharing this book. I'm definitely going to check this out