Archive for the ‘Feminist Scheminist’ Category
I’m a little scared to type this because the wrath of the Interwebs could come down on me with an earth-shattering boom.
But I feel bad for Kim Kardashian.
I feel bad that there’s a hashtag mocking the brevity of her union (#thingslongerthanKimsmarriage), and I feel bad that her situation is being contorted into an anti-gay smear (“celebrities can get divorced after 72 days but it’s homosexuals who are ruining the sanctity of marriage?”).
I am sad that she thought she had it all, and I am mad that we live in a society where it’s acceptable to pass judgement on other people’s intimate relationships. (Is this post starting to sound like a Dr. Suess book? I feel bad and I am sad and I am mad…)
Mostly I feel bad for the relentless commentary about Kim, her relationship and her decision. Everyone seems to have something to say about it. Where exactly does that need to comment come from? Obviously I suffer from it: I wrote this post. The news media, the tabloids and everyone on Twitter also needs to comment on it. Why are we all so desperate to talk about a celebrity’s failed marriage? Could it be because we’re desperate to talk about marriage in general?
If you want to be outraged about Kim’s divorce go right ahead: but don’t try to link the dilapidation of her marriage to her celebrity status. Kim’s marriage failed because as a society we’ve allowed divorce to permeate our lives and become not just a solution for extreme cases, but a solution for most cases.
Kim is not encouraging people to get divorced, nor is she sending a message to little girls that it’s okay to get married if you don’t plan to stay with your partner forever. On the contrary, she is a victim of those very messages. Kim lives in a world where it’s okay to get divorced. A world where working on a relationship just doesn’t seem like a fun way to spend eternity. A world where weddings are more exciting than marriages. This world isn’t some extravagant Hollywood alternate reality: this world is our world.
Have you ever looked up your BMI? It sucks. Not only does it suck, it’s kind of mean. Isn’t this supposed to be a scientific measurement? Can’t you come up with fancier, gentler words than “overweight” and “obese?” When Molly was undergoing chemo the nutritionist at the hospital told us not to worry about her loss of appetite– our family seemed to have a fair share of reserves. See, that was nice. And clever. No need for name calling.
The BMI scale ranks me as obese, for the record. I think that’s a little harsh. And I don’t think they’re accounting for my big booty and awesome tits. Can I get a recount?
Now I’m not about to argue that I’m in perfect shape or that I look fabulous, but I certainly make an effort. I workout 3-5 times a week usually for an hour or more at a time. I eat balanced meals that keep me full and satisfied. I stay away from processed food as much as possible. I eat my fair share of cookies, but they’re always homemade and free of white flour, granulated sugar and butter (thanks, Bethenny!). I can’t help but wonder what a girl’s gotta do around here to be considered just “overweight?”
I’ve been concerned with body image and how it affects women psychologically ever since my sister was diagnosed with cancer. Most people know our story, but no matter how many times I explain what happened it seizes to amaze me. My 14-year-old sister had a tumor the size of her head in her upper, inner thigh. She didn’t show anyone because she thought it was fat.
What kind of world do we live in where a child is embarrassed to reveal a life-threatening tumor because she thinks it’s her fault for eating too many Ho-Hos? Oh, that’s right. A world where women judge each other’s size, where the media makes fun of puberty and where an active woman who wears a size 12 is obese. Okay, time to step off my soap box. Or stumble off as it crashes out from under me because I’m so heavy. *snark*
I read a book last year that really opened my eyes to America’s attitude toward body image as well as our country’s anti-fat mentality. The book was Hungry, written by “plus size” supermodel Crystal Renn. The autobiography chronicles Crystal’s battle with the modeling world and eating disorders, but also presents a lot of unknown information about our bodies and fat mentality. For example, did you know that the BMI system was reorganized a few years ago by a panel of dietitians? The system was adjusted by 5 points, making all “healthy” people “overweight,” and making all “overweight” people obese. As a nation, why do we accept a system that is so easily and arbitrarily changed? It seems inconsistent that one day you could be “average” then you wake up the next morning and you’re considered “overweight.”
As I mentioned, Crystal is a plus size model. Why the HELL we need to include the “plus size” distinction is beyond me. Check this sister out:
Girlfriend is smokin’ hot. I would date her (sorry, David!). And yet our BMI system and our society labels her as fat. I guess if Crystal Renn is fat I’m honored to be in the same category as her. Ridiculous but true.
All of this is not to say that America doesn’t have an obesity problem, or that we should eat whatever we want. But there has to be a balance between healthy and reality.
Unfortunately it’s going to take a lot more than an angry blog post to change the ideology of a nation. *Le Sigh* In high school I completed a massive research project about Female Genital Mutilation. Aside from the graphic descriptions and disgusting pictures the one detail that stuck with me from that project is this: FGM is perpetuated by women. It’s not the men demanding young girls have their clitorises scraped out with a dull razor, it’s their mothers, aunts and sisters.
When you think about it, our fat mentality and our body image issues don’t come from men: they come from women. They come from us judging each other, from making comments about one another’s weight. The desire to be thin does not so much fulfill a male fantasy as it does a fabricated, nearly unachievable female ideology. Yikes. We might as well be mutilating each other.
So ladies, next time you see a “plus size” model on TV, or you spot a curvy woman playing with her kids at the pool, keep the comments to yourself. Better yet, reprimand yourself for giving into the cultural expectation to judge one another. Regardless of size or weight all women are strong and beautiful. Please don’t make me fight this crusade alone. For my sister’s sake, for my future children’s sake, let’s stop calling each other fat. Period.
So here it goes. Welcome to Hamsaps House. I’m Abby, a 22-year-old soon to be newlywed and new mom to fur baby Luna. Yes, she is my baby; I’m turning into a crazy dog lady before my own eyes. I’m engaged to a pretty awesome dude, David. I work in communications, and David is a processor for a food manufacturer**. He works night shift, so our schedule and lifestyle is a little different than most. At least our reversed routine will provide ample (albeit whiney) material for me to blog about.
We’re getting hitched in May 2011. We’ve been sinful cohabiters for a few years (more on that in future posts) and can’t wait to make it legit. The only bonus/snag (depending your ideological worldview) is that I minored in Gender Studies and refuse to change my last name. This is not a deal breaker for David, because I’ve always been upfront about my love for my given name (don’t even try to call it a “maiden” name… I wasn’t milking cows prior to meeting my significant other).
Life was fine and dandy until we adopted Luna. It was then that we realized SHE needed a last name (see crazy dog lady note, above). She was part of our family, and would be a reflection of both of us. We didn’t want to curse her with a hyphened name– the other pups would make fun of her at doggy day camp, and one of our names would inevitably get dropped. We decided the only option was to combine our last names and give her a title that was unique to our family: thus, Hamsaps was born.
David and I have taken to referring to each other as Mr. and Mrs. Hamsaps, and I always sign “Hamsaps” on the electronic signature pads at Target. I love going by Mrs. Hamsaps. Seriously. To me it’s the perfect balance of tackiness and cleverness, dipped in chocolate and covered in sprinkles. I would even seriously consider changing my name to Hamsaps, if David would, too. David loves him some Hamsaps, but legal action might be a little extreme.
Hopefully this post allows you to see a little more clearly into Hamsaps House. This blog is going to be a reflection of my life, right now. Between wedding planning, starting a career, raising a puppy and working on our little family I think I will have enough material for at least a few months.
**DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this blog belong solely to the blogger, and in no way represent the views of either Abby or David’s employers, their affiliates or their corporate policy.
Basically, don’t sue us. We can’t afford legal fees on top of our biweekly Target trips.