Saturday, November 18, 2006

The C Word and Laugh Lines and Diets, Oh MY!

Got the stitches out Thursday, and the scar is not hugely noticeable, though I'm still swollen and sore around the incision site. Turns out the large nodule was totally benign, but they did find a very small papillary carcinoma in one of the smaller nodules on the left side. The good news, according to my doctor is that this type of cancer is extremely curable, and in many cases no other treatment is necessary beyond the thyroidectomy. But he also wants to talk about doing the radioactive iodine follow up (which would probably happen after the first of the year) so it looks like I might not be done yet. Still, it's not chemo.

I went back to my old hair stylist today to get a cut. I just haven't liked the last two cuts I've had from the new stylist, though he is a genius with color and highlights. Michael is quite an interesting guy; he also has a "day job" working in the entertainment industry, but still cuts hair on Saturdays for a few clients. Anyhow we talked about our dogs (he and his partner are into competing with their dogs in agility events) and about our jobs and the industry in general. He kept talking and cutting and talking and cutting and now my hair is very short. Cute, but very short. At one point the sun was pouring in through the front window of the salon and beating down right on us. In that light I looked in the mirror and noticed that I'm developing some very defined laugh lines around my eyes. I really like that.

I occasionally check in on Big Fat Blog and this morning followed a link to this exceptional post at Tiny Cat Pants about dieting and beauty and suffering. I remember reading somewhere not so long ago a comment that fetishization of thinness and beauty is really a fetishization of female suffering, and on some levels that really rings true. Extreme thinness, high heels, boobs that look like beach balls...none of these come without some pain or at least discomfort. How many of us grew up hearing "you have to suffer for beauty", or in the words of another hairdresser friend of mine, "beauty isn't pretty". Anyhow the thing that always strikes me about blog entries or articles anywhere on the internet that talk about quitting dieting (especially when that discussion is within a feminist framework) is that three kinds of commenters always show up. First is the "yeah-well-men-have-impossible-standards-to-live-up-to,-too!" contingent. Second is the "you're-all-just-a-bunch-of-lazy-fatasses-who-are-ugly/hate-men/have-let-yourself-go-and-are-unhealthy-and-if-I-can-lose-80-lbs-anyone-can" representatives. This group especially strikes me as rather self-hating, because they're so locked into the "I willingly suffer, therefore I am superior to you" mindset. (I've found that the need in people to feel superior to others often masks a low opinion of themselves.) That group also doesn't seem to understand that other people may have different life circumstances and challeges that don't leave room for getting up at 6am to walk for an hour, or shopping daily for fresh organic produce, or spending hours at a time at the gym. They are quick to assign moral judgement on others who they believe don't live up to their rigorous standards. Then there are the "but-beauty-is-POWER-and-I'm-so-much-happier-since-I-got-my-boob-job-I-DID-IT-FOR-ME!" commenters. To which my standard response is that the only "power" inherent in "beauty" is the power to attract and appease those who hold the real power. Sure, the world is a far kinder place to those (women especially) who fit the current standards of attractiveness. But any power that can be taken away with the first sign of a laugh line or a sagging jowl or a bit of flab around the middle, is no power at all. I'd been working on a long post about my own history with food and weight obsession, but it bores me to tears to read it these days, so I won't subject you all to those ruminations. Suffice it to say that I spent many, many years dieting, bingeing, gaining and losing weight, and have finally come to some kind of equilibrium. I have a healthy diet (with a small "d"), my weight is within a healthy range and stable, and I've accepted the fact that I will probably always want to be thinner than I am. I can live with that.


Blogger Maya's Granny said...

So glad that everything with the operation seems mostly ok.

I read that post on Tiny Cat Pants and was also shaking my head at the comments some folk make. I think that they are like the most vocal of any group -- not too sure of their own "faith" and so needing to convert others.

12:12 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home