Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Women be more than what you think people see!

One of the first responses to this amazing TED talk was someone saying how she should not support "unhealthy" bodies. Of course it was an anonymous posting. What people don't realize is thin was not valued until the mid 1960s when Twiggy was pranced around by the modeling world. Even thin women are not happy with their bodies. As far as unhealthy bodies, I am now considered overweight. I was not as a child nor as a woman, nor as a woman after 4 full term births. My weight gain was after being prescribed medication without being warned of the side effect of excessive weight gain.

What I have discovered is how superficial society really is! I suspected this when I was young and attractive by the worlds' standards, people referred to me as a "looker," "quite a catch," "a hottie," etc. Now what's sad is I had no idea. I didn't know I looked good because I grew up during those years of Twiggy parading down the modeling ramps. I had a curvy figure even at 110 or 115 pounds. When I looked in the mirror, my body never hit the mark, especially after birthing my children.

I think I am more of a catch now. I am educated, notable intelligent, and I LOVE my body. My body takes me on bike rides. I was commuting from my house to FSU when I was teaching. It is 10 miles from my door to FSU College of Human Sciences one way. I would then do errands bringing my ride to no less than 30 miles in a day. My health? Well my doctor can't believe my resting heart rate, my cholesterol count is lower than people younger than me and my sugar levels are the same as they were when I was 18. The reason I am posting this is I am just tired of a male based society determining what women need to look like or wear or say. I don't require outside approval from others. I never did turn and ask my husband does this make my butt look big? Should I wear this, etc.?

When I dated I often felt justified resentment when I realized my date was more into my looks than he cared about what was going on in my head. One man asked me to go for a walk on a break from the ballet performance we were attending. Said he needed to stretch his legs. We walked and talked and quite frankly the temperature had dropped. I was freezing and he was clueless. When we got back he turns to me and says, " I have a confession. I just wanted to show you off!" I think he thought I would take it as a compliment. I just walked a city block freezing for this man to treat me like I was some sort of an arm charm? Seriously. No second date. He had no idea that I was carrying a nearly 4.0 in my undergrad Psych program or that I had just finished the second field research project by my junior year or that I had completed an internship in the NICU specializing with parents whose baby was terminal, or that I had completed my coursework under the direction of the honors program. He didn't ask and I didn't get much of a chance to get a word in between his talking. Lessons learned, 1. Set much higher standards for dating. Don't say yes again until I see signs they see my insides as well as my outsides and count it valuable. 2. Notice when men keep the conversation a two way street and run from the ones that don't. Yes, I know I might be waiting awhile! It is okay, I am fine waiting. My worst day of being alone has beat my best day of being with someone who doesn't love me inside out! Being alone allows me the freedom to just BE!

Dr. Mary Kay Keller
TEDxTallahassee 2015
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