Thursday, October 04, 2012

Don't we all hate her, a little bit?

This is a lovely viral photo. It's been getting a lot of reactions. Mine has been one of the negative ones. For one thing, I think there's a problem with the wording. If it said "No excuses", I'd be fine with it, but it doesn't say that. It says, "What's your excuse?" It specifically asks what my excuse it, what the viewer's excuse is, as opposed to just stating a vague message that there are no excuses. It also completely ignores the difference between excuses and priorities.
Would I like to be as thin as her? Sure. Do I think it's a worthy goal? For some. Do I prioritize it over other things? Nope. I prioritize it under bacon, and coffee with milk and chocolate, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  I prioritize hour-long work-outs under spending time with my kids, relaxing with my husband, and just plain relaxing (especially now that I'm on 1200mg of may-cause-drowsiness pills). And in a much more philosophical way, I prioritize my appearance under intelligence, sense of humor, and companionship, all of which can be improved in the time it takes to work out and diet.
I hate that weight can be seen. I hate that we can instantly be judged on it. There are many things we're "supposed" to be perfect as, as women, wives, and mothers. But weight is the one that can be seen. No one can walk up to Miss Bikini Mom up there and judge her for not being a gourmet cook. No one can say "Why aren't you a gourmet cook? Why don't you only eat organic and make your own bread every day? Susan does it, Jodie does it. What's your excuse?"  No one can look her up and down at the gas station and think, "Why isn't your laundry done and folded every day? Why aren't all the beds made before school? Why isn't your house spotless? Joan's is, Barb's is. What's your excuse?"  But weight, weight is something we all get judged on. Angelina Jolie had twins and was in a slinky dress on the red carpet less than a month later.  Women who should, in all honesty, still be passing massive post-baby blood clots into pillow-sized maxi pads are out on photo shoots wearing size 2 jeans  in Hollywood. And now we have Miss Bikini Mom up there to compare ourselves to, too.  It's ridiculous. I suppose there are no excuses, in her life. She obviously has someone to watch those 3 kids, and time to work out, and a budget to buy the healthy low-cal food. She's not suffering from post partum depression, or the after-effects of gestational diabetes, or a c-section incision that prevents immediate crunches and sit-ups. She doesn't have a husband who stays away for days on end, and she isn't a single mom with no husband at all, nor the money for a sitter during work-outs. She isn't on a Top Ramen budget. She has a good thyroid. She's not on birth control or mood stabilizers that cause weight gain. But hey, What's your excuse? 
My excuse is that I don't want to be her. I like stretch marks, and wrinkled cleavage, and baby-chewed boobs. I like my mom-body, and I really, really, really resent the implication that I shouldn't, and that I'm lazy for not having her body. Her passion is working out, and kudos to her for pursuing it. But I'll be damned if I'm going to sacrifice for her passion rather than my own. It's not an excuse. It's a priority.

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