Beyond Beautiful

I had just written a really good, long post about this book I just finished reading. “Beyond Beautiful– (A practical guide to being happy, confident, and you in a looks- obsessed world)” by Anuschka Rees. WordPress deleted the whole thing as I was adding the photo! I don’t know if I can do it justice at this point. 😦 

I finished the book in just a couple of hours. It’s only 185 pages long. It would’ve taken me longer if I had taken the time to do all of the ‘exercises’. I don’t think they would’ve helped me much. I’ve already got to the point of ‘don’t give a damn what other people think’. But maybe they might help other people who haven’t got to that point yet. 😉

Of course I’ve always known how ‘looks-obsessed’ we are in this country. I’m fat. I know that. I’ve been fat since I was about 13 years old. I’ve tried every diet in the book. I’ve gone so far as to have my teeth wired shut, and even now I’ve got the lap band (it’s not working either).

It sucks to have random strangers yell insults at you when you’re walking to school, or trying to have fun at the beach (“hey, it’s a beached whale”, etc). After all these years, I’ve gotten a lot better at ignoring all those idiots. But yes, of course it still hurt. It hurt even more when my grandmother would tell me how my “face is so pretty”, like the rest of me was not. 

I used to tell myself “if people don’t like me the way I am, then they can just go f*&k themselves!”! I still think that way, even more so now. At this point I could give a damn what other people think of my opinions, my fashion sense, my choice of car, or my looks, or anything else. I understand that whatever they think, it’s on them, -(it’s just their opinion)- not me.

What I got out of the book, what really surprised me, is how Rees states that pretty much every woman has such insecurities. Such poor body image. I have to think this is just an American issue. I find it hard to believe some poor woman struggling to survive on $1-2 a day in the slums of India or the wilds of Africa would obsess about how she’s not able to shave her legs every day (or even her pits). That nobody would ever like her, that she’d be shunned by society if her eyebrows were not perfectly plucked. 

It’s amazing to me to hear that so many women are so concerned about how other people see them that they’ll obsess about every little imperfection. I mean really, no one is perfect! No one! And who has the time, energy, or money to spend on the attempt to make yourself ‘perfect’?

But apparently a lot of women do this. It’s not just shaving their legs, fixing their hair, putting on makeup every day. It’s all that and more! Botox for the lips, liposuction for the belly, boob jobs and butt jobs and on and on and on.

Can you believe, they’re even doing surgery on their vaginas (vulvas)? To make themselves ‘attractive’ ‘down there’. Seriously! The procedure is called a “labiaplasty”

Women are spending a fortune on this crap! In order to feel good about themselves with all this insane social brainwashing going on all around us constantly.

WHY are so many women falling into this trap? Rees mentions advertising and how social media has been making it worse lately.

I have to admit, when I was younger I bowed to social pressure. I did try shaving my legs (I do still shave my pits). I used to wear makeup and wear something other than shorts, flip-flops and t-shirt if I was going out somewhere ‘fancy’. I still might do that if I ever go out somewhere ‘fancy’ (which doesn’t happen much at all these days). I gave up shaving my legs a long time ago, never did see the point to that.

I’ve never plucked my eyebrows, I’ve never used hair removal products, never used skin whitening stuff, rarely use lotions or cremes, almost never do my nails. My boobs and my butt are plenty big enough. I have some cellulite and freckles- who cares!

My thing is my weight. I’ve done just about all the things you can do to lose weight, including the teeth wiring and lap band. Thank god I never solved that problem so I could move on to the rest.

That’s another major point I got from the book: you fix one thing only to find something else bothers you and then you have to go on to obsess about that thing until you fix it.

Why can’t we just get over this whole idea that looks are what’s most important?

I’ve noticed this obsession is very obvious in America. Everyone is all about looks. They look at your clothes, your car, your house, your yard, and judge you. I don’t see that kind of thing anywhere else. Is this just an American thing? Or is it common in other places around the world? Any comments? 

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