Every woman who has ever opened a glossy magazine knows there are few things that women love more than rules. Twelve Hot Rules for Bedroom Bliss! Ten Style Staples You Can’t Live Without!
It’s tough because there is something to be said for never complaining about your body in front of a man or owning one perfect cashmere sweater. Even in life –which is marginally less important than a perfect cashmere sweater– there are basic rules of engagement we are expected to follow because we are social creatures functioning within a society.
And yet? The only thing sadder than a woman afraid to do what she pleases is a woman who is too afraid to ask herself what she likes in the first place.
I believe I’ve told the story a few years back when a young woman of my acquaintance started showing up places dressed in what can only be described as a Miss Plumcake costume. It was embarrassing. Flattering in a sense, but embarrassing. She did not know –or did not have the confidence– to wear what she liked, so she followed someone else’s rules for looking glamorous. Instead she looked like a knock-off. Was she happy? I don’t know. But I do know when I put something on my body, I’m doing so because it expresses something I want to say. My clothes/makeup/shoes/hair/whatever are an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual somethingorother.
My outside reflects the inside, or at least the part of the inside I want to share that day. It’s mine, not yours. I know the rules, I’ve learned them and when it pleases me I reject them. And if you don’t like it? Try not to slip on my single salty tear. And the reverse holds true. If you wear acid washed mom jeans because you LOVE them and you feel they express who you are as a person, then who cares if (by which I mean WHEN) I roll my eyes?
We start out life as a camel and our job is to bear a burden. The weight is the wisdom and knowledge and tradition of others; our friends, our society, our elders. The camel goes out into the desert and there becomes a lion. The strength of the lion depends on how much weight he was able to carry when he was a camel. The lion’s job is to slay the dragon and on that dragon’s every scale is written the words “Thou Shalt.”
When the lion kills the dragon, he is no longer a lion but a child, remembering the burden of the camel and the Thou Shalts of the dragon. He creates his own Self, not out of ignorance, but having weighed and rejected the Thou Shalt in favor of the I Will.
Now generally speaking, Captain Moustache isn’t my idea of a good time, but he makes an interesting point.
As women, especially as fat women, we get pummeled with Thou Shalts from the second we start pudging out, or the second we learn to worry that we might SOMEDAY pudge out.
We get it from our parents, from our well-meaning (or not so well-meaning) friends, from society. Everywhere we look the world is coated with those golden glittering scales.
How many of those scales do you carry with you? How many are valuable? How many help you be who you want to be?
More importantly? How many scales are we trying to pin to other people?