U: Unwell & the Uneasy “Un”
It’s finally happened. I’m feeling rather unwell today and I may have to consider that raw onions and I aren’t the BFF’s we’ve always been. But how can I live without raw onions! That’s like cutting garlic or…dare I even think it…green chile from my diet. What’s a New Mexican girl supposed to do without onions? I think I’ll live in denial a bit longer and just hope I’m plain old-fashioned sick.
As with “D”, the list of feelings starting with “U” is largely comprised of “un” words. I’m feeling unclear, unmotivated, unwanted, unloved…You get the picture. The word ugly is on the list and that brought my mind around to the late 90’s TLC hit Unpretty. I always liked that song. Years before Christina Aguilera crooned about being Beautiful, TLC was making a statement about the pressure placed on girls to be conventionally beautiful. The lyrics paint a fairly graphic picture of all the things we can do to conform to society’s idea of beauty: extensions, plastic surgery…you name it. But the group urges listeners to question those who’ve set these standards.
We see a lot more of that these days. Lots of messages about the dangers of fat-shaming; lots of companies with plus-size sections and plus-size models (though there’s some debate about the term plus-size and it’s impact on women). We’ve really become aware of the tremendous harm we do to women and girls by holding them to unrealistic expectations of beauty. How many of us have had someone call us fat and then run out and got thin? If that sort of abuse actually produces a result (other than depression and low self-esteem), it’s usually the unhealthy kind. How many women with eating disorders can trace the roots of their disease to verbal and emotional abuse? And for that matter, how many men can?
In the “K” section, I talked about kindness, so here are a few words about unkindness. Words hurt. That old saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” diminishes the impact that words have on us. It equates emotional abuse with physical pain, and it’s just not an accurate comparison. Emotional pain is felt days, years and even decades later. Physical wounds may heal while emotional scars are ever present. Even the emotional impact of a physical trauma (i.e. PTSD suffered after a car accident) is often the more difficult wound to treat.
Be kind to one another.
Now, I’m off to sauté my onions.
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I'm generally pulled in a million different directions and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Here's a glimpse of my life - hope you enjoy it! And if there's a big lapse between posts, well, that's the way life goes in Amy's world.