I found these — what would seem to us now — unconventional, vintage advertisements, and I tucked them away to share with all you Ravin’ Mavens at a later date. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to do with them, but I figured I would post them on the What’s Ravin’, Maven? Facebook fanpage, at some point, with some jocular, tongue-and-cheek commentary. Yet, yesterday a whole different idea introduced itself to me, and WHA-LA (!), I suddenly knew what purpose they had and how I would apply them.
I’ve made it known that this website is merely for fun — there will be nothing pivotal or radical written here on the regular (it’s a playground for perkiness!). I have another project I am launching in conjunction with this one (just waiting on the graphic designer to finish the logo), which is going to be very pertinent and sometimes cumbrous , so I want to keep this venture a boisterous adventure, selfishly. ::grin:: All the same, there’s so much negativity being spewed all over the Internet like yesterday’s barfaroni & tater tot lunch, and, of course, none of us can escape the chronic, harrowing news media. Henceforth, I wanted to bring something entirely upbeat & cheery to your blog-reading rituals & Facebook newsfeed with What’s Ravin’, Maven? We need a heavy dose of delight in our days, STAT! With that said, today I am going to bring up a topic that might not be as airy as I admitted it would always be, and the counterbalance will be a eensy-weensy bit unbalanced just this once. Okay, maybe I shouldn’t make promises, but in the future…… cross my heart & hope to buy, over my velour tracksuit-ed body!
But as I was saying before… Yesterday opportunity struck my mind when I was reading a post by a friend of mine who recently underwent a walloping transformation. This friend of mine set forth on a noble journey to lose weight and get back into shape. Over many, many months, her friends & family watched her shed pounds with steadfast work & determination. I’m not sure of the precise number, but I’m almost positive she lost over 100lbs! HOLLA! This was an amazing feat, and we all watched in awe, proud of her for working so laboriously hard & staying focused while marveling over her progress photos with gaping mouths. Hubba, hubba! She has always been a looker, but now she’s absolutely smashing, and this is mostly due to the fact that SHE feels bloody sensational! In spite of this, she now has people hating on her and starting foolheaded rumors that she turned to weight loss enhancing drugs (and not even legal ones) to do it. This hurts my soul because it is just ludicrous — preposterous, I tell you! In my heart of hearts, I know that these accusations have spawned from the never-ending hamster wheel of jealousy & envy — a certain disgust within the naysayers inner self — but this does NOT make it okay! Imagine reaching such triumphant success, only to have to defend yourself against being a druggie. That’s gut-wrenchingly disappointing after committing & conquering something with such admirable tenacity. People should really be ashamed of themselves. Where’s my ruler… ::grumble::
There’s a multi-tiered hiearchy of why this form of bullying gets my Underoos in a bunch, and hopefully my A.D.D. will grant me the spotlight to get to all of those points before… LOOK! THERE’S A SQUIRREL!
All joking aside (if it’s possible of me), just to give you some personal background as to why I feel so strongly about all this…
I have always been what the medical professionals call “underweight”. People gave me nicknames as a youngin’ like, Beanpole, Wet Noodle, Feather, String Bean, & even Heifer, to be ironic. This never once bothered me. I was a pretty secure child. Howbeit, as I ventured into junior high, I would hear jokes like, “When you eat a potato chip, does your neck go like this?”, in which case some totally uproarious goober would pull their neck skin out from side to side, howling with laughter. Later on the “jokes” became less creative and were more backhanded comments like, “I can’t wait until your older and you lose your metabolism, then you can’t eat an entire box of Pop Tarts in one episode of My So Called Life.” THEN the oppugning, outside appraisals of my body began to come from doctors! I’d go in for afflictions completely unrelated to weight, such as migraines, acid reflux, tachycardia, sinus infections, and blasted TMJ for cake’s sake, and they would immediately dig into me about an eating disorder. I’d go in to visit my physician because I was having a Carpel Tunnel flare-up, and I’d leave an hour later after being lectured by their in-office psychologist about the detriments of Anorexia & Bulimia! It was utterly unnerving, and one time, in a surge of unbridled low blood sugar mania, I went so far as to say, “Listen, lady, I am famished right now, and I was PLANNING to go to lunch once I got out of this appointment, but now that you’ve sucked up all my time with your irrational blast to my self-image, I feel near faint. So, if you’re so convinced I’ve got the urge to purge, how ’bout you join me for some grub? I hope you make a handsome salary because lunch is on you!” But here’s the crazy part… Society had taught me to feel guilty about my willowy physique, so for a long, looong time, I came back meekly, as if apologizing for being naturally thin — I gave credence & approval to everyone’s abuse. THIS is what I want to touch on in this article.
First & foremost, I have ALWAYS been slender. Everyone in my bloodline is also, yet, my body type is EXACTLY that of my fathers. (It’s really eerie
when you look at yourself naked in the mirror and think, ‘Grilled cheesus, I am built just like daddy.’ Yeah, thanks for the boy body, Pops!) My father had brawn from being a laborer, but since he’s been out of work, he’s just skin over bones. So, it should be NO SURPRISE that I am as I am. My pediatrician used to tell my mother that I was underweight, but my growth & gain was always consistent, so this was my “normal”. Nevertheless, even still, to this day as my weight fluxes between about 3 pounds, here or there, people STILL say to me, “Oh, you look better with a little meat on your bones.” as if I am *trying* to be skinny! @*#&$^%! So much for “normal”. Maybe this seems like a compliment, but it is not (Rule of thumb: If one has to start a statement off with, “Don’t take this the wrong way…”, well, maybe it’s just better to talk about the weather, or Honey Boo Boo, or something). It is not ill-intended, but it is actually distressing. I thank my lucky stars every day for having a thick-bodied ego, otherwise these kinds of comments would be damaging. Up until the last 2 years, I had never been over 100lbs. I am, roughly, 5’6″ (according to that ginchy device at The Museum of Life and Science). My doctors would love for me to get up to 123lbs to fit into some kind of documented mold they have of what a “healthy” weight for a woman of my stature is. Well, you know what? I now weigh 106lbs (give or take those 3 aforementioned pounds, either which way) and sometimes this is based on me weight lifting or by pounding food (which is pretty much what I do — my friends make jokes about how I’d be better off eating from a troff ::chuckle::), but I’m done with all these “rules” & societal ideals of the perfect human specimen. There IS NO perfect human specimen. We are all perfect, uniquely & organically. The. End.
What I want to convey in this article is that it is NEVER alright to slander people, either directly or indirectly. It is NOT okay to flood social media sites with images of lovely large ladies & gents and make gross, disparaging comments about their “muffin tops”, “gunts”, or “extra to love”. These terms should be treated as harshly as any other derogatory designation. Likewise, please don’t post photos of young, twiggy celebrities beside other ravishing, more voluptuous celebrities with captions that say, “This was once beautiful, and this is now not.” This also exhibits unkind behavior and can be deeply injurious. If one has such a convicted hostility toward a heavy person or a slim person, this is, by all means, NO problem of the person they are attacking, but a problem within the person who feels the need to make their revulsion known in a public way. It takes sheer commonsense to recognize that the criticizing comes from a place deep within the confines of ones own self-loathing. Society has taught us to fear weight gain & that it is okay to belittle a skinny person because they have no problems in the world. This nonsense must be put to rest! If we all “hate trashy tabloids” with such a vehemence, why is it just dandy to replicate that mentality by bashing the opposite of what we are? It’s befuddling to me in every possible way. Not every “fat person” is an overeating sloth & not every “anorexic-looking person” has a thyroid problem or a stinkin’ tapeworm! We live in a melting pot, and cookie cutters are not for people, they are for flippin’ cookies! Life’s too short, EAT THE DAMN COOKIES! Responsibly. (I had to add that like the Disaronno commercial. Wouldn’t want you to wreak havoc out on the streets on a reckless sugar high.)
It is my wish that body image is not an issue within our already-troubled minds, whatsoever. I feel the most concern for young people. We need to teach our youth about proper diet, a healthy relationship with food, and how to recognize emotional eating. We, furthermore, need to teach the horrific dangers of starving to be thin, comparing ourselves to unrealistic images in the media, and self-love for our unique stamp on the world. At the same exact time, we need to teach our children to derive pleasure in the fruits of life, and this means FOOD. Food is not evil, and we don’t have to sit around using what we learned in math class to count calories — just moderate, but EAT! This should be done in complete & utter harmony, not fighting against that in which is different from us. Vegans, carnivores, gluten-free/dairy free, starch & ice cream junkies, name branders, local business supports, breast feeders & formula feeders….. we all need to get over yourselves and work together as unique individuals with different approaches. None of you are right or wrong. I pack my Mini Maven a sandwich on whole wheat, fresh veggies (celery, carrots, broccoli, & cherry tomatoes), a fresh fruit, some sort of organic crackers, & yogurt every day for lunch. Notwithstanding, last night I ate 3 taco supremes, an order of Nachos Bel Grande, and an ice cream Snickers bar for dinner. All of 20 minutes later, I polished off a bag of dehydrated meat sticks. So, I may live a month less for that feast, but goodness gracious great balls of fire, I do declare that I love me some Taco Hell & gas station treats. Every once in a blue moon, freakin’ howl at it with foul breath! The only person you’re going to hurt is the person standing in front of you.
We must also educate our children that though it is okay too look like a Victoria’s Secret model, it is not the norm. And yes, they are very lovely ladies, but they are also just one line of genes sunbathing in the community pool — this doesn’t make them more lovely than anyone else because somewhere we were *told* how to see people. And though I have no issue with Victoria’s Secret models, I do indeed have an issue with the fact that they make the average woman who might want to shop there feel like pond scum. So, continually inform your children that that is not the ONLY beauty that exists. And please, please, please teach your little boys that if they want a 6ft woman with razor abs and bouncy breasts, so be it, but by no means try and fit all the other women of the world into that size 00/DD mold. Placing those expectations are so outlandishly debasing. Same goes for women with men… This mesomorph generation needs to become extinct. I’ve known a hell of a lot of ectomorphs & endomorphs alike who walked away with a harem of hot chicks on their arms because they had some darn sexy brain cells. I know because I was one of them. Just because my Darling Hotbuns looks like a Calvin Klein underwear model doesn’t mean a thing (other than I take a lot more cold showers now) — he won me over with that dome of his. It’s like there’s an Encyclopedia in there! I can sometimes see him turning the pages with his rapid eye movements.
This all reminds me of how I once chimed in on a post about someone’s disgust for how they’re making extra slight art out of female Disney characters. I simply stated my equal disgust and how it made me “angry”. Some fellow of whom I did not know, went to my profile, cut & pasted my photo into the thread and said, “THIS makes me angry!” Because I am thin I evidently don’t have the right to an opinion on promoting ridiculous female form. A friend of mine defended me and he apologized, but that’s the knee-jerk reaction, and visa versa, as well. Just quit judging a book by it’s cover. I kid you not, one of the best books I ever read was called, Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons. You think I would have EVER picked up that title if they weren’t practically giving it away at a going out of business book sale? Heck to the no. Dat’s right. Dat’s what I’m talkin’ about.
Tune in, be observant, and take action when you have the facts, and you’re certain someone is hurting themselves because of addiction, but otherwise, what’s it to ya? It’s none of your bee’s wax! Deal with your own. No one takes kindly to being mollycoddled under someone else’s microscope.
The bottom line is for all of us, universally, to get off our high horse — it is not high at all, it is low. It comes from a place rooted in low blows & all-time self-lows. (Which makes me sound like an oxymoron since I am probably getting a little preachy right now. #whoopsie!) Those who have such vehement, open opinions about this stuff, hopefully have some ounce of cognizance that it is primarily based on unjust fear or unwarranted envy. Just be kind; to all walks of life, be kind. Rather round or gangly… short or tall… dark or light… va-va-voom or rawboned… a crackerjack rump or a badonkadonk…… we all have a right to feel magnetic & special. Everyone is, so it’s a shame that somewhere along the lines, lines have been drawn for us. I don’t know about you, but I like to color outside of them! And like these advertisements from another era prove, it could be only a few decades from now that the “ideal beauty” shifts again. No matter what it is, it’s all cockamamie. Don’t buy into any of it. All you end up doing is selling (yourself) out. This is one market I do not condone making any purchases from.
Keep calm & rave on (about the real issues),