Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

What 56 and Overweight Really Looks Like

There's been a lot of kerfuffle in the media lately about women and how they look. Apparently, people have been picking on Ashley Judd's appearance, and she has commented back, with a very well-written essay about how wrong it is to judge women on their appearance. If you're interested, you can read her article here.

The blogosphere is all aflutter about it too. Bloggers have written blog posts in support of what she said, one by Patty Hicks at Garden of Discovery, which you can read here. Another at Red, White and Grew, here. There may have been more since I first read these a couple of days ago. Here's a third I just found on Pinterest from Jennah's Garden. I also read an interesting article just this morning, and it says some great stuff on the whole "judging women's looks" situation too. You can read it here, it's called Women, Looks and Aging: Is Beauty a Bad Investment?

Anyway, I figured I would write a blog post too too. It's taken me a few days to work out what I want to say, and I'm still not sure I will be able to say it all and get my thoughts organized. So if this post veers off course and gives you whiplash because I'm trying to say too much, well....sorry. Hope you can keep up. It's going to be more personal than political. I think what happened to Ashley Judd was ridiculous. And I don't think anyone, man or woman, should be judged on their looks.

Many of my blogging friends know that since last summer I've been trying to lose weight. I really appreciate all their support for my efforts. I haven't written about it in months (I actually have a second blog called The 40-Pound Chicken Challenge, but I haven't contributed to that since last September. It's called that because my husband told me that when I lose 40 pounds, he will let me get chickens.) Many of you also know that I don't publish a lot of photos of myself on my blog, but I have published a couple, and they are not always flattering. I don't like seeing myself in photos, and whenever I see my husband point the camera at me, I make a face. He usually takes the picture anyway. And then I delete it.

Remember this photo of me from last summer, holding a chicken?

For those who are interested, I have lost a little more weight, I just haven't written about it. But it's been a slow slog. I thought I could update people on my progress, and say something about being judged on appearances at the same time.

Why have I been trying to lose weight? Partly for health reasons, but also, to be honest, because I want to look better. I don't think I will ever stand out as a beauty, but I do want to live longer, and I think there is a little part of me that is trying to recapture my youth.

Me in a towel turban and no makeup, looking like a film star -- on second thought, I don't really look much like Liz Taylor, do I?

Oh my. My first reaction on seeing this photo? Look at those crooked teeth. Blotchy skin. Little piggy eyes. Tell me your reaction, quick! The first thing you thought when you saw this picture.

The last time I wore makeup was a little over 5 years ago, for my 25th wedding anniversary. I was about 20 pounds thinner then than I am right now.

What's your reaction to this?

 My one concession to vanity and getting old is that I get my hair colored at a salon, every 6 weeks. It would be white otherwise. Lately I've been thinking of growing it out, and letting it go natural. I have a friend back east who has done that, and she looks wonderful, with a somewhat wild, white mane of distinctive hair.

I've always had a kind of love/hate relationship with standing out. I'd love to dress to stand out, but then I feel self-conscious. I think one reason I remain overweight is that I think it tends to make me invisible (I know that doesn't make sense), but I do think it's true that people tend to dismiss and/or overlook fat people. I would love to be one of those women who wears her white hair proudly. What do you think? Would a long mane of white hair make me stand out?

After all, I'm never going to look 12 again.

I might as well embrace my age.