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Old 07-08-2012, 09:34 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 43,130,167 times
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My sister is actually on the slim side, yet she constantly complains about being fat. In fact at one point we thought she might even be on the road to full blown anorexia, when she started losing weight. She's not single anymore and is busy with kids, but she's always been considered very attractive. I can't help but maybe she's hung up about being model skinny, which is just really annoying.

I mean people in general today - especially women - are so hung up about every little bit about their body. Too fat, their belly is a little wide, boobs a little saggy, legs too short, head too big, hair too frizzy, eyes are too small...they go to great pains about it. It's so obsessive! Is it because they just don't have anything else to think about/give their attention to? I mean a sizable segment, not all, of course. And then there's men who are obsessed with body building, ugh, honestly the ones who constantly bang on about it are annoying to be with. Some men can definitely be just as vain. I literally spend a few minutes in front of the mirror every morning - wash my face, shave, comb my hair and clean my teeth that's about it. I don't really bother having 'hairstyles', I just want something practical. I don't really care about 'fashion' at all.

I always hear that the media and stuff influences people, but why are people still obsessing over what fashion magazines tell them or how celebrities look? Why are we as a society so darn superficial and plain OBSESSIVE about our looks? It's grown to ridiculous proportions. Is that what a lot of people think about all day? Looks are so fleeting, I don't want to be judged on something so superficial anyway...
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:34 AM
 
1,171 posts, read 1,646,208 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
My sister is actually on the slim side, yet she constantly complains about being fat. In fact at one point we thought she might even be on the road to full blown anorexia, when she started losing weight. She's not single anymore and is busy with kids, but she's always been considered very attractive. I can't help but maybe she's hung up about being model skinny, which is just really annoying.

I mean people in general today - especially women - are so hung up about every little bit about their body. Too fat, their belly is a little wide, boobs a little saggy, legs too short, head too big, hair too frizzy, eyes are too small...they go to great pains about it. It's so obsessive! Is it because they just don't have anything else to think about/give their attention to? I mean a sizable segment, not all, of course. And then there's men who are obsessed with body building, ugh, honestly the ones who constantly bang on about it are annoying to be with. Some men can definitely be just as vain. I literally spend a few minutes in front of the mirror every morning - wash my face, shave, comb my hair and clean my teeth that's about it. I don't really bother having 'hairstyles', I just want something practical. I don't really care about 'fashion' at all.

I always hear that the media and stuff influences people, but why are people still obsessing over what fashion magazines tell them or how celebrities look? Why are we as a society so darn superficial and plain OBSESSIVE about our looks? It's grown to ridiculous proportions. Is that what a lot of people think about all day? Looks are so fleeting, I don't want to be judged on something so superficial anyway...
Metro men obsess about the clothing they wear and little details. It borderlines feminine characterists. The rest of us shave, shower, put on clean clothes, wear deodorant, comb our hair, cut your fingernails, toenails and make sure we go to the dentist to keep that perfectly straight white smile. Sure you might pluck the hair out of your ears and nose. That's not hot waxing your whole body and removing all male body hair. No women like a smelly, dirty, no tooth fat body. Many don't want a girly man either. There is a balance there. ((((No))))....I don't and won't where pink, so don't ask!! If you don't work a physical job that keeps you in shape, you had better hit the gym. I do both myself. Some men don't do anything to even try to not break a scale when they step on it. I don't seem to care though. You won't hear me say a thing about it to you. I will tell you though that I do in fact laugh when I hear you getting gassed just stepping out of your car. Your clothes are soaking wet with sweat and it's 60 degrees out. The same as the guy who leans on the wall in the bathroom moaning and groaning while he is gasping for air just to take a leak. Are you serious dude? LOL I guess it's a no brainer which women would prefer......just a hunch.



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Old 07-08-2012, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
26,867 posts, read 28,145,186 times
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Because everyone is focused on how you look. You get subtle messaging starting when you are a kid that looks are very important if you are female.

You wouldn't necessary notice this, but starting around age 3, when those relatives come over, the first thing they say to the little girls is "wow, your dress/hair/earrings are really pretty." Or "you look pretty today."

By the time you start school, the pretty hierarchy starts. Young girls are praised less for being smart, or athletic, or reading a book and more for "looking nice." Many people have a double standard when it comes to girls, they aren't supposed to get dirty, be to athletic, etc. You start learning those lessons quickly. The girls who don't look nice are not as well-received as the ones who do.

When the media talks about women in power they comment on their clothing and perceived attractiveness. (Ahem, Sarah Palin, Hilary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Laura Bush....) And if they aren't conventionally attractive (aka young and pretty with long hair), the media makes fun of them (Margaret Thatcher, Janet Reno).

Why are Michelle Obama's arms and butt size even a topic in the media? What does that have to do with her being first lady? I love to see Michelle Obama's outfits, she is totally a fashion inspiration for me, but seriously, no man in power had endless articles about his outfits. No man in power is criticized for not being "in shape" or being "toned," while every woman's body is up for debate. Even for women not in appearance focused industries (like acting).

This is Olympic season, but I guarantee, the female athletes with the most profiles/media coverage are not the successful ones, but the ones that look good in a dress. How come more people aren't talking about the most successful weight lifter in American history......Sarah Robles? Hmm I don't know, but I am guessing it has a lot to do with the fact she doesn't have a conventionally attractive female body. I have seen tons of coverage about Marlen Esparza, and lots of magazine features. Hmmmm double standard?

Or how about this Olympic swimmer, Rebecca Adlington, who was criticized for being "fat." Hello she is going to the Olympics, how could she not be in shape?
London 2012 Olympics: Rebecca Adlington outraged by constant 'nasty' online abuse over her looks - Telegraph

Be amazed if you can find a woman who manages to overcome decades of messaging, and not be obsessed with appearance.

Last edited by jade408; 07-08-2012 at 12:14 PM..
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Old 07-08-2012, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Up in the air
19,126 posts, read 25,789,079 times
Reputation: 16226
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Because everyone is focused on how you look. You get subtle messaging starting when you are a kid that looks are very important if you are female.

You wouldn't necessary notice this, but starting around age 3, when those relatives come over, the first thing they say to the little girls is "wow, your dress/hair/earrings are really pretty." Or "you look pretty today."

By the time you start school, the pretty hierarchy starts. Young girls are praised less for being smart, or athletic, or reading a book and more for "looking nice." Many people have a double standard when it comes to girls, they aren't supposed to get dirty, be to athletic, etc. You start learning those lessons quickly. The girls who don't look nice are not as well-received as the ones who do.

When the media talks about women in power they comment on their clothing and perceived attractiveness. (Ahem, Sarah Palin, Hilary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Laura Bush....) And if they aren't conventionally attractive (aka young and pretty with long hair), the media makes fun of them (Margaret Thatcher, Janet Reno).

Why are Michelle Obama's arms and butt size even a topic in the media? What does that have to do with her being first lady? I love to see Michelle Obama's outfits, she is totally a fashion inspiration for me, but seriously, no man in power had endless articles about his outfits. No man in power is criticized for not being "in shape" or being "toned," while every woman's body is up for debate. Even for women not in appearance focused industries (like acting).

This is Olympic season, but I guarantee, the female athletes with the most profiles/media coverage are not the successful ones, but the ones that look good in a dress. How come more people aren't talking about the most successful weight lifter in American history......Sarah Robles? Hmm I don't know, but I am guessing it has a lot to do with the fact she doesn't have a conventionally attractive female body. I have seen tons of coverage about Marlen Esparza, and lots of magazine features. Hmmmm double standard?

Or how about this Olympic swimmer, Rebecca Adlington, who was criticized for being "fat." Hello she is going to the Olympics, how could she not be in shape?
London 2012 Olympics: Rebecca Adlington outraged by constant 'nasty' online abuse over her looks - Telegraph

Be amazed if you can find a woman who manages to overcome decades of messaging, and not be obsessed with appearance.

Sarah Robles is an absolute inspiration to me, I read her story not too long ago and teared up because she, as an Olympic athlete, is on food stamps because she isn't pretty enough to get endorsements to help her pay for her training. She's still got such an incredible attitude about it, and doesn't seem bitter at all which is incredible to me. She can lift over 550 lbs!!! That's an AMAZING accomplishment!

Regardless, yes, with women it seems that most people focus on looks over talent or accomplishments which hurts women in the long run. It teaches us that our worth as people is in our skin, our hair, our weight etc and not in our brain or our heart, and that's a horrible lesson to be teaching young girls.

Regarding the OP, many men (and women, really) can be downright ugly when it comes to other peoples looks. I've had men outright tell me I'm fat, that my nose was too big, that my eyes were too close together, that I had a stomach pooch, that my thighs were too big, my butt was too small etc etc etc. on and on. It's very difficult to brush those comments off, especially when you're young and vulnerable. I find it very rare when a woman is praised on her accomplishments WITHOUT something being said about how she looks.
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Old 07-08-2012, 02:18 PM
 
1,202 posts, read 1,524,045 times
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I'm a lot like your sister OP. I've always been told I'm attractive. I'm not fat by any means(I'm more average in terms of size--I wear a size 6 and a size 8 depending on the brand) but since I was in middle school I've been on a quest to be very thin. And doing whatever I can to get there(starving myself, going on several diets, working out 3 hours a day, etc). It's always been an obsession of mine. My so is so sick of it, he told me the other day that he has never known a black woman to be so obsessed with being thin(the way I am). Anyway I know I'm vain to a certain extent(and I feel fine knowing this). I care about my looks, because quite frankly I was told early on that my looks were one of my greatest assets(sad I know). Since I was little girl up until when I got pregnant, my looks were the first thing people noticed and praised about me. Of course, I'm not so "foolish" that I don't realize that there are other things far more important(such as one's inner qualities, intelligence, and constant self-progression and improvement) and so I also try to focus on those things, just as much if not more. But for me, as a woman, (and especially as a woman of color) I was always told that for me it was my looks that made me stand out. My sisters were told it was their "brains". My brother his "charm". Me? My looks.
And so for the longest, I focused on what I felt gave me a "leg up" in life(looks).
In the last couple of years I've taken a definite step back from that mindset. And I focused on the things that I felt were far more important to my well being(my inner qualities, the things about "me" that make me who I am). And I was doing really well with that, until I got pregnant, and had a baby. Which has been a struggle-because my body changed, and it's a been a b**** trying to lose the weight. And this year has really taught me a lot about my obsession, mainly this:It's impossible to be perfect.

I've finally came to the conclusion(as of recently) that I'm sick of working hard to look a certain way--a way that genetically is starting to seem impossible--honestly life is so much easier when you accept yourself and stop trying to be perfect(at least for me it is). We all have flaws, some more than others. If we accept and love ourselves, life won't be such a losing battle.
And I agree with what Jade said about the pressure women face, especially in the media and by men--and I think this is really why so many women struggle with self esteem issues, or obsess about weight and the likes.
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
26,867 posts, read 28,145,186 times
Reputation: 25978
Quote:
Originally Posted by JetJockey View Post
Sarah Robles is an absolute inspiration to me, I read her story not too long ago and teared up because she, as an Olympic athlete, is on food stamps because she isn't pretty enough to get endorsements to help her pay for her training. She's still got such an incredible attitude about it, and doesn't seem bitter at all which is incredible to me. She can lift over 550 lbs!!! That's an AMAZING accomplishment!
Seriously! I just read her blog post about why she isn't staying at the Olympic training center. I don't know how I would react if I found men who were not performing as well as I am were getting paid more......
Pretty Strong: Why I left the Olympic Training Center

The thing is, for women, being talented is "equally as relevant" as your looks. I can't tell you how many conversations I have been in where I have heard someone say: she is really smart/talented/cool... but she is really ugly/a but-her-face/fat/sloppy....." And of course looks were completely irrelevant to evaluating someone's competence in that particular conversation.

There was even a recent study that said women who wear makeup get paid and promoted more. What does wearing makeup have to do with job performance?
Wear More Lipstick To Get A Promotion? - Forbes

I have never been a big makeup wearer. My mom never wore it, and neither did my grandmothers. In college I went through a makeup phase. It was called lip gloss and mascara. When I got to the workforce, I found out, especially since I look pretty young, that I needed to wear makeup so people would take me seriously. Which is really sad, because obviously, I do not suddenly become more competent because I put on some eyeliner and blush. Now I put on make up for every client meeting, just to keep up appearances.

Sadly, if you are a woman, you can't win if you don't focus on your looks.
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Up in the air
19,126 posts, read 25,789,079 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Seriously! I just read her blog post about why she isn't staying at the Olympic training center. I don't know how I would react if I found men who were not performing as well as I am were getting paid more......
Pretty Strong: Why I left the Olympic Training Center

The thing is, for women, being talented is "equally as relevant" as your looks. I can't tell you how many conversations I have been in where I have heard someone say: she is really smart/talented/cool... but she is really ugly/a but-her-face/fat/sloppy....." And of course looks were completely irrelevant to evaluating someone's competence in that particular conversation.

There was even a recent study that said women who wear makeup get paid and promoted more. What does wearing makeup have to do with job performance?
Wear More Lipstick To Get A Promotion? - Forbes

I have never been a big makeup wearer. My mom never wore it, and neither did my grandmothers. In college I went through a makeup phase. It was called lip gloss and mascara. When I got to the workforce, I found out, especially since I look pretty young, that I needed to wear makeup so people would take me seriously. Which is really sad, because obviously, I do not suddenly become more competent because I put on some eyeliner and blush. Now I put on make up for every client meeting, just to keep up appearances.

Sadly, if you are a woman, you can't win if you don't focus on your looks.
Re: The bolded
I know exactly how that feels. I was an assistant manager at a generic quick lube place and found out after I left (because they refused to promote me to manager because it 'wouldn't look good for a girl to be telling men what's wrong with their cars') that I was getting paid around $5 less an hour than the guys I was managing. Yep, it happens.

I've never been a big makeup wearer either, but I've found it's absolutely necessary at work, even when I was working as a mechanic. I hated needing to reapply my makeup constantly because of the grease and sweat involved with my job. But, I had to do it to be taken seriously. I found that I was offered help more often, given better projects and the men I worked with were much nicer to me when I looked 'pretty'. Heaven forbid my training or mechanical knowledge come into play

Nobody cares about my job, my hobbies or my education, it's always 'wow, you look pretty! Have you found a husband yet? You're not getting any younger!' I flew a Northrop A-17 from WWII a few weeks ago and nobody cares, but good golly my hair looks nice!

Bah.
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Old 07-08-2012, 04:56 PM
 
1,171 posts, read 1,646,208 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JetJockey View Post
Re: The bolded
I know exactly how that feels. I was an assistant manager at a generic quick lube place and found out after I left (because they refused to promote me to manager because it 'wouldn't look good for a girl to be telling men what's wrong with their cars') that I was getting paid around $5 less an hour than the guys I was managing. Yep, it happens.

I've never been a big makeup wearer either, but I've found it's absolutely necessary at work, even when I was working as a mechanic. I hated needing to reapply my makeup constantly because of the grease and sweat involved with my job. But, I had to do it to be taken seriously. I found that I was offered help more often, given better projects and the men I worked with were much nicer to me when I looked 'pretty'. Heaven forbid my training or mechanical knowledge come into play

Nobody cares about my job, my hobbies or my education, it's always 'wow, you look pretty! Have you found a husband yet? You're not getting any younger!' I flew a Northrop A-17 from WWII a few weeks ago and nobody cares, but good golly my hair looks nice!

Bah.




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Old 07-08-2012, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
26,867 posts, read 28,145,186 times
Reputation: 25978
Quote:
Originally Posted by JetJockey View Post
Re: The bolded
I know exactly how that feels. I was an assistant manager at a generic quick lube place and found out after I left (because they refused to promote me to manager because it 'wouldn't look good for a girl to be telling men what's wrong with their cars') that I was getting paid around $5 less an hour than the guys I was managing. Yep, it happens.
That is so lame. I have been super lucky so far in my career. I have found I was on the high end of the pay scale for most of them.

The biggest shock happened in the last job I left where I was getting 20% more than the person who referred me who had more experience (2 years worth). I got dissed in one job, and I started getting way more aggressive about my negotiating. I saw it happen to way too many of my peers.
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Old 07-08-2012, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Midwest
2,975 posts, read 4,268,427 times
Reputation: 1941
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunkisses87 View Post
I'm a lot like your sister OP. I've always been told I'm attractive. I'm not fat by any means(I'm more average in terms of size--I wear a size 6 and a size 8 depending on the brand) but since I was in middle school I've been on a quest to be very thin. And doing whatever I can to get there(starving myself, going on several diets, working out 3 hours a day, etc). It's always been an obsession of mine. My so is so sick of it, he told me the other day that he has never known a black woman to be so obsessed with being thin(the way I am). Anyway I know I'm vain to a certain extent(and I feel fine knowing this). I care about my looks, because quite frankly I was told early on that my looks were one of my greatest assets(sad I know). Since I was little girl up until when I got pregnant, my looks were the first thing people noticed and praised about me. Of course, I'm not so "foolish" that I don't realize that there are other things far more important(such as one's inner qualities, intelligence, and constant self-progression and improvement) and so I also try to focus on those things, just as much if not more. But for me, as a woman, (and especially as a woman of color) I was always told that for me it was my looks that made me stand out. My sisters were told it was their "brains". My brother his "charm". Me? My looks.
And so for the longest, I focused on what I felt gave me a "leg up" in life(looks).
In the last couple of years I've taken a definite step back from that mindset. And I focused on the things that I felt were far more important to my well being(my inner qualities, the things about "me" that make me who I am). And I was doing really well with that, until I got pregnant, and had a baby. Which has been a struggle-because my body changed, and it's a been a b**** trying to lose the weight. And this year has really taught me a lot about my obsession, mainly this:It's impossible to be perfect.

I've finally came to the conclusion(as of recently) that I'm sick of working hard to look a certain way--a way that genetically is starting to seem impossible--honestly life is so much easier when you accept yourself and stop trying to be perfect(at least for me it is). We all have flaws, some more than others. If we accept and love ourselves, life won't be such a losing battle.
And I agree with what Jade said about the pressure women face, especially in the media and by men--and I think this is really why so many women struggle with self esteem issues, or obsess about weight and the likes.
In the other thread you mentioned that you were light caramel complexioned. This is the perfect example of what I mean about colorism in the black community. Due to your complexion people have always affirmed your beauty however if you were several shades darker I'm pretty sure people's reactions to your looks would have been quite different. The moment I read your post I knew you were going to be lightskinned, then I saw another thread where you mentioned you were 'light caramel' so I was right. The black community always builds up the self esteem of the little lightskin girls while completely ignoring the browner and darker toned girls who probably have the same features as you do
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