BOOMERBROADcast

Baby Boomer's social commentary on life in OUR sixties for those who rocked life in THE sixties.

Why can’t we be happy the way we are?

3 Comments

Does she or doesn't she?

Does she or doesn’t she?

Just when I was thinking about rejoining Weight Watchers for the umpteenth time, I read an essay in The New York Times by Jennifer Weiner (author of The Devil Wears Prada and other books) entitled One Day We Can Stop Trying, Right? Weiner condemns the pervasive commercial and media pressure on women to maintain a standard of beauty that is unrealistic and downright punitive. She particularly criticizes Oprah Winfrey for once again bending under the yoke of being less than perfect by literally buying into (ten percent of the company) and representing the Weight Watchers brand. This is a woman who rose from desperate poverty in racially segregated Mississippi to become the personification of successful womanhood. How many of us have created a multi-media empire, built and sustained a successful school for girls in Africa and otherwise positively inspired millions of women around the world? Her one tiny failing? She weighs more than the fashion mags suggest she should. If Oprah is feeling dissatisfied, what chance do we mortals have?

I hate that I want it all - the hair, the bone structure, the clothes.

I hate that I want it all – the hair, the bone structure, the clothes.

While I am definitely not advocating being unhealthy or condoning bad eating habits, it’s troubling that as women we spend far too much time and emotional energy worrying about our weight. Weiner observes that the bar has been raised by the likes of Jane Fonda and other celebrities looking fabulous into their sixties, seventies and eighties. It’s a superficial yardstick that has ruined the otherwise productive and successful lives of millions of women. Why can’t we just say good on them, accept that we will never have the money or motivation to look like they do and get on with our normal lives, free from the guilt-causing, calorie-counting, carb-eliminating and fat-busting imaginary masochist sitting on our shoulders telling us otherwise.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just snip that little thread of brain transmitter that sends the message telling us we’re only of value if we’re thin? Imagine how wonderful life would be if we could sail through the last half of our lives not trying to look like we did in the first half? Perhaps we could persuade genetic scientists to isolate that tiny genome that governs self-image and modify it so that once we’re menopausal we would only perceive ourselves as beautiful and perfect regardless of our outward appearance. We felt invincible and perfect in every way when we were very young children, before bullying and peer pressure entered the picture in elementary school. If only we could achieve that blissful state of self-confidence with the status quo once again.

I am beautiful. I am valued. I am all can be. And that's more than enough.

I am beautiful. I am valued. I am all I can be. And that’s more than enough.

It’s tempting to seek justification for not joining Weight Watchers again! In fact, I think their programs promote healthy and achievable goals for eating. But I hate that I care about losing fourteen pounds. I empathize with Oprah’s struggle. Maybe it’s the perfectionist Virgo within me. The last time I lost weight on the Weight Watchers’ programme, I felt much better about myself and my clothes fit better. Then I discovered Black Jack Cherry Frozen Yogurt and one pound at a time, put all those lost pounds back on. So until they isolate that elusive gene that allows me to feel unconditionally beautiful, I plan to take advantage of the “Join Free, Lose Ten Pounds on Us” promotion. I’ve done it before and sadly, I’ll probably do it again in 2017, 2018, and forever more. And curses on Black Jack Cherry frozen yogurt for coming between me and perfection. It’s a genetic failure for which I’m not responsible.

P.S. This is not a paid endorsement of Weight Watchers — although they probably should pay me!

 

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Author: Lynda Davis

As an early Baby Boomer, born in 1947, it seems to me that as we approach our retirement years, Boomers have gone from being the energy driving our nation to slowly becoming invisible. We risk losing our identity as society remains stubbornly youth-centric. And the irony is that Gen Xers and Ys are not the majority; we are. BOOMERBROADcast is my platform for being the voice of Baby Boomers, women in particular. We've generated a lot of changes over the decades but there's still a long way to go. After a 40-year career in the corporate world, I've taken up expressing the observations and concerns of our generation. Instead of pounding the pavement in my bellbottoms with a cardboard sign, I'm pounding my laptop (I learned to type on a manual typewriter and old habits die hard). If you have issues or concerns you would like voiced or have comments on what I've voiced, I'd love to hear from you. We started breaking the rules in the sixties and now that we're in our sixties it's no time to become complacent. Hope you'll stay tuned and if you like BOOMERBROADcast, share it with your friends. Let's rock n' roll! If you would like to be notified whenever I publish a new posting, click on the little blue box in the lower right of your screen that says +Follow→ Lynda Davis

3 thoughts on “Why can’t we be happy the way we are?

  1. When I consider the health issues many people my age are facing and the troubles of the world, I realize that my small weight issue pales in comparison…..I will continue to shove food I love into my pie hole cautiously so my weight does not become a real health issue. I will never be as slim as I was in my twenties. I refuse to live with regrets like enjoying a piece of key lime pie or a glass of wine or Bailey’s. The only regrets I want in life are for the things I have done…..not what I didn’t do. And if Oprah, with all her trainers and dieticians can’t keep her weight off, that tells me something right there. Food is an addiction so learn what eating healthy and exercising takes for you personally and do your best to stay within the guidelines but don’t be too hard on yourself.

    Gail from Oakville

    Like

  2. Pingback: Why can’t we be happy the way we are? | BOOMERBROADcast

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