By Russian or Croatian standards I didn't grow up in a Russian/Croatian household. Well math those standards! By MY standards I did. There are some parts that mesh very closely with traditional mind sets. Living in Sacramento you bump into a lot of Russians and the one topic that seemed to be similar hands down was food and weight. This is how it works in, what seems like, most eastern european homes. If you eat too much and get fat, or plump or curvy or whatever you want to call it Baba will say something like this, " oh you've been eating a lot lately?" or some indirect snide remark about being fatter. Or in the case of when I was 18 call you just plain fat. Don't get me wrong, I love her and dismiss this as cultural. Baba wont be the last one to say something if you are looking skinny (this is not typically a good thing in Baba's mind... Following still?). I tell you though, the moment you are looking slimmer (or not, it really doesn't matter) this woman will offer you every speck of food she has in the house. Refusal is NOT an option. You take a lot or a little. Shane can very much vouch for this. Upon first meeting Baba I recall begging him to take something or she would never stop offering.
Thats where it started. Believe that body image is genetic. This Baba tactic was used on my mom and so it was used on me. I can bet you it was used on my Baba and my Dida and all my family. Boys however don't seem to get it as much. As a result of all this negative body image mess I was born (or rather my self loathing was). I can't name a single day in which I felt good about myself. I have fluctuated weight all my life. Not to mention I didn't have the easiest growing spurts as a youth. No one ever told me to love myself no matter the size of my jeans or what the scale said. I don't think anyone around me knew to say anything like that. So now, as a 25 year old woman, I do nothing but pick myself apart. Every time I look in the mirror, or at a picture, or anything! I try not to focus on scales (I weigh myself maybe three times a year!). I sure as hell try to ignore the number on the clothes I'm trying on. Buy what fits (thats a struggle).
How am I supposed to successfully go into a store, especially since women's sizing is completely inconsistent, and not walk out feeling terrible!? There is a place in me that is screaming, " this is wrong! Size 10, 4, 6, 8 it doesn't matter!!! Like, no LOVE, the body you have. Its OTHER PEOPLE making you feel bad and FAT!" But there is an overwhelming voice thats had years of hold on me saying, " you really need to run more (which is totally true)" "You should watch what you eat more" "your thighs need to be slimmer" "you can't wear that your stomachs not flat enough". I feel like with this outside societal reinforcement telling us, me, that I need to look a certain way its a loosing battle. I'd have to never buy another magazine, never turn on the TV, and never look on the internet. How do you cut yourself off from society?! I don't know about in other states but California is really bad about it. The "California girl" is so perpetuated!
|Oh, BTW, my good friend Stephanie got married. Yaaay!|