Saturday, March 19

Dangerous Curves Ahead!

"Imperfection is beauty; madness is genius; and it is better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring."
~Marilyn Monroe

According to Size USA, the "average" measurements for American women today are 40 inches in the bust, 34 inches in the waist and 43 inches in the hips.
Also, the National Center for Health Statistics puts the average height for an adult female in the United States at 5'3.8"

Since I'm in my mid-40's, have had a child, and have been sitting in a wheelchair for 24 years, I bless the Lord above that my numbers are a little lower than the "average" as far as measurements are concerned, but then again, I'm shorter than "average" too, at a whopping 5'1" tall! haha!
Disability aside, I struggle with keeping a positive body image just like so many other women, but I daily try to accept myself and focus on the things I like about my looks and figure, while maintaining a healthy and active way of life and striving for better (in all areas of my life.)
Unfortunately there will always be someone [or something] that comes along and holds up a magnifying mirror to your flaws. What I'm wondering [aloud] here is why some people point out perceived flaws in others without seeming to feel bad in the least about it? I mean, I feel guilty if I even think a bad thought about someone's appearance.
I'm going to use a recent example of this, more than anything as a springboard for trying to understand this sort of thing. If you're the person I'm referring to, I'm not angry at you, just wondering what motivates some to say things without thinking of the way it makes others feel.
Maybe I'm being naive, but I think most women like to build up their friends, and point out the good they see in them, right?
I was talking with someone the other day who I met way back when I was 19 years old. We didn't stay in touch, but in the last 2 years, thanks to Facebook, we've reconnected. One of the things she seems to bring up over and over and over now, 25 years later, is how skinny I was back then, and how she cannot believe that I'm no longer skinny.


I had put up a photo on facebook of my mangled thigh right after surgery, and the comment she made had nothing to do with the injury or surgery, but instead was that she could not believe how big my thighs were now! What the heck? I'm a healthy W-O-M-A-N -- not a drug addicted 19 year old. Why is the latter considered somehow better than being a healthy adult with, pardon my bluntness, boobs and hips? Other than the fact that my body happens to have a spinal cord injury, I kinda like it and I think it's pretty decent, all things considering. Do I want to lose a few pounds? Sure...but just a few (less than 20, more than 10 haha!) But in the meantime, I'll be darned if I'll put my life on hold. What matters to me more than unsolicited opinions are the numbers presented to me at the doctors office. Perfect blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol levels, glucose readings, etc... I'm so thankful that I've reached this place considering that in 2006 my weight had ballooned up to almost 200 pounds and I had high EVERYTHING at the doctors office.

Anyway, I guess if there's a message here in my rambling, it's 'think' before speaking. Put yourself on the receiving end of your words, and proceed with caution.
"Being considerate of others will take you further in life than a college degree."


Bethe77 said...

Great post Michele.
I often wonder how other can be so cruel myself.
I am over wieght I know it and dont need to be rminded how skinny I once was.
I try to be healthy and am working towards lssing those excess pounds.
I think this is a great post to make others stop and think.
Thank you

I'm Jennifer. said...

I'm sitting here trying to figure out why this friend of yours would say such a thing! Maybe she thinks she is complimenting the beautiful you that she remembers? Maybe she's just trying to be funny and doesn't really mean it? I don't know. But it is so not cool of her.
Did you tell her you can't believe how much gray hair she has now? Or wrinkles?

Michele Chastain said...

She reads my blog (hi there!!) so I'm hoping she realizes now that it's less than pleasant to hear over and over again how shocked she is that I'm no longer a twig.

Anonymous said...

I think we all say things that we really don't mean, especially when we are not feeling good about ourselves. I'm guessing your friend feels "less than" and does not know how to deal with her insecurities.

Friends = Patience and forgiveness. ; )

Michele Chastain said...

Absolutely Kris -- thanks for the reminder. :)

Yenta Mary said...

Health is a priceless commodity, without which we have none of the other things we value in life. When I think of you, I think of vibrant spirit, radiant smile, and extraordinary physical strength -- health in every area! Size is irrelevant; and even if someone were painfully thin or dangerously heavy, it's not helpful or thoughtful to be critical ....