Friday, August 20, 2010

At what price Perfection?

"Look how fat I have become", cribbed a mother, pinching a love handle only she could see.

"Take it away from me", squealed another, when I offered her a piece of fudge. "If I have that, I will have to starve myself for the rest of the week to make up."

Both are mothers approaching middle age. Both look gorgeous, and not just for their age. But both are unhappy with their bodies. Which is such a pity.

After all, body perfection is not an absolute. And even if it is, is it worth the price it demands of you?

A drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.


Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

I always enjoy your drabble so much!!!

Margot Kinberg said...

Rayna - As always, a beautiful Drabble with a very thought-provoking and intriguing message. How do you do it?? It is so sad that society has made people feel that one's appearance has anything to do with one's worth as a person. The reality is, our personhood - our value - comes from something much less transient and more meaningful; our inner selves.

Anonymous said...

No, it's not worth the price. It's terrible to see the effects fashion and media have on young girls as well as ones old enough to be wiser...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I just need to feel good about myself. I want to appear in shape, but I know it won't ever be perfect. And I'm okay with that.

Helen Ginger said...

Very good drabble. In only 100 words, you say so much and yet ask just as much.

Ellie said...

Wonderful drabble; we put way to much pressure on the ideal! Thanks a lot Hollywood. I swear most of them aren't healthy; yo-yo dieting and I suspect a lot of thyroid pills prescribed to patients who don't need it. Other dietary aids: drugs.

Yes, some may be healthy and have a lean body type, but this is only 10% of the population... Food for thought or not~

Nicely always! ;-D

LTM said...

no, it is not. But it's such a hard lesson to learn re: being healthy and happy w/your appearance... Especially when the September issue just appeared in the mailbox... ;p

Anonymous said...

Like ALex, I feel that I need to look good, not great. Exercise, eat right, brush my teeth, wear nice shirt. I'm not out to win any beauty contests.

Stephen Tremp

RosieC said...

There's a difference between body image and being healthy, and they rarely align. You've really captured the heart of the issue here.

I consider myself healthy (though I could certainly exercise more), but I promise I would never turn down a piece of fudge from you or anyone else :)

Karen Walker said...

Oh Rayna, you've captured the heart of this issue so beautifully in ust 100 words. I've written extensively on this subject in both personal essays and my memoir. It's taken most of my adult life to get to a degree of comfort with how I look and accept me, flaws and all. So sad that the media still drives women to believe they have to be a certain weight or have certain look to be beautiful. It's what's inside that counts.

Clarissa Draper said...

I recently decided that I need to lose weight. I feel like a blimp. However, I don't want to give up the things I love to eat and I don't really want to exercise more. So I've decided to eat what I want but less and exercise a little. I hope it works.


Deb and Barbara said...

My first answer: No!!! But then every one of us is different and if something makes you anxious, even if it is unreasonable or imaginary, then maybe it isn't worth fighting for the moment???

Well said! B

Theres just life said...

There is no such thing as perfection. It is an unattainable goal, because beauty and perfection is in the eye of the beholder. It's that POV thing again.
Just strive to be healthy and happy with yourself.

Hart Johnson said...

Man, I have such issues with those obsessions. I mean I worry... but MY worry is staying under the obesity line... that is a health issue. People worried about physical appearances just seem to NOT be thinking so much about the stuff I care about.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I worry a lot more about being healthy than I do about being gorgeous. That's the kind of transition everyone tends to make as they get older, and I'm definitely older. :)


Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Michelle- thank you.

@ Margot- it is sad, isn't it? When you see the movie stars of a few decades back, their figures were gorgeous, but attainable. But now, everyone is so unhappy with how they look. Very sad.

@ Fiona - it isn't, is it? And it is the breastfeeding mothers who are on a diet who I worry about the most.

@ Alex- I wish all women learn to acccept themselves like you (and Stephan) have.

@ Helen- thank you.

@ Ellie- holy cow. Thyroid pills to keep the weight down. What next? Do they even know how horrible it is to have to take those pills to stay alive?

@ Leigh- to be honest, those mags are airbrushed so much, I no longer even look at the pictures with envy or admiration.

@ Stephen- precisely!!! I wonder if men are more sensible, or if it is only you and Alex.

@ RosieC- I would never turn down a fudge, or several. There was a time when I was carrying so much extra weight, I used to pant if I walked fast. I don't any longer, and I am happy, no matter what the inchtape says.

@ Karen- it is really sad, isn't it? The other day, there was this article about how one of the top Bollywood actresses had to be hospitalised for malnutrition. What is the point of all your 'beauty' and 'success' if you are killing yourself physically and emotionally?
BTW - looking at you now, I wonder why you ever had any self-esteem issues. Physically, you are gorgeous- as gorgeous as you are as a person.

@ Clarissa- you really should exercise. Not to keep the weight down, but because it is good for you. Doesn't have to be much - 20 minutes of brisk walking is good enough, or climb five flights of stairs every day.

@ Barbara- if I looked like you do, I would have no issues with myself at all. But even though I do not look like you, I am still happy enough. I guess we are the lucky ones.

@ Theres just life- that is so true. The role models of yesteryears were so much better endowed- who is to say they were not as beautiful as the role models of today?

@ Hart- I so hear you on the health thing. I want to stay this side of healthy, and I know I need to exercise to do so, because I really cannot control my chocolate tooth.

@ Patricia- you are gorgeous, but that's a different story. I do agree that it is far more important to be healthy and happy than to be gorgeous.

Al said...

Great drabble :-)

Sad topic :-(

LTM said...

yes, but doesn't your suit hang just so well when you're a 10 foot tall stick insect... ;p xoxo

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I'm a petite size 2/4, but by no means skinny. As long as I'm in shape, I'm happy. (A little out of that at the moment, but I'm working on it.)

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Al - it is a pity, isn't it, when women can't even recognise their own beauty.

@ Leigh - you do have a point there. lol

@ Diane - quite true.


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