Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Being a Girl and Turning a Year Older

I just turned 29 on Sunday. It was a fantastic Leah & Paul day filled with a long bike ride, brunch at the Huckleberry in Louisville, CO, an afternoon matinee of Horrible Bosses (check out its trailer HERE), and then a classical violin concert at Chautauqua Park Amphitheater in the evening. I decided I needed a little perverted, the movie, and a little culture, the concert, on my birthday.

Turning 29 has me thinking.  I am going to be 30 next year (shouldn't that have been obvious).  I know, I know that is still so young, but somehow to me I thought I would be a CEO or Executive Director by 30 or maybe a college Professor.  I also thought I would have a kid by 30.   I guess I have a lot to accomplish this next year.  Paul always said he would be retired by 30, so I think he has a really busy year ahead of him as well.  He just needs that million dollar idea.

Did you ever see the movie 13 Going on 30? I guess I feel the same way as that little girl and that at 30 I would be thriving and running the world.  I guess that is societies way of telling us how to believe.  This leads me to my next point.  My friend Jo at Little Jo Home posted this great article called How to Talk to Little Girls , by Lisa Bloom, that I think is spot on and really has me thinking.  Please read it, but the skinny of the article is about we as adults can interact with young girls so they realize that their minds and accomplishments are more important than their appearance.

"Teaching girls that their appearance is the first thing you notice tells them that looks are more important than anything. It sets them up for dieting at age 5 and foundation at age 11 and boob jobs at 17 and Botox at 23. As our cultural imperative for girls to be hot 24/7 has become the new normal, American women have become increasingly unhappy. What's missing? A life of meaning, a life of ideas and reading books and being valued for our thoughts and accomplishments."

The article made me think about how I have always been self conscious of my chest.  It is quite small. The funny part about it is that its not like I chose to have a small chest, or blonde hair, blue eyes and only being 5'4".  God made our bodies the way he made them. I remember always being so self conscious in high school and at swimming parties.  I still remember high school health class and the teacher talking about pectoralis major and a boy yelling out "Leah has pectoralis minor!" (thanks brad curtis) and the whole class laughing.  Thankfully I had a speck of self-esteem or a statement like that would have crushed me for a long time.  For years I have considered getting a boob job.  I don't know how I feel about them.  The jury is still out.  I don't like the idea of changing who I am to fit societies view of what makes a woman sexy.  Paul finds me sexy just the way I am. But sometimes I see women with a hot body and think "Damn, I want boobs like those."  So there you have it.

What is your opinion about plastic surgery, boob jobs, and botox for cosmetic reasons?


Shari said...

Nice Boobs are good. Only if i had all the other requirements to have the nice boobs I would do it in a heart beat.

Aaron Smith said...

no, and no, and gross. also, if you get them, Aimee will want some too...

DeanD said...

We are not the sum of our parts. We are defined by the depth of our reasoning, the synthesis of our education/experience and finally by the contribution the vehicle of "self" allows us to make to the human condition.  No one will remember your boobs, Leah. But they will remember the person who showed children (and adults) their potential, who improved lives through her endeavors, and who showed everyone the real beauty of the human spirit. 


jo said...

wow - I like Dean. I have mixed feelings on it too. On the one hand, I think if it improves someones self esteem then whatever. More power to them. ON the other hand, I would hope that I would come to a point where I was totally comfortable with my body and all its weirdness and uniqueness. You know?
Maybe you should try on some fake things for a while and see what you think and how you feel. That way you get the gist of having bigger boobs without the full on commitment of surgery. Then if you like it, go for surgery. And if you don't feel its for you, then no harm done.
love you either way.

DeanD said...

Hi Jo,
This was perhaps a question you were directing at Leah. Still, I enjoyed reading your comment so I thought I'd piggy back...
I have the greatest respect and regard for what I call the sovereignty of self. Individuality and self exploration is key to knowing who we are and where we can go/be. All of us must be allowed to "feel" our way as we see fit.
Having said that, I also believe that the intellectual process can save us from some painful encounters that the exploration of self would otherwise subject us.
I believe that the rightness or wrongness of breast enhancement being dependent on whether it makes a woman feel ok or not proceeds from a false assumption.
Namely, we are still making that value judgement based upon an antiquated sexist calculous engineered to suit a neolithic male prototype. It is an outmoded outdated notion of beauty, if in fact it ever represented beauty at all.
If in our wisdom we were able to raise our young girls and boys to appreciate the beauty of independent thought, beauty of companionship or the beauty compassion, what would we be as a species today?
Beauty actually doesn't have a label except perhaps to be representative of goodness, compassion, and love. I realize that much of what I say is conceptualizing without a substantial matrix of measurement. But the unmitigated truth is that no one should mutilate their body to gain the approval of another.