Ok, ok, I realize I owe it to you (and myself) to complete my train of thought on tour guides. However, as I dug my spoon into my pumpkin pie ice cream (thank you grocery store for a bowlful of fall!) I nearly choked on my bite. My friend had posted a link to this article from the Guardian.
At first it looked like this gorgeous woman, 20 years old, at 5’11” and 175 lbs., was being harangued for being “too fat to be a plus-size model.” Woah there. Did you see her?
Then I read more closely. In actuality, it is not people who complained about Lizzie’s size. It was the media refusing to push on us the idea that “people” favor thin. “People” scorn curves. The deluge of emails Glamour received for posting Lizzie’s naked photo were a celebration of her beauty, a flood of relief that finally main stream magazines took a moment to recognize the attractiveness of a healthy body, no matter the size.
I tried to read between the lines. What I found was no matter what, whether heavy or thin, “culture” (aka, the media) is obsessed with appearance. And people are tired of it. The real people, the ones who go to work and do laundry and try to squeeze in an hour at the gym here and there. Be healthy, yes, but stop dwelling on the wrapper. The relief comes when we are offered a refreshing reality: thin doesn’t matter. I believe enough people out there have seen someone they love wracked by disease of body or spirit, flesh weathered away until it is nothing but tissue paper. They recognize that in the end what matters isn’t the size of the packaging. What matters is they are losing someone they love.
It begs the question: when will we take our eyes off our skin and start to look deeper? Even if we decided Lizzie was fat and unattractive: who cares? What kind of a person is she? Who does she love? What is she passionate about? What ideas bring light to her eyes? What about to yours? We admire the box in which the diamond came. It’s time to open the lid and take a look at what lasts.