Bad self-esteem? I'm a work of art, bitches!

Basic? I’m a work of art, bitches!

Thanks to Facebook, I learned today that there is such a thing as a “Basic Bitch”. I didn’t know what that was. So I took the quiz to find out if it was me (I answered “yes” to about 9 out of 119 questions. Apparently I am a little bit Basic because I like bagels). Thanks to I learned that a “Basic Bitch” is an “extra regular female”.

I still wasn’t sure what that meant so I turned to this video to fill me in:

Who even knew this was a thing? Thanks, internet, now I do.

I learn so much from the internet (for better or worse- often worse, I suspect). For example, I’ve learned that now, as a feminist, I’m supposed to be concerned with “micro-aggressions”, which are small, socially acceptable, gender-based assumptions that apparently hold women back from true equality (normal people call this “real life”). Or that there is such a thing as a “Cool Girl” who acts like a man but looks like a hot woman- but that it’s not cool to BE the Cool Girl because the Cool Girl doesn’t really exist except in the novel “Gone Girl” and in the wishful minds of men. Or that there are 8 beers that I should stop drinking RIGHT NOW because they contain evil GMOs.  Or that there are 96 Thoughts That Have Gone Through Every Shopper’s Head While In Target- and Number 8 Will Blow Your Mind!!!!!!!

I can’t decide whether I like all these things for their entertainment value or fear and loathe them because I know that someone, somewhere, believes with drop-dead certainty that these are the Absolute Truth.

Not too long ago I was giving the topic of body image some deep thought. I think I was reading an article (ironically, the same one that introduced me to the idea of the Cool Girl) about Jennifer Lawrence and her down-to-earth attitude towards body image and the enjoyment of food. I appreciate that in a gal- especially one under the unforgiving microscope of public scrutiny. I’d like to think that I have a pretty good self-image, but I don’t: I’m very easily toppled into doubt and self-loathing with the slightest criticismIf anyone asked me what my philosophy about female body image was, I wouldn’t know what to tell them: that I just want to be healthy? That I’ve learned to love myself? That I’m never influenced by society or the media to want to be thinner, taller, bustier, tanner, younger, sleeker, longer-legged, slimmer-waisted, etc?

I would be tongue tied. This was a problem that required some thought. I put it on a mental back-burner and went back to being a Grad Student for a while. Every so often I would pick up the idea and chew on it for a while when I was bored.

At some point in my mental wanderings I found myself remembering a passage from “The Devil Wears Prada” (the book, not the movie) in which the character describes being proud of having eventually lost enough weight to wear many of the designer clothes that were available to her from The Closet. I don’t believe that I will ever wear a size 4 (I’m size 12, y’all) but I wanted to be reasonable: maybe if I had access to unlimited, free, designer clothes then I would make the effort.

I mean, designer is designer, right?

I wouldn’t know. I’ve never owned a single designer item that I didn’t get second hand at a rummage sale. My shoes come from Payless. So do my sunglasses. The sunglasses cost me $13 and they’ve had a crack in them for over a year, but still haven’t broken. The shoes protect my feet and the sunglasses protect my retinas and that’s all that I need them to do. What would I do with fancy shoes that were too painful to walk in, or sunglasses that were to expensive for me to chuck in my purse when I didn’t need them? That’s when I realized what my body-image philosophy was: that I don’t exist to serve my image, my image exists to serve me. I’m not alive, on this planet, at this time, to be a structure that makes clothes look good. Clothes exist to make me look good. It’s not my job to be thinner, taller, bustier, tanner, younger, sleeker, longer-legged, slimmer-waisted or any other trait to which I might, in a moment of weakness, aspire. It’s my job to be a human being: to think, to accomplish, to create, to connect, to inspire- maybe to fail sometimes. I have a body. That’s my image.

Anyway, this post has gone off on a tangent that I didn’t expect so I’m going to wrap it up here.

Bagels. Love em.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on April 17, 2014.

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