Since When Was This Part of the Deal?


I was almost done styling my hair, fluffing the strands at the base of my skull.

“Me see too?” My then-toddler son was growing tired of waiting.

I handed him my hand-held mirror. He smiled immediately upon seeing his face, moving the glass from the left to the right, then upside down, all the while his eyes sparkling. He was absolutely delighted with himself.

When was the last time you looked in the mirror and were happy with what you saw?

It is not only you being super-critical, you know. Every form of media, from television to magazines, has decided to be tough on us also. You see it all the time. A major publication flaunted Hollywood moms, bragging how fabulous they look after regaining their pre-pregnancy shape. Adulation simply for fitting back into a size-two designer gown for an award show really bothers me. Like it doesn’t matter what kind of parent you are, how successful you might be, how intelligent you are. It only matters what you look like.

Men do not have to deal with that. How many times the does a fat guy get a hot chick in movies or on TV? There are plenty of examples of okay-looking, albeit talented guys who do very well in the entertainment industry, which is great. But, when was the last time you saw an unattractive woman in anything besides a reality show?

The double standard has seeped into our collective psyche and a paradigm switch has taken place. When I was growing up in the 1970s, it was accepted that women’s bodies changed after childbirth. None of my mother’s friends ran ten miles every morning or worked out at health clubs on weekends. There was no such thing as a “mommy tuck.” Were these women any less wonderful? Of course not.

Women used to be allowed to age gracefully until “fighting aging every step of the way” became a battle cry. Where did that phrase come from? That’s right. A television advertisement. 

And we are all buying into it.

Am I saying moms should not strive to be healthy? Of course not. It’s just that mothers don’t need anymore pressure heaped upon them. Life’s great “To Do” list grows longer and more unobtainable by the day. Do you spend enough time with your kids? Do your kids receive the proper nutrition? Do they get good grades? Are they reading enough? Do they know how to play every sport and musical instrument, plus fully understand art theory? What have you done today that will land them in therapy eighteen years from now? When I was a kid, your child going to college marked successful parenting, now all offspring must attend Harvard.

This is insane.


Thank you for indulging me with today’s rant. Our regularly scheduled topics will resume two days from now, when “Flash Fiction Fridays” serves up a great piece of microfiction from Stephanie Haddad.

Comments

Lena Sledge said…
I think the only thing that designates moms as great moms will be our children. Nothing else matters. I don't worry about it. I do my best and hopefully my kids (as they have just become adults now), can tell their children one day, they had the best mom ever. And thankfully I was priviledged enough to hear them say it recently, while I'm still alive. :-)

Have a blessed day.
Fi said…
Great rant and I completely agree. I do my best to ensure that my daughter values all aspects of herself and doesn't get caught up on how she looks.
Lena and Fi, thanks for reading.

We are all doing the best we can, aren't we?

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