Having Trouble With Your Inner Whistle

Are you having trouble finding your “Inner Whistle”?? Well I am. And if you read the first blog you will know what I’m talking about. It is not so easy to find, is it? Well what can I say? Now I’m commenting on my own blog.
I know it isn’t easy to find a passionate purpose or new dream-to-dream or your self-worth at this age, but I’m admitting that there is an even bigger obstacle: Belief in the beauty of our physical self-image. Yes, I must say I do feel more full of wisdom and ideas and potential at this age than I ever have, and it took a lot of work to get to that place. But I still don’t think there is anything to whistle about when it comes to my appearance. I used to hate my skinny body, acne prone face and flat chest– or “sunken chest”, as they called me in high school. But you know what? Now that I’m menopausal I’m a C cup–more curvy AND, I have beautiful skin. But am I happy? Of course not!!! I just see the middle-age stretched out stomach, the heavy cellulite ridden thighs and the jowls on my face that swing in the breeze. Think I have a self-image problem? You bet your sweet tucas I do. And I know I am not alone. What is sad is, it isn’t just women my age. Why can’t we ever be satisfied? When I was young and appreciated by society I STILL felt inadequate because of my body. Now that I’m older, okay a lot older, and I am not loved by society, I have the boobs! Let’s face it. The emphasis that society places on physical beauty goes back too far to have a hope of changing it. That is quite a statement, because I have always believed you can change anything for the better. But I am also a realist. Feeling good about your physical appearance is important. No getting around it. But society’s’ perception of what is beautiful is fickle, and has been throughout the ages, and nobody seems to have the timing right on that except for a lucky few.
Our young girls are the real victims. And we were once those young girls. Today it is worse than ever for our girls because of the enormity and power of the media. Images are everywhere. This is nothing new. I am not saying anything profound or something that has a WOW factor. But I caught an episode on OPRAH yesterday about the self-esteem of young girls in America today and I was reminded. I need to be reminded a lot now that I’m in my menopausal fog, and I was reminded that we don’t just go through this self-image crisis when we are aging—-it starts in our childhood. It is just a different set of criteria. As mature women we are still those girls who have carried the very bad habit of placing more importance on flaws than on attributes. It is very hard to break a bad habit. But the buck stops here. If we can break this habit, or at least try our best, and if we can learn to concentrate on the good, then we will set the example for the young girls out there and lead the way. If they can battle the limited criteria of beauty when they are young they will be armed with the tools to fight it when they start to age.
We need to be their guide. We can’t say to them believe you are beautiful if we don’t believe it ourselves. So I am going to pass along the advice Jada Pinkett Smith gave to a young girl on the Oprah show with a few of my own tweaks. I’m calling on you to take up the challenge and give this simplistic, but I believe effective, experiment a try.
First, get some index cards to have on hand.
Second, look in the mirror. I know it is tough but you can do it.
See, truly see, what you like about yourself. Give it some time.Then write down on the card a physical thing you like about yourself.
and tape the card to the mirror.
Find another thing you like and another and each time write it on the card
and tape it to the mirror.
Whenever you look in the mirror, especially first thing in the morning, you will be reminded of what you like about your appearance. You won’t be able to forget no matter how menopausal you are or how much dementia has set in. And include non-physical things: your intelligence, wit humor, compassion, ability to multi-task etc. Hopefully the positive images will multiply and overwhelm the urge to dwell on your flaws. And better yet maybe you will be able to embrace them and say to all the critics: “Get a life! What you think of me is your own business. I can’t control it. But I am holding my head up high because I think I am just swell and that is all that matters!!”
Okay maybe I’m dreaming, but isn’t that ability what we want for our girls and young women and ourselves? Let me know if it works for you. For myself, I do believe my ample bosoms are taking over my negative thoughts and I’m starting to see my stretched out stomach as a beautiful reminder of the two lovely children I am blessed to have. I think I hear the beginning of a faint whistle somewhere inside.
Debbie Zipp, In The Trenches Productions

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Published in: on June 4, 2006 at 2:08 am  Leave a Comment  

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