The Snob has not one, but TWO stories up this Monday at Clutch Magazine. First up is how negative body images often keep women from both getting in shape AND enjoying their lives. Using fashion blogger Gabi Gregg's "fatkini" tale, I touch on how often so many of us forgo doing the things we love because we don't think we look "good" enough to enjoy them.
Here's a snippet:
How many times have you or someone you’ve known forgone pleasure because we felt we didn’t deserve it for some superficial reason? Where most simple parts of living are now “rewards” only for those who have the right “look” to obtain them? Where you can’t get married unless you drop the weight for the wedding, or you can’t go to the beach this summer if you don’t get into a certain shape, or that you can’t buy new clothes or start dating again unless you go down or up a dress size?
And how often does this – what we think will be motivation – turn into de-motivation at doing anything. Often saying “I’m not going to do so-and-so until I look this certain way” really means, “I’m never doing that at all because I don’t deserve it.”
What you end up doing is avoiding something fun because you’re worried about someone else’s judgment of your body when it’s really your own judgment and notions that’s truly holding you back. It sounds crazy when you say it out-loud. But that’s how a lot of us think. And we were encouraged to think this way by a society that puts women’s bodies up for critique – whether it’s Beyonce, Angelina Jolie, or your next door neighbor.
After all, if the so-called “most beautiful women” in the world can’t avoid ridicule about weight loss, muscle tone, facial structure, and hair – how can you?
Being a woman means your body is always up for discussion. Fat, thin, fit – there’s no way to escape it. You have the choice to ignore it and live your life as you see fit, or you can waste valuable time fretting about how you look instead of just enjoying whatever is the actual task at hand.
The second story expands upon some recent news about Texas-born actress Michelle Rodriguez who learned the lengths the Puerto Rican side of her family went through to stay light-skinned, including marrying first cousins. The post tackles how, as a black American, the lengths some people in the Diaspora have gone through to dilute or deny their African heritage has bordered on everything from the absurd to the truly disturbing -- mainly how the taboo of "kissing cousins" was an easier burden to carry than dark skin for some people.
Here's a snippet:
It’s not that you don’t have lighter and brighter tendencies here in the states, but there’s an ongoing debate, dialogue, and conversation going on about it in black American communities. When I read about something like this, even though I know how race and color are viewed differently in places like Venezuela, Cuba, or Brazil – it’s always shocking.
A friend of mine who is black American and Puerto Rican (and light complexioned) married a woman who was also Latino. We were the same tone and had the same hair texture. She would often jokingly say we looked as if we could be sisters or mother and daughter. But when I joked about how both our hair was so prone to frizz up with straightened because of our shared African ancestry, she bristled and insisted she was not black and had no black ancestry.
She was “Spanish.”
Her husband, who solely identified as black, pointed out that she was – by his definition and most Americans definition, black or white – as black as he and I, but because of her background she didn’t talk about it. Having long hair and being a lighter shade of medium brown had somehow gotten her out of the “dreaded” black category in her native country. To her, her husband and I were the weirdoes wanting to dump our light-skin and brown-skin “privilege” to be lumped in with people several shades darker. We were crazy.
Because where she was from, that was a shudder-worthy notion.