Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Chopping Block

This article is not for the squeamish. 

As of late, I’ve been working on an article called, "The Girl I Used to Hate". It's a pretty funny fitness article that circulates some of the feelings we women have toward one another at the gym. The article highlights the amazing physical change that my body has gone through since writing my, “Fall Fitness Challenge”, back in September.  As I was writing and organizing the photography for this new article a shift occurred within me; a shift that immediately grieved my heart.  I was listening to Beyonce’s song called, “Pretty Hurts”, off of her new self-titled album and I was inspired. It took months before I began to see any physical change to my body in the gym and there were many instances that I wanted to give up. I quickly learned that the difference between winners and losers is simply that winners never quit!  The only problem with this was some days I wondered what exactly was I even striving for…Perfection? I thought, “Perhaps”? But what was perfection to me? Was it an image that the world gave me? Was it a celebrity body or face that walks around with a glam team? If you’ve had the pleasure of listening to the song that I mentioned then you already know that Beyonce sums up perfection as the disease of a nation.  We can’t fix things that need to be fixed within the realm of our souls.  January is a time of year that many women will be sitting at home or in their offices considering whether or not they’ll be using their tax-refunds toward plastic surgery. This pierces my heart deeply and maybe because I’ve never had plastic surgery it’s very unfair for me to comment or to even write this. Womanhood is a sisterhood that obligates us to encourage, uplift, and support one another. If we spent more time helping one another to be happy within our flaws we’d move so much further in sisterhood.  I’m writing this article because I want to remind women that our flaws tell the story of where we’ve been. Some of the places we’ve been haven’t been pretty but our flaws reflect that we’ve survived.  I also want to say that in the past I’ve worn hair weaves and I’ve tanned my skin to have a glow that wasn’t naturally there.  I know how much pressure this world places on us to be what it considers to be pretty. I’m even bothered at times when I see y stretch marks or my laugh lines but self-acceptance is a huge step toward self-love. I encourage you to comment if anything I say in this article goes against what your experience with plastic surgery was like. I want this to be an article of healing not of judgment. 

Many of us will hit what I refer to as the chopping block this winter.  It will be a quicker fix than any healthy diet and/or exercise can offer. South Beach bodies at the snap of a six-week healing period finger.  My heart is so heavy because we’re living in a world that moves faster than we’re able to keep up with. Although plastic surgery offers super fast, “Hourglass figure”, results what we don’t hear much of is how dismembered it leaves a woman’s physical body post surgery. A body that was once intact even with its excess fat and muffin top.  I have been privileged to see some of these awful scars behind the scenes from close friends that have decided to take the plastic surgery plunge. Butcher shops are all that comes to mind when I’m forced to look. Painful scars in exchange for tiny bikinis on exotic islands. What has our world come to?  How much does pretty cost? What the hell even constitutes pretty anyway? This week I was looking at my naked body in the mirror and I was literally ashamed of how overly critical I was of myself.  Let me just say this, I’ve worked hard to have the body that I have today and in its naturalness it is scared with stretch marks, dimples and unsightly fat in storage places that I haven’t been able to work off at the gym. When I’m being this critical I realize quickly that I’ve allowed public images to suggest what my naked body should look like to me. Bigger is always seemingly better in some areas while thinner is the way to go in others; When you lose as much weight as I have all of the good bigger gets a lot smaller.  My breasts are ridiculously smaller, my back has lost almost 8 inches and my butt is this tiny mold of what it used to be years ago. Some days, I don’t even know what I’m looking for in the mirror because in many instances we will never meet anyone else’s standards of what beauty consists of other than our own. I wonder, “Dear Jesus, what has this world done to us”? Biogel butt injections, aggressive liposuction, tummy tucks, smart lipo, breasts implants and Brazilian butt lifts are just some of the procedures plastic surgeons will be charging patients for this season.

May you’re reading this right now and you are all too familiar with the pictures here because at some point you’ve already been on the chopping block.   I want to give you the biggest hug and tell you how pretty you are. Our souls are what need to have these intense procedures not our bodies. I’m sure deep down you know that you were absolutely perfect before ever undergoing the procedure.  Plastic surgery does nothing for what we can’t see. I want to encourage you never to go back!  Not because I can make you look perfect but because I want you to let me convince you that perfection is just an illusion. The pain you feel when the scars are still there won’t go away by simply having another procedure.  I haven’t met an ugly person in my life other than the way they behaved. We have to heal what’s going on inside before we can fix anything outside. I want to specifically blame someone for this but who can I blame? We sign-up for the procedures and we pay for them.  We feel like the tiny waistlines and bigger busts and butts equate happiness but is this ever the case?  Can undergoing such major surgical procedures heal our unhappy hearts? Is there a medium or even a healthy balance between what the world suggests and what we want? If the scars are only something that we can see when we’re alone wouldn’t that prove that we butcher our bodies for the outside world? Parents, our daughters need to know how infallibly gorgeous they are. They need to hear this every single day! When you think they don’t need to hear it, I promise you that they do. Someone in school may have told them something contrary to what you’ve been telling them all along. A boy may have rejected them because their curves don’t make them skinny enough. Men, you should be telling your women how beautiful they are every single day. Our souls are so broken and in so much pain. Facial fillers and botox injections will never be able to fix that. I once looked at aging as a gift and a blessing from God. I felt like a long life indicated that God was showing you favor. Now, aging seems like a horrific occurrence that indicates the withering away of something dying {isn’t dying a significant part of the life that we’re living}. From magazines to infomercials the fountain of youth seems impossible to get away from. I fight against this by sharing any horror stories that I come across just so that the women in my life will be aware that not every procedure goes according to a doctor’s plan. We all heal differently, scar differently and respond to medications differently.  There is a huge risk in having these procedures that simply isn’t discussed enough. 

Today, God asked me to remind you of how much he loves you just the way that you are.  He asked me to remind you that he is invested in your soul and not in the outer casing of it. Spend your hard-earned money this season on something else. Invest in  piece of jewelry, that new car that you’ve been eying or on that spectacular vacation.
Much Luv,
post signature

No comments:

Post a Comment