Tuesday, February 12, 2013

American Idols

I'm in a foul mood today.  Horrible.  The kind that makes everyone around me back away slowly.  I've got tons of stuff to get accomplished in the next 6 days before I'm on house arrest after my surgery and, in true Cassidy fashion, I'm freaking out.  This is usually how I roll: Cassidy gets stressed.  Cassidy starts planning everything within a millisecond. Cassidy gets overwhelmed. Cassidy freaks out and thinks it all won't get done.  Cassidy manages to pull through with flying colors.  I'm at the "freak out" stage.  It's just my method.  Leave it alone - it works.

I also may or may not be suffering from the worst case of PMS known to womankind but if I were you I wouldn't suggest that may be contributing to my mood.  At least don't suggest it to my face.

My current attitude is also set off by some shit that went down post-Grammy Awards.  I shouldn't have been surprised.  I don't know why I was- it's the same old same old.  But I got all kinds of pissed off when I listened to this clip from Fox News regarding two powerful awarding-winning musicians.  Over 4 minutes of air time was devoted to discussing the weight of Adele and Kelly Clarkson as they appeared on the live television show.  Jesus H. Christ.  This again?

In the clip a guest nutritionist explains that these two ultra-successful women are doing the American public a disservice by staying fat.  Who knows?  Maybe we'll idolize them and decide we can stay overweight just like them.  How dare they set themselves up as role models for the rest of us at their current size?  The fucking nerve!!

Despite my absolute horror that Fox News would even entertain this topic, I almost liked the reporter for giving this woman some flack during the interview.  That was until he called Adele the "New Mama Cass". Oh hell no, you did not!  First, Cass Elliot was a brilliant musician who was taken from us before her time and any current vocalist should be flattered to be compared to her.  But that was not the context here.  He was insinuating that Adele is the next fat superstar who will probably die tragically from choking on a fucking ham sandwich in a closet. Which by the way never happened - just one more example of the fact that this country loves one big fat joke. 

It also doesn't help that I was called Mama Cass throughout my childhood because of my weight.  Yeah, Cavuto, you're on my shit list now, too.

 Fox News is not the only guilty party here.  I'm sure all you have to do is go back through all the Grammy related Tweets from that night and you'll see thousands and thousands of similar comments. (I did, in fairness, comment about Adele's dress but it had nothing to do with her size but the judgment of her stylist.)

First and foremost let's keep in mind that weight is not the "end all-be all" at predicting health.  I know some extremely healthy people who are a little overweight.  I'm one of them.  I just had 2345234523 blood draws and tests to make sure I'm healthy enough for my surgery and every single result was spectacular as far as health goes.  I double dog dare you to find someone with better numbers than me at this very second.  And I know plenty of "skinny" people who are not healthy in the least.  So don't assume a health status based on that.

Next, and here's the doozy, how dare anyone insinuate that these women are incapable of being positive roll models because of their size.  REALLY?  Because their weight is the absolute predictor of their character and worth?  Being a little overweight is the worst thing they can be?

In her book, Daring Greatly, Dr. Brené Brown (yes I'm still stalking her) describes different shame categories that women and men have.  Men suffer from shame just as women do but their triggers are so very different most of the time.  They have more to do with strength, success, performance and achievement.  They worry about being good providers and not appearing weak.  Ever.

Women, however, judge themselves and are judged by others by very different criteria.  We're expected to do it all, be perfect and do it without any effort.  Naturally oozing expert femininity as we are the perfect mother, perfect wife, perfect size.  The only thing that triggers shame more than our own worry about being good mothers is our appearance.  With all the advancements we've made in culture and society it still boils down to this: Are we thin, young and pretty enough?

What happens when a women works hard to reach her dreams and finds unmeasurable success?  Someone tries to reduce all of that to a number on the scale to keep her in her place.  She can't really be that successful if she can't even keep her weight down, now can she?  Now don't we all feel better about ourselves?

People aren't concerned about Adele's health or Kelly's influence over the rest of us American fatties.  People want their superstars to look the part.  Who cares if most of them destroy their bodies to stay thin?  Who cares that drug and alcohol addiction runs rampant in the entertainment industry?  At least they look good in skinny jeans or cut-away outfits or slits up to their cooch.

Role models?  I'd venture to say that 99% of them aren't role models for the rest of us, especially our children.  Case in point: Rihanna got up on stage and performed a beautiful song, Stay, that was clearly about her inability to stay out of an abusive relationship with Chris Brown.  You know, the guy that beat the ever loving shit out of her four years ago.  Then she got off stage and joined him to cuddle in the front row.  How blessed that we have her skinny little ass to idolize.  No one seems to be concerned with the example she's setting and last I heard getting beaten to a bloody pulp was far worse for your health than being a few pounds overweight.

And let's not forget Taylor Swift.

Ok, so I don't really have anything to say about her other than she irritates the crap out of me.

If I had a daughter I would show her Adele and Kelly and tell her what can be achieved if you work hard to follow your dreams.  Or, better yet, I would show her someone like Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayer who also followed her dream and made it to the "big time".  Oh, and guess what?  She's not skinny either.  I would tell my daughters and my sons that their worth is not dependent on their weight, their approval from others or the expectations from society to fit in a mold.  They are all worthy because they were born.  End of story.

From now on I've decided to look at insults about my weight in an entirely different manner.  If I'm plugging along, working hard, doing my thing and all you've got to say about it is some insult about my weight then I KNOW I'm on the right track.  Go ahead, call me a fat bitch. You're going to have to come at me with more than that if you want to keep me down.  Because I'm not staying "small" for anyone.  And neither should you.

Pun fucking intended.

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