Ever hear this kind of talk?

Ever engage in it yourself?

And do you believe that all women bemoan their bodies? Or are there any out there who are comfortable in their own skin? And does this kind of talk ever come from men? Ever?


63 responses to “Ever hear this kind of talk?

  1. Guilty.

    It’s hard to close out the messages that our bodies aren’t right. I try to convince myself that I’m comfortable in my own skin, but really I’m not and never have been. I once went to see an eye doctor about glasses and he ended up suggesting that I have an eye lift in addition to the glasses. I was shocked at the suggestion and never went back to him again!

    I’d guess that there are plenty of women who are comfortable in their own skin. I hope someday I’ll be one of them.

    • Are you kidding me? An EYE doctor made that suggestion? Jesus H. I think I’d have wanted to slap him for that. It seems just as I get comfortable, a new wrinkle (literal and figurative) emerges and then I have to start at Square One to learn to love that one, too. I think being so heavily involved in sports early on gave me a healthier view of my body. Of course I would never be stick-thin. I had muscles!

      • I kid you not. He even passed me a pamphlet on the procedure and gave me a surgeon’s name. All I wanted was a prescription for glasses. Even though I wasn’t interested, it made me question my appearance. Was it that bad that he thought he should mention it? I don’t believe that now, but I’m just saying those kinds of things come from lots of places and it takes a strong person to keep shutting them out.

        • I am guessing here, but I would assume he violated some kind of professional code by doing that. I hope you never went back there again and told all your friends to skip the guy. He’s an eye doctor, for cryin’ out loud. You wouldn’t go to him for comment on your choice of cars, which house to buy, or whether those flaps around your eyes are obstructing your vision. Jaysus. I’m mad at the guy and I don’t even KNOW him.

          • I never went back to him again.

            Get this one: When I was fresh out of school and started wearing heels every day to work, my right foot started getting so sore it was hard to walk. I went to a podiatrist who claimed I needed to have the BONES REMOVED in my little toe. All in one appointment he tried to rush me into supplying him with my insurance information and scheduling the surgery. I was of the mindset that doctors knew best, but luckily I put the brakes on it, left and decided “are you kidding?”. I was about 22 and I think that would have crippled me!

            I started wearing foot pads and bought larger shoes and everything was fine. Sometimes your inner voice knows best.

            • I wish my inner voice — or you — had been around when I saw a podiatrist a few years ago. He, too, suggested I remove a bone (it was broken and causing havoc) so I did that, and now my foot is spreading out and I’m having trouble buying shoes over-the-counter. A subsequent visit to another podiatrist told me that taking a bone out of the foot is an ignorant thing to do — or, at least, taking THAT bone out of the foot is ignorant. Good to know, now that I have a paddle for a right foot.

      • My grandfather had a lift done because his eyelids were drooping down and obstructing his vision. I don’t suppose that was what the eye doctor was thinking?

        • I would think an eye doctor would have to be extremely careful to whom he/she would suggest surgery, but then, my nu-nu doctor didn’t seem at all circumspect about commenting on my two-pound weight gain.

      • Vegas, I was shocked and then frozen by his suggestion. It was the last thing on my mind and I’ve never had a problem with obstructed vision. Maybe he saw something that I didn’t and still don’t. I just looked in the mirror again and as far as I can tell, an eyelift would be for cosmetic reasons. Later, after I was no longer questioning myself, I realized he was off base. Now, I’m just angry at him and at myself for temporarily believing there was something wrong with my appearance.

      • I can’t imagine a doctor recommending cosmetic plastic surgery! That makes me mad! A pox on him for making you question your looks.

  2. Maybe an appropriate response might be to start singing “Just as I am, without one plea . . .”

    • “…but tha-at thy blood was sheeeed for mee…” Or maybe this “Bite me,” straight to the doctor. I had a situation similar to this with a gynecologist years ago. Forgive me for telling this yet again, but I hadn’t visited my nu-nu doctor in a few years (no excuses, but I hadn’t) and I climbed up onto the table and he put that instrument into my very private parts, the one they keep in the freezer over night and then he allowed that I’d gained a few pounds since my last visit. That surprised me because I normally stay at roughly the same weight so I asked him how much I’d gained and he said, seriously, “Two pounds.” Now, this doctor was not svelte by any means, so I started badgering him to tell me how much weight he’d gained in the last few years, since my last visit. He wouldn’t tell me until I got really aggressively snotty about it, and then he finally allowed he’d gained 25. Twenty-five pounds to my two. I thought the nurse would die laughing.

      • What’s with some of these doctors? There are great ones out there, but some use pretty poor judgment. Good for you for your come back. I think of great things to say after I’ve left.

        • You were not trained as rigorously as I was on the snappy comeback. It’s not always the gift it might appear. Sometimes, for the sake of having the last (or loudest) say, I’ve said some truly hateful things. And those are hard to pull back.

  3. “I kid you not. He even passed me a pamphlet on the procedure and gave me a surgeon’s name”

    He probably gets a kickback from the surgeon.

  4. Don’t sometimes people have eyelifts because their eyelids get so heavy/puffy it can obscure their vision? I’m not defending this guy, because if this was the case he should have told you.

    Worst ever: I had complained to my gyn for years about heavy periods. She gave me the standard line and tmi but I was passing blood but not in a way that would soak through a pad. After I PASSED OUT from anemia in her office, she said “I believe you because of your iron numbers.” The fact that al Qaeda and Dick Cheney were using my uterus for their super secret hide out wasn’t enough. (Thats who I decided the fibroids were Figured I might have a little voodoo ritual with the surgery)

    • That may be, but I was far from having obstructed vision. Of course, I’ll go look in the mirror later to check on this. (See what I mean!)

    • Wow. And here I thought Dick Cheney confined himself to secret bunkers. Good to know! And I’m not familiar with people getting eyelifts to get skin flaps out of the eyes. For what it’s worth, I’ve seen Jac in person and her flaps look, to me, to be right where they ought to be. I’d still like to smack the guy.

      • Thanks, dj. I appreciate the virtual smacking, too! I’ve got a few for you to smack.

        My GP found a lump in my thyroid and then sent me to and endocrinologist. She suggested (seriously) that I just get rid of my thyroid so we wouldn’t have to deal with it any more. I promptly switched doctors and found out she lost her license soon after. (there was a drug problem at one point) I see a good endo now. BTW – I went to her because she was listed among the “Top Docs”. That’s a piece of trash listing as far as I’m concerned.

        • Yeah, it is. I sometimes think those listings come about because of campaigning on the parts of the people on the list.

  5. In the self-esteem debate (and yes, I’ve debated this online to an extent), I’ve heard it all. I don’t have much of a self-esteem to begin with, but people have come up with the same cliche responses:
    “You’re fearfully and wonderfully made” (yeah, and so is a platypus!)
    “You’re the apple of God’s eye” (so?)
    “You’ll come into your own one day” (err?)
    “If you don’t love yourself, no one will” (and why are other women with no self-esteem in relationships again? Someone loves them.)

    I was terribly taunted in high school, and had been voted ugliest in my high school. My dad has called me ugly. I can walk down a street, and trust me, no cat calls will follow. In terms of the talk coming from men, it’s men that told me how I never fit their beauty standards and how ugly I was. Women/girls, too.

    I’ve come to accept that I really am not beautiful or attractive, because way too many people have gagged and commented on my ugliness. Not everyone in the world can be beautiful. When people tell me I am, I just think they patronize me and don’t want to tell me the truth.

    I remember being 16 and wishing that whoever I met would be blind because I was just too ugly. And now at 19, that wish still echoes.

    • Unless you go for lots of plastic surgery, your outside appearance can just change a little. Maybe you like it and maybe you don’t. It is what it is. I’m far from knowing about much that. The one thing I can control 100% is my inside, my soul. So, I really do try to focus on that and being a person inside that I like. Okay, that’s not even always easy, but it’s something I keep working on and when I make progress, I like myself a little more. My favorite people are the ones that see my soul and not my exterior. I try to see theirs, too, back. When you make a connection that way with someone, your wish will come true in another way.

      • See, plastic surgery is something I’ve thought about for years. It was even something I planned on saving up for.

        Truth is, I am so unattractive that going in for plastic surgery will make me bankrupt. There’s just too much I would need to fix.

        But I will say I am glad I don’t cry about it anymore. “Ugly” is just another adjective to describe me. Most people in the U.S. I’ve met, unlike Nigeria where I grew up, are so P.C. they don’t want to say it. Unless it’s a celeb they detest – then the “ugly” comments fly.

        • From your comments I can see your good heart from here. Thus, that makes you beautiful. And people who call others “ugly” are ugly, themselves.

      • One thought on the plastic surgery. When that doctor mentioned the idea for me, after I questioned my appearance, I then thought that the only reason I’d do it would be so that other people wouldn’t think that my eyes were saggy. I could see fine and they didn’t bother me in my daily life. So, I wonder, if you had the money, would you consider plastic surgery so other people wouldn’t say those things or because you really think you need it… for yourself? In other words, are “the things you need to fix” things that other people say need fixing. If you grew up in a world that had been filled with people that always told you that you’re beautiful, then what? Maybe they are just wrong.

        • I wonder, myself, if I had the money would I indulge in some kind of cosmetic surgery. I mean, my neck needs ironing for all the wrinkles it’s acquired, and my eyes are baggier than they used to be…but I’d like to think I’d just stick with the old me. I’m starting to think that “aging gracefully” is something like “bleeding prettily.” It’s not in the eye of the beholder. It’s how I feel about myself.

          • “One word Benjamin, ‘Plastic.'”

            “Better living through chemistry.”

            It’s just as easy to love a young-looking pretty woman with big boobs as it is to love an old looking dame.

            • Probably easier, for some. And speaking as a woman, it’s just as easy to focus on someone’s heart — more life-affirming, more long-lasting — than it is to check out their package. Yes, that’s crude, but blame my growing up with brothers. Pretty is as pretty does. All that.

    • Can I just ask if that’s a photo of you next to your comment? I’m not trying to debate you because the inner voice speaks loudest and you, as you said, will only think I’m trying to patronize you, but if that photo looks the way I want to look, mysterious and interesting. And, yes, I would classify you as beautiful. I used to get those taunts, too, from people important to me and I finally had to decide that no one else gets to vote on my looks. Screw ’em, says I. I know that sounds easy to say (and it is) but it’s a hard-fought stance for me and I’m sticking with it. Be that as it may, the cool thing about the Internet is that no one knows what you look like, so I’ve gotten to think I know you from a few of your comments, and yes. You are beautiful. You can ignore me if you want. That’s cool, too. But still.

      • No, that isn’t me. I wish. :P
        She’s the frontwoman of a UK punk group – Noisettes.

        And thanks.

        • I stand by my original: You’re beautiful. Now let those inner voices drown me out if you must, but I stand by my original.

      • My self talk has changed a lot since I started gaining weight after I got married. I’m now what I’d call fat. I go back and forth on it. Sometimes I hate it, really really hate it but other times I just don’t care and I can convince myself that I’m still beautiful. But it’s a struggle. It actually helps when I see photos like the one above, of heavier women because I see that photo and I think she’s gorgeous. That’s when it becomes most obvious to me that we’ve been trained to see beauty as one particular thing but it isn’t just that.

        • You know, I looked at that photo for a while before I posted it, trying to figure out what made that woman beautiful. It was her smile, I think, and (so I suppose) the fact that she loved herself enough to let herself get photographed naked. Self-confidence is better than big, beautiful breasts (what I lack) or a skinny butt (I’m shaped more like a Weeble, those round-bottomed toys that don’t fall down). And I think about just embracing my body. Some days — like you — I do that. And then some days I look down at my thighs-that-were and it is a struggle. But I’m getting there, goddammit.

      • There are people who don’t fit in to the beauty standards or ideals that society has laid out but they are still beautiful. Neu, I hope you can make peace with your body one day.

        • I doubt too many of us here at DJ fit into the Barbie mold. Let me be the first to say that I don’t, not even if you adjust for age and sagging.

  6. I took the easy way out.

    When a photo was made of me when I retired, the photographer immediately Photoshopped the bags under my eyes.

    Presto! Problem solved!

    • Photoshopped! Now why didn’t I think of that? I had someone once call my teeth “Chiclet teeth,” which I think he meant as a compliment (big and bright) and every once in a while I smile a big wide smile and almost falter because — well, I have Chiclet teeth. I also once had a colleague tell me that I was the best natural writer he’s ever met, but that I was one of the most undisciplined. Which part did I hear on that? “Undisciplined.” It was years before I decided that was his opinion and he was welcome to it, but.

  7. Actually ladies, I had this conversation with myself this summer. I have not had an ideal body, even at the various times I was terribly fit. Terribly fit.

    However, something clicked on a whole range of attitudes and I realized:

    1) I am not going to change who I am. It is too late and as imperfect as I am, I am perfect enough for my purposes.

    2) Yes, I have a belly. It ranges in size. Get over it. I will take my shirt off as I desire…whether or fish or run through the woods or work in my yard. If you don’t like it, drop dead.

    3) You don’t have to be gay or a cross-dresser to sing this with passion:

    • You can have a belly so large that you have to kick it out of the way to move forward, Humphrey, and it doesn’t matter to me. From your comment (and thanks for the link), can you imagine hearing the same nonsense asking women to question their size, their shape, their face, whether their hair smells pretty all the time? It’s wearing and damaging, too. And yes, my reaction back is to tell people to drop dead. No one gets a vote on my looks. And I don’t want a vote on yours.

      • I live it each day as my DW has hates her body so long and with such passion that it was a key part of her depression. Slowly, she is starting to listen to me and understand what I have been saying for so long: that I love her body as I love her and size and shape does not matter in the least. She will always be sexy.

        PS – I am probably a much nicer guy than many of you think…but I am just so intolerably funny…and that takes precedence. ;-)

        • Good come-back. Good save. I suspect you’re not nearly as hateful as we’d like to think — or I’d like to think. Otherwise? The rappier wit and big brains on this blog would have sent you packing. I appreciate your telling your DW over and over again that she’s sexy. Rock on, H.

      • Pretty or ugly, fat always wins as the thing everyone feels comfortable making fun of. Men are not nearly as pressured to have the perfect body but they are scorned when there is fat involved. I’m not ugly but I’m fat and so not only can I be the butt of jokes I am also a bad person. Fat has been so moralized that people have given themselves full rights to putting down fatties because being fat is a moral failing ans worse, it’s effecting everyone else by driving up healthcare costs. Which is of course based on very shaky evidence but we’ll take it because we LOVE to have a group of people we can put down in good conscience.

        • I have often wondered why fat jokes are the last remaining prejudice…I mean, people tell racist and sexist ones, but generally there’s someone in the group to say they shouldn’t. Fat jokes just go right by. I don’t get that. You is what you is and you aint taking anything from me by your size.

          • Fear.

            I was in a AYCE Asian buffet the other night. A family walked in, mom I noticed right away, She was absolutely huge in a pear-shaped way…had to be over 350. Her clothes fit her loosely and no ounce seemed to be restrained which meant large bits of her body wobbled every way possible. I was attracted…very earth motherish.

            However. The tiny little Chinese hostess, barely tipping the scales at 95lbs watched her with a look of horror. It was absolutely apparent.

            Thin people are often terrified of being fat. All the AMA for-your-health propaganda helps insure that.

            And we as a race tend to only be truly comfortable so far as long as there exists a group that can be put down.

            PS – a mutual friend of Tod’s and mine has been asked to appear in an article in some national fitness magazine about women who are obese but healthy. By BMI she may be obese, I would call her thick, but she is a champion tennis player in the Atl area.

            • You just can’t judge a book by its cover. I have a friend who runs marathons — MARATHONS! — and while she’s not fat by any stretch of the imagination, she doesn’t look like what I thought a person who runs marathons looks. You know? She’s actually a beautiful woman, no question, but I thought marathoners were either stringbeans or completely muscled-bound. She’s neither. I also have larger friends who can kick my behind (and I’m fairly fit, grading on a curve) in just about any sports endeavor. I learned early on to keep my mouth shut. You just never know.

              • I’ve done marathons and ultra-marathons in the fatboy or clydesdale divisions. In fact, my first marathon a newspaper reporter picked me out during the prerace wait since I looked so “non-typical.” Fat.

                I’ve seen lots of body types at these races…but then, being about the last one in (officially so twice) I get to see everybody but the front-runners.

                • Good Lord. How can any one actually run a marathon? What shape were you in the next day? I’d be, well, dead. My hat is off to you. I’m not even sure I could run two miles. One, even.

  8. Uhh…”rapier” as I don’t do rap.

  9. THere’s a stereotype of heavy people eating more so the waitress may have been worried about that.

    BTW: the good folks over at No Longer Qivering (there’s no U in Quiverfull) http://nolongerquivering.com/ during their carniva have a “game” regarding body image led by former Hare Krishna Devotee Tapati.

  10. Eddie Izzard ran 43 marathons in 7 weeks for charity. Of course he’s crazy.

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