Some Thoughts on Being a Woman in These Crazy Times


The surgeon general recently called for health warnings on social media due to rising rates of mental health problems amongst kids and teens.

This got me thinking about the mental load women carry – well, at least I carry it with me – that could have benefited from a big warning label sign.

Let me backup a little bit. Growing up in the ‘80s and ‘90s, I voraciously read magazines for kids, teens and young women. Fashion and beauty magazines were my favorite.

Also during that time, like most kids in the US, I was subjected to beauty ideals through commercials and print ads. There were so many beauty messages sent out through those channels, but the main one for me and my friends was you had to be thin.

Anyway, the other day, I was looking at a photo that I took with Connor right before her school’s closing assembly. I can’t believe I’m saying this out loud, but instead of focusing on the joy in our faces, the bright colors in Connor’s fun costume or my strong, healthy body, all I could see was how much bigger I look now because I’m carrying a little bit more weight than I used to.

I’ve had some health issues over the last couple years, and that, coupled with a lot of stress, plus hormonal changes has meant that I’m carrying a little more weight than I used to.

Side note, things have gotten a lot better, and I’m finally getting to a good place, but part of me is now wondering if it will stay this good. I’m nervous to keep hoping that it will, but that’s another story for another day.

Anyway, when I was looking at the picture, all I could see were thighs and my bum and the fact that I don’t look like I did 10 years ago when I was running 3 to 5 miles a day and wasn’t juggling a full household. All I could see was that I wasn’t as skinny as I used to be.

I’m thinking that maybe we all could’ve used some major warnings on all of the magazines from back in the day. All those pictures and commercials of what was supposed to be the beautiful and socially acceptable way women were supposed to look that flooded into our brains left something there that I can’t quite shake.

I can’t believe that I put in so much work to stay mentally healthy now, yet I’m still plagued with these ideas in my head that I should be thinner.

If only those warnings had come when we were young girls.

Still, I’m trying to focus on all the good things. My health. My relatively young age; oh, I’m still young, according to the 85-year-old student I helped the other day!

Anyway, this is something I carry, and I’m guessing others carry it too. I wanted to share it with you.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

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