Earlier this week a male friend sent me a link to a story about nipple tattooing, accompanied by a comment along the lines of "Where will you guys go next?!"
I read the story in disbelief and so ensued a rant from me back to the male friend about the article and a few other bits thrown in. I wish I had the actual emails I sent at the time, as I write this post, because I made some frankly awesome comments. But, as they're at work, I'll just have to do my best to paraphrase.
Why can't we, as women, be happy with the way we are? Why do we feel the need to surgically alter our bodies to conform to fashion or male/peer pressure.
In the article referenced above there's a comment that women are getting this procedure done because their boyfriends want them to. WTF?! Seriously?! If I was with a guy who turned round and said he wanted me to get my nipples tattooed, he'd be out the door faster than, well, something really fucking fast. But, then again, I don't think I know any guys who would seriously say this to their girlfriend. Although I struggle to comprehend that there are women out there who would actually do this at a boyfriends request, I have to accept the fact that there are.
But this isn't a male bashing post, I like men, they're lovely (most of the time) but they're not the only knobheads on this planet.
I ask above why we can't be happy with our bodies. I say this as someone who is currently loosing weight, so I realise that I'm being a tad hypocritical. But, I must qualify this. I've been responsible for my own weight gain over the last ten years and haven't been happy about it for some time. Not because anyone has said anything to me about it (save one comment from my dad, but we'll not go into that), but because I know I've just been a lazy arsed cow. So, earlier this year I put steps in place to change that and it's working. I'm happier and am actually enjoying the process, which I never thought I would. I say with my hand on my heart that I am doing this for me, only me. Not because of men. Not because of peer pressure and certainly not because of the fucking media.
But, at no point in my life, whether it be when I was a young, slim 21 yr old or as I now, older, curvier and 31, could I ever imagine undergoing invasive cosmetic surgery to amend my breasts, my ass, my legs, nipples, or, god forbid, my vagina; all in the name of aesthetic pleasure.
I do genuinely blame the media for this. My reading tastes have changed some what over the last 6 years. I used to read trashy magazines but got bored of the idiotic articles and empty writing. But that put me out of touch with the celeb world and there were times when I'd not have a clue who married who, who shagged who, and who popped what sprog, and for some reason I thought this mattered. So I used to skim the Daily Mail website (uurrrgghhh) each day. 5 mins scanning the headlines on the right hand bar would tell me all I needed to know.
I rarely clicked into the actual articles but every now and then I would, partly because I couldn't believe what I was reading in the headline.
One week you'd have an article about, oh I dunno, Kate Moss, saying she's too thin and needs a bit of meat on her. Then the next week there'd be something about Scarlett Johannsson and how she's put on a bit of weight and is looking porky, when she's actually probably only a size 12 and looks amazing. Then, the following week there'd be something about someone my size saying how she's flying the flag for bigger girls and good for her, she doesn't care. And although the immediate appearance of that article would be a positive one, there'd be an undertone running through it that she's fat and needs to loose weight. When, in reality she's happy with herself, is in proportion and actually looks good, because she's comfortable in her own skin.
But, it's not just the DM who does this, I just hate them more than any other. It's all over the place. Porn doesn't help. Personally I hate the fact that porn gets blamed for a lot of crap, but I do think it has a bearing here.
The media is plastered with images of 'perfect' women. And although there is also a fair bit of stuff out there discrediting these 'perfect' images, they have little effect.
But, I don't think it's just women who are affected by this. The recent emergence of shows containing total douchebags; TOWIE, Jersey Shore etc and the changes in mens fashions would serve to suggest that men conform to these pressures too.
I don't seem to be able to go a day without seeing a picture on FB or Twitter of a group of young lads and lasses, all plastered with fake tan, looking like absolute eejits. They'd easily fit into one of the shows mentioned above. But, what I don't understand is how they think this look is attractive. The only answer I can come up with is that they're young enough to be convinced that what they see on TV is what is normal and what others find attractive. They do seem to range from their teens to their mid twenties. I only hope that they come to realise what the real world actually wants.
I have nothing against nicely groomed men, it's nice to see a man who takes care of his appearance. But there's a line. A man who spends more time in the bathroom than I do, who wears any fake tan, and who waxes his chest, can jog on for me.
Give me a guy with a fine chest rug, the ability to grow a beard should he so choose and pasty white skin anyday.
Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. Just because I don't find my friends boyfriend or husband attractive doesn't mean he isn't. If we all looked the same and found the same kind of people attractive the world would be a very very vanilla place.
I made a comment to the male friend who sent me the link that men may oogle after Megan Fox, or Eva Mendes or that girl in FHM with the huge norks, but I fully realise, as I'd like to think those men do, that that's not their reality woman, and it is just a fantasy. Equally, we as women drool over Brad Pitt or George Cloonery but again, it's a fantasy. At no point do we expect that we will actually end up with someone who looks like that, just as the men realise their future partner won't be an Eva Mendes doppelganger.
The friend responded agreeing with me. He also admitted he didn't know anyone who'd ever dumped a girl because their nipples weren't the right colour shade.
I know I may not be everybody's cup of tea physically, and that's fine. I don't want to be. But, regardless of my size at the time, I've never had any complaints from guys. Which makes sense, because if they did have any complaints then why would they be with me? We as humans are simple creatures really, we like to be wanted/admired. It makes us feel good to know that someone finds us attractive.
But we should learn to accept that we are who we are fundamentally, and we're all beautiful in our unique ways. There's no need to have bigger boobs, a flatter stomach, darker nipples and a tighter and/or tidier vagina for someone to love us.
Until next time, Much love.