In the past few days I have had two problems with American culture smack me in the face. One in my personal life and one from a coworker.
The first is a recent scare in my life. I’ve been having some pain in my testicle, and after a few days of it not clearing up, did some investigating and discovered a very painful lump. You know what the first assumption Americans jump to when they find a mysterious lump, right? Cancer! We’re surrounded by that diagnosis every day. WebMD tends to be particularly fond of it as a diagnosis, and we all know someone, or multiple someones, who have cancer or who have fought cancer(successfully or not). So, my brain made that jump.
I did my reading and logically knew that cancer was only an outside chance in this. But it was still there. Since my wife’s mother died of cancer, it freaked her out. In all, we went 2 days (between when lump found, and could get to doctor) with a simmering terror that was not really needed. Logic and emotion response have a only a very passing relationship with each other after all.
So, we made it to the doctor. After some discussion of onset and symptoms and one of the most painful exams I’ve ever been through, the doc ruled that the odds of it being cancerous was extremely low. His prognosis: infection. While an infection there is hardly something to be happy about, it’s a major relief from fears of cancer! So, antibiotics it is. Should hopefully be fine in a couple weeks. In the meantime, I just get to walk funny.
The second problem is less personal, but makes me more angry. It is more of a problem than the last. The first problem has some basis in reality; it’s an unhealthy but somewhat understandable paranoia we’ve developed. This second just makes me mad. A coworker of mine is trying to lose weight. She thinks she’s fat and wants to fix it. I applaud her husband who appears to not be on the same page as her on this (and frustrated her yesterday with a gift of cookies, which is how I learned of this in the first place). This woman is not fat. She might, maybe, be clinically overweight. If so, only by a small amount. I don’t always agree with that ruling, either. Depending on where they measure my height and weight at a given time, I am just barely within the healthy weight range and I’ve always thought I was underweight. Women, though, suffer from this far more than men.
Women are taught, and shown, a certain standard of beauty that they are supposed to fit in to. It’s utter rubbish and insulting to both men and women. A woman should have curves. I’ll say that again a different way. A woman should have a little weight on her bones. I want a woman with some hips, a little cushion on the backside and some nice sweater stuffers. At the risk of sounding chauvinistic, she has gorgeous curves, with one of the greatest backsides I’ve ever seen (shortly behind my wife and Alexis Texas). Which is, of course, the kind of thing I really can’t tell her, especially in a work environment.
I wish we could get through to the media, and the women of this country, that super thin is not the ideal for beauty. Bring back more beauties like Marilyn Monroe. She was infinitely more attractive than Jennifer Anniston or Pamela Anderson or most any of the women being held as standards these days. This is not to say that these women are not attractive in their own way, but that is not that kind of standard that every woman should hold herself to. Every woman should find her own brand of beauty. Any woman, of any size, can be beautiful if she revels in her own appearance and exudes confidence in herself. That’s true beauty and true sexy. We just need to get the media to understand it.