An Apology to 79% of You With Functioning Eyeballs. Day 10 of 100 Days of Writing


Read this and learn, once and for all, why we should, as the article is titled, “Look, Don’t Judge.” Game changer. (Note the title bar in your browser will identify this article as a “Body Confidence Booster!” )

If you are, like me, so unfit that you cannot be bothered to click through (and, if you’re honest, you’ll admit you just accidentally dropped a Little Debbie Snack Cake on your tablet to get to my blog), allow me to share the text with you here:

Objects in mirror are fitter than they appear.

Come On, Guys

The cashier lady is waiting for my money, but I’m riveted by the puckered celebrity butts and thighs on the cover of a tabloid at the checkout. Normally I might snicker guiltily, but this time I snap out of it: OMG — it’s spring! Open season on cellulite. My cellulite.

Soon my nonfamous butt will be at the beach and, with it, Kens and Barbies potentially critiquing its lack of separation from the backs of my thighs.

When FITNESS recently took the temperature of our collective cattiness, 44 percent of readers polled said it’s fair game to size up other women’s bodies, now that they’re popping out of short shorts and peeking out of crop tops. And get ready to suck it in, because the poll also named abs as the body part about which we are most judgy. Then there are the bikini police — the whopping 79 percent of you who admit to raising an eyebrow at any pudgy woman who dares to do a two-piece.

But forget the deck chair posse. Turns out, the toughest critic we’ll have to face is right under our own shades. Yep, 89 percent of you say that you judge yourselves most harshly of all.

Maybe this year, if we obsess less about where we all stand on the continuum between swimsuit model and manatee, we’ll get back to finishing our cheesy beach reads. Or better yet, get our butts off our blankets.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, May 2014.”

After catching your breath from laughing (Oh les bons mots, ils sont exquis!) and rubbing your neck from nodding along vehemently, you note, “But, my fine Pickadilly, this little gem does not clearly explain WHY we should look and not judge at people like you, Pudgy Bikini-wearer.”

Please, dear Reader, appreciate it when a great literary classic respects its readers enough to let them to figure things out. It’s why FITNESS will soon be joining the ranks of Salinger and Ayn Rand in Sophomore English Lit curricula.

And, as a soon-to-be-heralded masterpiece, FITNESS provokes mighty discussion as it  challenges the most stubborn of us to rethink our perceptions of humanity…and of ourselves.

(This, dear Reader, is where you should be playing some cool music by David Arkenstone.)

There are many things elbowing each other to get a spot on my To Worry About List.

  • The amount of fecal matter on our paper currency
  • My career
  • My foot pain
  • My family’s happiness
  • The West Antarctic Ice Sheet becoming unstable.
  • Tina Fey
  • PTO meetings
  • If Mad Men will continue to suck for the rest of its final season.

I never dreamed that I should worry about how my bikini-ed body, especially my abs, causes your eyebrows to rise.  I know how painful it is to have my body invade your brain. I also know how painful it can be for some of you to raise your eyebrows.  Give it a few weeks, the Botox will wear off.  I know, little consolation now…

I am sorry for my body. I am sorry for my washboard abs — in that it looks like someone rubbed a washboard all over my abs and now they are all elephant-skinned.  I am mostly sorry that I allowed myself out of the house and into your sight line while without covering properly, without self-tanning for the illusion of fitness, and of course, without regard for your feelings about seeing my grotesque body while you are trying to tan or write your Supreme Court opinion or trying to hold in a fart after eating your boyfriend’s burrito. Hang in there. That, too, shall pass.

I am sorry that 21% of people aren’t on board with your desire to make the world a beautiful place, one bathing-suited body at a time. I mean, what is it going to take to understand that while gardening, civil rights work, and decoupage take time, reminding the world to cover up flab is an easy Earth Day hack?

I suppose it would be enough to be more selfless in my water-side attire.  But the shame I feel about you having to look at my five extra untoned pounds…it’s only right for me to make sweeping lifestyle changes! I promise to heed the daily emails Spanx sends me reminding me that I will look great in anything — from muumuu to tent dress — as long as I rearrange my internal organs and hold my pee for as long as I am in public.  I owe you that.

But for my most egregious offense, wearing a bathing suit at the pool or a public beach where you might be while being completely out of shape, I can only promise to do better.  I know that one dude from Italy was totally cool with my bikini adventures when a surprisingly strong wave knocked me right out of the top half…but what does he know? He’s no FITNESS subscriber.  (Povero sciocco non sa brutto quando sta a fissarla. Un lotto.)

I am saddened by the fact that you are more judgmental about your own body than mine.  Considering all the shade you are throwing my way (and obviously, I am quite capable of producing more than my share of shade. I mean look at me!), you must really hate yourself.  I can’t imagine why you feel that way…then again, while I’m swimming, playing, reading, frolicking, parasailing, eating ice cream, or whatever else I do at the beach, I don’t have a lot of time to examine your body.  Maybe that’s the problem…

For now, until I can find the time to undergo massive plastic surgery workout more than the four hours a week that I do, I promise to wear a one piece.  But, girl, I promise, once my abs are rock hard and my buns steely and my thighs capable of crackin’ walnuts, I’m gonna tattoo this on ’em:

b3551f0db370f032c160c2a0ef915aa2

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