Let me start by saying, I like a good deal of Beyonce's music. She is talented, she can sing, she has got some moves and she has a banging body. I thought her response to the whole lip syncing controversy was fantastic. I could care less if she lip synced because I know it is a common practice. Last night her wardrobe choice annoyed me and like so many others I took to social media to rant about my opinions which particularly on Twitter got a ton of passive aggressive push back. One of those tongue in cheek moments that didn't get translated right on strangers screens, I said I didn't need the soft core porn and people took it like the gospel, it was indeed my sarcasm. Saying Beyonce needed to put some clothes on didn't mean I was calling her a ho or anything like it. So I am going to take a few minutes to explain my of view of her attire (which really it isn't limited to her many stars share the lack of wardrobe).
I have a little girl and I have a hormone disorder. This disorder doesn't really show itself if you don't know me, other than it causes me to carry extra weight. I will not deny that I am a large girl, I live in this body every day. I don't have a sign that says my hormones are really messed up and there is no magic pill for me to get them back in line, I don't actually eat nothing but ice cream and candy every day. Why would I even think I need a sign that says that, well because I can't take my daughter out for an ice cream cone with out someone giving me a look like yep fat chick eating ice cream typical. Of course in school I got picked on, I have also heard people mutter "fat people" under their breath in stores, I have been made fun of in line for a ride at Disney world as I stood waiting with everyone else to ride the train. When I was pregnant with my daughter, at the very end of pregnancy I had some pain in my hip, my husband dropped me off at the front of a store while he parked and when he got out her heard two women, "pregnant or just fat". He wanted to smack them, I said you should have said both. I am not telling you this because I want you to feel bad for me or because I want you to join me in some fat acceptance crusade. Neither are of interest to me. What I worry about is that my daughter might have the same hormone issues and that one day her thighs might rub together when she walks and that she will start to hate herself because of it. You see I managed to survive with out hating myself, some how despite everything society has told me about my worth because of my body, I have managed to say no, no I have value for many other reasons. Maybe it was because I was raised by an incredibly strong woman who constantly told me that I was both smart and beautiful. I was one of the lucky ones because my period of self hatred was short lived.
I have spent the last 8 years working with young girls who I have heard hating on themselves because their bodies aren't perfect. I nearly cried as I listened to 12 year olds talk about how fat they were and how they couldn't eat anymore at a church fund raiser. I have watched girls hurt themselves to be what society has told them is beautiful. I have watched girls forget they have talent or brains because they are in pursuit of the only thing they think matters, approval from their crush or society. I am terrified that this will one day be my daughter and that as her mother I won't be able to find the right words.
I wasn't annoyed last night because Beyonce was sexy or sexual. I am far from uptight about sexuality. I thought her outfit was fine for a concert, just not broadcast TV. Next week the Grammy's are on, I know better than to put the TV on while my girl is still up because my girl will likely see things that I don't want her to see. So maybe it was that I was caught off guard. I do not have some underhanded Christian or conservative agenda. The only agenda I have is making sure my daughter knows she is so much more than a body and that her body is valuable even if it isn't perfect.
I got irritated because here is a woman that is talented, smart and still leaving little to the imagination. To me it said being smart and talented isn't enough you still have to show off what you have. Maybe I am just getting old, maybe it's parenthood that has me so on edge. It just makes me fired up when I think of the world telling my daughter no matter how beautiful her heart is, how smart she is, compassionate, talented, creative, kind, loving, and so on that it will never be good enough because she has to have a nice body and if that nice body weren't enough, she has to strut around showing it off because then she will have the approval of all.
Today I am grateful that I grew up with a very strong woman who knew enough to tell me I was smart, talented and pretty.