Rant


I have a love/hate relationship with media and marketing. I see their ploys and sometimes laugh at the stupidity that, sadly, most consumers of the product end up purchasing. Sometimes I am amazed at the brilliance of the corporate schemes. My “favorite” is mascara commercials. The idea that mascara can actually “lengthen” your lashes, almost a centimeter(!), in the minute it takes to apply, is a RIDICULOUS claim. My jaw dropped while watching one of these imbecilic commercials because the model had FAKE EYELASHES ON!! How stupid do these people think we are?

I have always struggled with image issues and have spent a couple of decades convincing and reminding myself that some corporate man in a suit will not cajole me into believing that I need their product to be beautiful. It’s very hard to be a girl in this world and be ok with what’s reflected in the mirror. I’ve struggled with self-image issues since elementary school. The pain, anger and sadness I still feel can sometimes paralyze me. Marketing tells us that if we cut this, buy that, drink this, shake that, wear this, drive that, then we’ll be happy and successful in life. It’s a very weary process for us to wake up happy, every day, and still be happy when our heads hit the pillow.

I knew this day would come but I had no idea it would come so soon. As usual, my five year old daughter was dressing up in her Princess costumes when she told me and Jase that she is holding in her breath to make her tummy skinny. My heart sank, broke and cried all in the same moment. I’ve never shared my low self-image with my children so I thought they were safe, at least for a few more years, from this issue. So as not to alarm her and shut her down, I calmly asked why she was doing that and she said “to be like a Princess because all Princesses have skinny stomachs.” Now, along with my heart getting run over with a steamroller, I felt like I was going to vomit. I wanted to immediately run upstairs and collect all the Princess movies we had and toss them outside for a farewell bonfire. Obviously I don’t really “hate” the Disney Princesses, I’ve never met them so I don’t know them personally… Seriously though, their fake (not to mention provocative) image irritates me and is now making my five year old wish she had a smaller stomach. To witness my tiny, young daughter ALREADY feel like she wasn’t beautiful enough made everything in me want to scream and cry at the same time. We spent a long time encouraging her that she is gorgeous just the way she is and the way God intended her to be and that most REAL Princesses actually don’t have skinny stomachs. We pointed out that there would be something wrong with a real human being if they looked like the Princesses in the movies, they’d have to be missing guts and a heart (Hm… there’s a real good story in there somewhere). However, I still get nauseated and inflamed when thinking about how those movies have already negatively influenced her mind.

Out of all the things in this world that I am passionate about, the number one message that I want to spread is to ‘find beauty within yourself and everyone else.’ Outer beauty is what gives us false perceptions of good character, love and happiness. I’ve seen the most beautiful people, in the world, give a list of flaws they feel they have and share how unhappy they are. I’ve seen men and women transform their faces and bodies into unrecognizable beings, for the sake of “beauty”. Once the cutting and tucking begins, when (and why) will it stop? Once you see a flaw that needs to be surgical enhanced and you “fix” it, your body will continue to decay and sag and the surgeries continue until you become like Michael Jackson and doctors start refusing to work on you and you have to wear a surgical mask on your face because you look like Frankenstein now. Yeah, I’m ranting. I’m pissed at the culture of “beauty”. I’m angry that feelings of failure to attain beauty have cost the lives of so many young kids and adults. I’m angry that most Americans will reject people or accept them SOLELY based on looks and then reject those they initially accepted when they find that the “perfect” people really do have flaws. I’m angry that we feel we know someone based on their outer appearance. We feel that maybe the beautiful ones have it all together and have perfect lives and since we only see flaws in our own reflections, we feel we’ll never measure up. We end up living our lives as unhappy people because “the grass is always greener on the other side” and we’ll never be good enough.

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”

-Proverbs 31:30

I grew up with three brothers. It was inevitable that I would end up having more memories of playing with G.I. Joe and watching Transformers than anything having to do with Barbie. I do love to be a girl and dress up and sure, there is a pic or two of my younger brother playing Barbies with me, but that’s a post for another day. 🙂

I grew up climbing through the gutters, riding dirt bikes and a sweet little go-kart around my neighborhood with my brothers. Anything they or their friends could do, I’d prove that I could do it as well, if not better. Dirt bikes were, and still are, my favorite. If we were rich, we’d own one (or ten) and have a kick-ass trailer (that would double as our camper) to hold them all. I can still smell and hear the sound of the bikes and dune buggies from the dunes of Glamis, California. Those trips were amazing!

I had a flood of these memories pour over me as I drove home in my Jeep tonight. It was like this consuming passion of me needing some muddy off-road track for my Jeep or I needed to find someone with a dirt bike right away or I needed to find someone who owned a race car, with a five-point harness seatbelt, and own a race track so I could just zoom around it until the gas ran out. I just had this intense need for speed and/or off-roading.

The last time I was on a dirt bike was in Costa Rica in 2004. Sad, huh?! The Pastor’s son had some beat bike and I asked if I could ride it. It was the scariest ride of my life because, one.) I had no helmet and two.) the road was riddled with cantaloupe-sized rocks all over. It was a crazy ride but it did suffice for… well, 4 years. Well, it’s just not holding me over any longer.

As I sit in the cozy warmth of my home, I still have this thirst, this fierce craving and I don’t know what to do about it.

I need a dirt bike.

In an effort to save money, I called my mom to ask if she knew of any restaurants offering free meals for kids. She mentioned one place near us, that offered free meals to kids on Sunday from 4pm until 9pm. Thanks Mom!

To confirm, I called the place.

“Hi, do you all offer free meals for kids?”

“No.”

Confused, “You don’t offer free meals to kids?”

“Only after 5pm.”

Irritated, “Ok, so you do offer free meals to kids?”

“Yeah, between 5pm and 9pm.”

“Is that for today?”

“Yeah.”

To be thorough, “So, you all have free meals, today, between 5pm and 9pm.”

“Yeah.”

We arrived at the place at 430pm and since we’d never been there before, Jase went inside to make sure the menu was desireable. He came out and said it was good. To pass time, we drove across the parking lot to get gas and came back at 445pm. Jase went inside again to see if we could still order for the free meals even though it’s 15 minutes before 5pm. The hostess informed him that, at the start of September, the restaurant stopped offering free meals for kids on Sundays.

Oh the joy of living with human beings.

So, we paid more and ate somewhere better. Whatever.