10.29.2013

On women's bodies and 'yoga' 'magazines'...

REAL women have curves. Oh yeah? 
Well, FUCK YOU. 

Real women? Just what the fuck is that supposed to mean anyway? 

Real women. Humph. I gotcha real woman right here pal... One finger salute, comin atcha!

Real woman. I am a 'real woman'. 
At least I thought I was... 

Let me see here-
Two nipples- check. (Not an absolute requirement)
Belly button- yep. Not an alien.
Vagina? -still there. This counts right? 

My breasts are small and not at all perky any more. They certainly were perfect martini glass sized full B cups that had great symmetry and shape once upon a time. 20 some years later and a few years worth of nursing babies has taken it's toll on 'the girls' (as I've heard large chested women affectionately refer to their cleavage). I guess I've never felt inspired to name mine...  
Does that mean I'm not a real woman? 

There's a lump on the bottom of my left breast. Do I gain, or lose points for that? It's been there for about 13yrs now- since I was nursing my first born child. Yep, these sad saggy old eggs on a nail nourished an infant child. Two in fact. Does that count for something? 

On that subject, 13+yrs ago, I pushed this first child of mine (completely naturally, I might add- does that get me any bonus points?) -all 9lbs 2.7oz of her newborn body- into this world right through my vagina. 
Yes, that old thing... 

It's birthed two children now, both growing, thriving, incredible future women. (I sure hope they qualify)

I also passed two dead fetuses through there. Does that bring my score back down to zero?

I was almost three months pregnant when I lost them- my first vibrantly healthy, attachment parented, co-sleeping, extended breast-feeding daughter was  about 4yrs old. There were two sacs, they were twins. Before knowing there were two, my 4yr old said she wanted the new baby to be a boy AND a girl. I'd always wanted boy/girl twins...  

Is that why maybe I'm not a real woman? Because I've lost as many lives as I've birthed through my vagina? 

According to the absolute horse shit that's plastered all over the inter webs, from funny e-cards and memes (which I believe are designed to empower the fragile, broken egos of those with a little more flesh) to 'yoga magazines' (which I believe are designed to capitalize on a trend and pad someone's pocketbook), all over the place, everyone is 'weighing in' on just what defines a 'real woman'. 

Well, let me tell you something. I know the secret to the one measure of just exactly what defines a 'real' woman... 

Lean in closely, I'm only going to say this once. If word gets out about this, all kinds of memes will be eternally cast into the world wide graveyards for played out cheap laughs, and wannabe 'guru' type 'magazines' will have to start writing real articles that actually mean something.

So... Here it is. Here is the big secret to what defines a real woman... 

SHE DOES motherfuckers. She does it her goddamned self!


NOTE: i was 'inspired' to write this little rant after a particular online yoga publication posted an inflammatory (IMO) post calling out women for their shape and size and basically using that divisive tactic to spark what they then defended as a necessary conversation. Maybe it is, but certainly their motives were not altruistic. Either way, one person took my fuck you personally, Which certainly wasn't intended toward ANY other woman, of ANY shape or size or age or station in life. I will just copy and paste my reply to her here, for sake of hopefully clarifying my intent if anyone feels offended, or takes my brash statements to heart. 

I certainly had no intent of saying fuck you to anyone other than those who continue to perpetuate this divisive battle over the many different sizes and shapes and abilities of women's bodies. My writing was pure snark, written in a moment of provocation. Also, mine is on my personal blog, where it's literally my space to say what I like. I'm not publishing a magazine that's supposed to help with awareness. I did read the posts. I appreciated the more 'balanced' approach of including a rebuttal, but it certainly is an inflammatory tactic. Let's pit women against each other and when either side gets upset, we'll say it means there's still need for this discussion. Another commenter said it best, and without being provoked to anger or saying fuck like i did. But I won't apologize for it, because frankly, I have dealt with insecurity over being too thin and unfeminine for all the same reasons that you have dealt with the other end of feeling insecure. Great for you getting healthy and those 35lbs! Truly, that's terrific and you deserve to feel proud and feel validated. Keep focusing on that strength and you won't need that validation from external sources. That was my point. WE define who and what we are. Without the need or desire for external validation or some bogus checklist of that. And as far as my body struggles, well, I fight like hell every single day for my body to even have meal that doesn't leave me doubled over in pain. I have Crohn's disease, so no, maybe I don't know what it feels like to want to lose that extra weight, but I do know what it feels like to be ecstatic over having curves for once in my life, being happy to gain 65lbs during a healthy pregnancy, and feeling womanly for the first time ever because I had curves.

We are all women deserving of esteem, no matter what size, shape, or phase of life our bodies happen to be in. And we need to stop invalidating others in order to validate our own existence. THAT is what my fuck you is for, for those that would perpetuate this discussion for personal gain. I unfollowed this web page after my comments last night, and I will be deleting my link and not returning. But again, good for you in your personal accomplishments, and may you continue to find the strength and validation that can only come from within you. THAT is what yoga means to me. 

10.23.2013

Woman.

A cool and sunny October afternoon, having salmon sashimi and a lemonade, enjoying an old Nina Simone? jazzy, yet sad, rendition of blue skies... 
Smiling at me... 
Nothing but blue skies

Across from me, sits a lovely, Middle Aged, maybe 45? I'm nearly 40, she's at least a decade older. She must be...  Is it the streaks of fine gray in her thick dark hair, hardened, dry, brittle, reminiscent of it's once voluptuous youth, an intricately laced coral shell replica of what was once alive and vibrant, rich and soft and flowing... She seems European, her light colored knee length a-line skirt, black ribbed turtleneck sweater, black Opaque stockings peaking out, only an inch or two, nearly met by a clean and pricey looking pair of knee high grey suede flat-soled boots. Smart, stylish, comfortable, unassuming yet elegant... Is it that? Her quirky, unkempt, yet perfectly effortless appearance, that reads to me as aloofly European? foreign somehow? 
Or is it the somewhat melancholy look in her eyes, the distant longing- nothing of bitterness, only experience, both good and bad... Pleasure and pain. Light and dark. All without a hint of judgement or denial, delusion or grandiosity. Only casual acceptance. A surrender to what is, what once was, and the inevitable what may be still. 
Her eyes are dark and round, and tell secret tales of many passionate moments long past, moments of loving, anger, fury, fueled by only something as fierce and foolish as youth, and the unbounded energy still unbridled, unbalanced by age and wisdom. 
She stares blankly, yet deeply through the window, for what seems an eternity. 
I am entranced. 

Perhaps sensing the depth of contemplation in the prying eyes of this stranger sitting across from her, she shifts her eyes intently, unflinchingly, directly to me. Embarrassed, I shift my gaze quickly over her shoulder. 

Directly behind her is a typical all American woman. Strikingly beautiful, tall and thin and statuesque, strong and somewhat intimidating in both dress and demeanor. I noticed her strut by me moments before with a confident, poised, purposeful gait, knowing, seemingly at all times, exactly where she is going, filling all the space of her own embodiment as well as the space around her with an air of untouchable, admirable, infallible competence. But now, sitting alone, eating her overpriced sandwich, eyes cast downward into whatever business plagues her via iphone... She is changed. Bitter, angry, hardened. Weak...?

She walks away, her too large sharply square bag hung tightly over her rolled-back shoulders,  Filled no doubt with files and a laptop and other varieties of very important things. She stomps through the cafe in her sleek, expensive black slacks, perfect creases front and back, long pointy black heels, sensibly high, without any suggestion of frivolity, only just high enough to stand just a bit more above the rest of the world, to gain  a slightly wider edge than provided by her already nearly six foot frame. Creamy white cardigan with scalloped edging suggests a desire to be feminine, but somehow, despite her still luxurious, perfectly coifed, clearly pampered mid-aged skin, hair, and nails, she misses that mark. She veers astray, wanting of the timeless, goddess-like femininity of the French woman, or at least she is French in my mind... 

Something so sublimely feminine in her complete and utter destruction and surrender. Her letting go of self in order to let self truly come through to surface. The exasperated wild and weary look of her, precisely countered by her peaceful self control and deeply rooted comfort in her own aging skin... The charm of her melancholy, the exquisite beauty of her sadness. She IS woman, and the other only posing as such. Building her facade, unconvincingly play acting in society's high heels and lipstick, over dressed and under equipped, like a child in her mothers things... 

Wanting to be, striving to be, is not the same thing, not even close, to being. Woman.