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Current Rants and Recent Rambles

04-24-04 Be Kind To Each Other and To Yourself: A Weighty Ramble

I woke up this morning to an email that cleared up some confusion last night in Demo. When I'm doing a demo I don't see what is in chat. My back is to the monitor and I don't open other people's cams because I need to focus.

It seems that last night another ClayMate had her cam open and someone asked if she were pregnant. She's not. But she got her feelings hurt. 

If it were me I'd just be glad that someone still thought I was breeding viable and not looking like some old woman that I am. But that's just me.

If it were me I'd accept the body that God gave me and if I wanted to change it I would.

If it were me I'd have asked another ClayMate privately if the person in question were pregnant, wanting to avoid hurting someone's feelings.

I look at it this way. First, it was a mistake to make mention publicly. It might have been just as hurtful if it were asked privately. Second, if folks make a mistake, even if it hurts our feelings it is incumbent on us to forgive them and just set them straight. 

"No I'm not a transexual I'm a natural born female thank you." That's what I had to tell someone one time. Just because I'm "ballsy" Like natural born females can't have grit and throw a good right hook, but I digress.

We all have issues about body image. Living in a Commerce driven economy the way goods and services are shoved down our throats is done by making us feel diminished. I've already written a ramble about that. 

Body shape and fashion change from culture to culture through out time. Back in the day when food was difficult to hunt and gather being plump was a sign of wealth. There's a saying in China "May you be fat and greasy" meaning "may you have so much excess resources that you become...." It's a compliment. In some countries it is still customary to take Brides-To-Be and shut them away in a cage and feed them Taro root day in and day out to plump them up for marriage. 

It is a biological truth that women who are starving loose their menses. It is biological truth that women with rounded hips and full breasts trigger sexual response in men more than women who are not hour glass shaped. 

Can you imagine having large breasts during the 1920's? When the Flapper fad meant having small to no breasts at all. The Cross Dressers were thrilled to bits, no need for falsies. Women suffered binding down their breasts to be fashionable.

Before that corsets constricted our ribs, causing internal organs to be crowded and bringing the need for a "fainting room" at the top of stairs for women to lie down on after just going up one flight. No Kidding, in our Victorian apartment when I was growing up having the "fainting room" as one's bedroom was a treat, for it was over the front door, with a balcony, which meant you could sneak out at night, but again I digress. 

For a thousand years, no jive 1,000 years, Chinese women had their feet bound and deformed with much pain and suffering for FASHION. 

Today, right now in developed countries "Thin is In". In Africa, India, Asia "thin is starving or AIDs". In Africa they call AIDs "the slims". Dating women who are plump makes some men think they might avoid "the slims disease". 

When I'm depressed I can't eat. There's been times when life has been so rough I've fed my children first and IF there were food left over I'd eat. If not I'd tie my "hunger belt" tighter around my belly and just tough it out. I'd run into folks I've not seen in a while and they would say "You Look GREAT!" and it was all I could do to keep my self from using my good right hook.

"I'm not looking GREAT I'm famished you jerk!" is what I wanted to say.

So for some being told that being slim is pretty pisses them off. Like me. Being slim in my mind means I've come out of some rough times and gone hungry. I don't diet I just have inconsistent money in my life. 

Whether we are plump or thin is a matter of genetics and the abundance or lack of food resources.

If you're content with being plump as I am, having someone make mention that I look like I lost weight pisses me off. 

If you're content with being slim as some are, being asked if you're pregnant might make you feel bad.

But think about it people - who put the "fat is bad" idea in our heads? When did it become the last group of people around to be discriminated against? Can't do that with race, sex or religion. But laughing at the fat folks is still acceptable. Making mention of them out loud in public is acceptable. 

Depression is common in folks who are unhappy with their weight. Unfortunately some folks can eat when they are depressed. Or when they are poor they eat high calorie grain mixed and little meat, rice and beans make protein but also adds calories. 

What I've been asked to write this morning is a brain massage. 

I ask folks to think twice before asking a woman if she's pregnant. If she didn't mention it then it's probably hip to suss it out before making mention.

I ask folks who have had their feelings hurt when being mistaken for pregnant when that's not the case to FORGIVE the other person who now has the cleanest foot in town after taking it out of their mouth. 

I ask folks who do feel bad about their body type, warranted or not, to turn off the dang TV. Stop watching commercials with impossibly thin women dancing about selling goods and services. 

If you have issues about your body and it is warranted, then either accept your life or change it. There's really only two things to choose from in life, do it or don't do it. 

I have a girlfriend who is part of "Fat, So?!" it's a large woman support group for those who are content with their big bodies and are "in your face" about it. "Sure I'm fat, what's it got to do with you?!"

Ok, dig... I'm 5'3". Everyone in the world of adults are taller than I am around here. I'm Asian, or half, and I'm soooo sick of every John Lennon looking for his Yoko Ono, when I know I'm really black inside and want to be a cowgirl. I'm a female and the power structure is held in the hands of men. 

So... short, minority and female and poor. Add to that the German/Scot/Irish side of my family landed on my fat deposits. OOOH an Asian with tits, what a treat. 


We all got issues. I can't change my sex (without a big hassle), my race, my height or a whole lot about my genetic make up that governs my fat deposits.

So I figured that not getting weirded out about all of it was probably good for my spirit. For what was I upset about?

What if I were Tall, White, Blond, Rich and Male? What would that gain me? Power? Money? Babes hanging off of my arm laughing at every lame joke I came up with? 

What is it that we are craving when we feel bad about WHO WE ARE AND HOW WE ARE SHAPED. 

It's not a matter of being overweight. It's a matter of feeling POWERLESS. 

So Seize the power you do have in your life then. Take it from those who use it badly. Stand up in your little size 4 shoes and say in a very loud squeeking voice. "I may be short, fat and female but I got a good right hook and you better watch out!"

We aren't concerned with our body shape for HEALTH. We're concerned that we won't fit in... odd term that, to fit in with the "in crowd". 

Screw that. Who cares? 

All you over weight folks, and for our men - balding folks, out there hear me... are there people in your life who love you as you are? Then stop beating yourself up.

Because I had pre-diabetic symptoms last year I changed over to whole grains and watched my sugar intake. It was a health issue and I did loose weight. I asked my husband what did he think and he said, "Did you loose weight?" 

Dude, I lost 50 pounds!!

"Boopie, don't you know that love is blind and I can't tell if you loose or GAIN weight." he said.

Oh that's why I keep this man around, he knows what to say, but I do believe he is sincere for he was crawling under his desk fiddling with computer cords when he said that and not naked in bed with a smile on his face, ya know? 

So what's the point of this rant...

Be kind to others and take a second before making comment on their body shape. The pregnant vs overweight mistake is common and probably universal. Only in the Developed world is it an insult. In poor countries it's a compliment. It's a matter of resources available in the culture.

Be kind to yourself. If someone makes that mistake thinks you're pregnant instead of packing a few extra pounds. Ask yourself why you got your feelings hurt. What does being thin mean to you? Does it mean better health, then cool, I'll keep you company with trimming the fat for health reasons. But if you want to be thin thinking you're going to have some non health related reward... a better lover, more money, popularity... then I say it's not the weight that's the issue, it's a sense of self esteem.

The main reason why I do what I do here is to help folks with their self esteem issues, which gets in the way of them giving themselves permission to do art.

That's why I do demos. When we're in Demo let's make an effort to be kind to each other and to ourselves. Ok?

There's this big push to Trim America, our lives are not active, we ride in cars and watch TV and sit at our computers. If you're feeling bad with your weight then there's a lot of positive reinforcement out there in popular culture to help you change your life. For there is no DIET, there's changing the whole way you relate to food. Is it a comfort? Are you eating because you're depressed? Do you need to add some physical activity to your life? Then you know what you need to do. Until you do those things it's best to just develop some self love and give yourself the time to make changes. You would be loving, nurturing and protective of others in this quest for a healthy life, then be loving, nurturing and protective of yourself while you do what you feel you need to do.

Everyone else, examine your own perceptions. If you meet someone who is not thin do you automatically assume stuff about them? That they are stupid, self destructive, lacking will power? Then you got to rearrange your brains and exercise a bit of compassion. Especially in my Demos.

You hurt my teaching gig by making my students feel bad.

Also, I don't want "sorry".  Sorry don't count for it doesn't mean there will be CHANGE. I want change even if folks don't feel sorry. Clay Nice. Be kind to each other and to ourselves. To do otherwise gets in the way of creating art.


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