The Image Idol

It is touted that America is the land of the free

but what if our chains were a different bondage,

a prison in the mind by media voices?

Fat, skinny, short, tall,

alert and agitated,

worked and weary

and a cycle of words stamping stereotypes on placid faces.

Inadequate.

Pregnancy glow, or so it is glorified,

but the stark reality rings a different tune.

Everyday a person is commenting on your growth, the baby’s (babies) growth.

Your body is a red carpet seemingly beckoning commentary.

When silence or excitement is most appreciated

there seems to be a running wheel of unsolicited advice,

care schematics,

and opinions regarding dress to behaviors, as pregnant women and new mothers.

Forgive me for my part in the haughty, judgemental roles.

The bigger I get and the longer I’m parenting,

I’m learning that the fool opens the mouth and spews uninformed critiques.

I’m taking a lesson from my introverted spouse

and finding freedom from fatuous fallacy.

Now if only I can find safe haven from the constant analysis of my ever increasing rotund bodice.

My pregnancy did not issue a license to study my body.

Why the sudden interest?

You didn’t care to notice this petite girl before, why now?

So please, go back to your own affairs

and let my belly grow without your constant comments, however seemingly innocent they may appear to you.

*It seems that we aren’t supposed to comment on people’s shapes unless a woman is pregnant and then it is fair game, even permissible, to study and critique her body everyday.  Perhaps maybe the constant analysis of a woman’s body, sadly sexualizing it, is a daily occurrence here.  Apparently, vanity/ physical aesthetics is a sin enshroud with acceptance and admiration in this country and we don’t even realize that this sin, this idol, is holding us captive.*

—So often I write unscripted (read: unedited) here.  As such, the flow isn’t always the best.  I do welcome criticisms on how to write better.  I find I can edit better when I receive input on how to do so from my audience.

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4 Replies to “The Image Idol”

  1. I understand Kelly! It can be so frustrating and demeaning to receive these comments, especially in the emotionally vulnerable seasons of pregnancy and parenting newborns. I just try to stand up for myself when necessary and focus on how to better treat others in similar positions. May we not forget what it felt like to be here as we age. Sometimes I feel like when those commenting on our bodies or our babies are older women they are passing on to us the way they were treated in our positions, almost like a generational hazing. May these disrespectful cultural patterns end with us.

  2. Good post, and something I think about for when/if we decide to have kids. I know the constant, un-asked-for commentary and advice will exhaust me.

    As for writing/editing: I find that my best editing technique is to write a blog post and then leave it for a while (at least a couple hours, but more likely a couple days) and then come back to it with fresh eyes. It means that I hardly ever write something and post it immediately, but I think it’s a process that works for me anyway.

  3. Yeah, I think the stuff that exhausts me the most is hearing it from co-workers or family since I see them the most. (As I’m sure you can tell from other posts.)

    That’s a good technique. Thanks. 🙂

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