Today, I have had one theme stay with me from beginning to end. Waking up at the crack of noon, I checked my email and read one from a friend who was venting about how her husband is often on her about her weight. He's probably a good guy in many respects: good wage earner, good dad to the kids. But his wife, after giving birth to two children and working behind a desk each day for the last ten years or so, is no longer as petite as she once was. She's not happy about it either and works out a few times a week and eats in accordance to a diet that should help her lose what weight she wishes to lose.
But he just keeps giving her negative instead of positive feedback. To hear her tell the tale, he just doesn't desire her like he used to and has no problem telling her why. One can only imagine what this does to her. Only knowing one side to this, I don't want to pick on the guy too much. But it does leave me unquestionably exasperated to hear how unloving some people can be about certain things. Women face too many unrealistic comparisons to "perfect bodies" in the media without having their insecurities proved founded by the very people who are supposed to love them unconditionally.
I have another friend who is not married but seems to spend a lot of time thinking about her weight. She is college educated, very bright, is a well-paid professional salesperson, and very creative and witty. In short, I'm very proud to call her my friend. But while I'm happy that she is working out and losing weight and feeling better about her body image as a result, I think it's a shame that either she or women like her have to tie their social confidence to a certain body type.
So with all of this on my mind, I go to my place of work and see many young girls who are in a pageant of sorts. I'm not sure of the age range but I'm guessing that they were as young as 16 and as old as 21. They were all very lovely and kind and friendly and it was a pleasure working with them tonight. But their waists were all so very, very tiny. Now if that was just a natural body type for some of them, or if they were healthy and had those figures from running and eating smart, that's great. I just hope that no one is hating herself over an extra pound or two. It's just not worth it. So much of true beauty really is in the personality, and obsessing over weight just ain't that attractive. I like self confidence a lot.
In contrast to what my married friend is dealing with, I know that I rock as a husband (at least I think I do). There is not often the day when I don't fall more and more in love with my wife. I make a point to, as often as possible, to tell her how pretty she is. She wants to lose a few pounds too, and I support her in her goal, but right this minute she is perfect because she is my wife. When Bruce Springsteen sings, "she's so pretty that you're lost in the stars" in Night, I always think of my wife in a montage of moments: when we first met, when we first kissed, when we broke up, when I proposed and she said yes, and so many other times in our shared life when I knew that her love for me was my greatest gift.
I just hope that people's approach to their body images are motivated by how they want to look more than how they feel that they should look. And I hope that husbands know that their wives are getting plenty of negative images out there in the media about how their bodies compare to the women of the pages of Cosmo or on TV. When you look at them, they need to know that you desire them. They need to know that being your wife is truly an awesome thing. They deserve this. They are beautiful beyond compare.