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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Loving Your Body... It's Dapper and Dreamy

A good reason to gain weight...  The Aga Khan got
his weight in gold every year!
Don't worry, Dapper and Dreamy hasn't moved into a new and shocking realm.  Additionally, we still stand by our promise not to preach about anything but, well, dapper and dreamy things.  Having said that, we certainly do want to encourage people to live happy and fulfilling lives and, to that end, we wanted to take a moment to talk about an issue that seems to be before us each and every day.

Our local weekly entertainment newspaper recently ran an issue highlighting the topic of "loving your body".  And, as usual, many of the articles dealt with how to have less of a body to love.  More and more, the focus on "health" and living up to the ideal is being thrust upon us.  We seem to live in a world where the greatest compliment we can pay one another is, "You look like you've lost some weight!".  Well, I say that it's time to stop this nonsense.

In a recent conversation with someone near and dear (I'm not mentioning you by name, mom), I was happily going on about how, after many years, I've finally been able to accept that there are just some things I'm probably not going to do, and that was just fine.  One of the things I mentioned was that I was unlikely to lose 50 pounds.  The response, after a very pregnant pause?  "Well, you could..."  Now, I am sure that no offense was intended, and only a very little was taken, but even I couldn't afford to lose 50 pounds (rrrright mom???) and, even if I did, would it really change my life for the better?  I'm not sure, but I doubt it.  Even as a somewhat younger and thinner version of myself, I wasn't particularly impressed with my appearance and, knowing myself, taking away one area of concern will only open up room for others.

I believe that it was Kate Moss who said, "Nothing tastes better than thin...", or something similar.  Well, I'm willing to bet that Kate hasn't tasted the new Peanut Butter Bash at Dairy Queen.  The fact is, there's far more to health, beauty and fitness than the number on the scale or what size your waist is.  If we were to add up all the minutes we've spent worrying about things like our receding hairlines, our crow's feet our our ever expanding midsections, imagine the books we could have written or read, the music we could have played or enjoyed and the people whose company we might have enjoyed.  Even more depressing, for many of us, is that our constant concern rarely equals measurable results. 

What fun it would be to look in the mirror and count all of the positive things we see...  What are our best features?  Why not play them up instead of consistently highlighting those things that (almost) all of us would like to change.  In reality, our bodies are miracles in action.  Imagine all of the minuscule things that must work properly to keep us upright!  Our bodies, regardless of their size or relative attractiveness, are works of art.  And, imagine how our children would be impacted if we consistently sent that message.

Lest you think that this is a purely feminine issue, take a look at the covers of men's magazines.  Believe me, we're inundated with the same messages of perfection as you are and, if we listen, it can be awfully depressing.  Waist size, chest size and six-pack abs...  I'm a long way from perfection.  Or, am I?  Just who is the idiot who set up this idea that we should all be excruciatingly thin, perpetually buff and endlessly tanned?  And, given that more than 90% of the population doesn't fit this description, why are we buying into it?  It's just sad to hear so many perfectly wonderful people go on about how "fat" they are, how old they're looking or how desperately they need some major surgical intervention to be presentable.

Here's what I think, and it's only my opinion...  life is too short to spend so much time worrying about every inch and pound.  Yes, be healthy!  Yes, eat well and exercise!  But do it for the joy of it, not for some unattainable and scurrilous goal of "perfection".  Success is far more than the number on the scale or the label on your trousers.  Here at Dapper and Dreamy, we like you just the way you are.  Being dapper and dreamy means taking what you've got and using it to your best advantage.  It means having confidence in yourself and using that confidence to enrich the lives of others.  Be interesting, be funny, be kind, be charming!  Would you rather spend a few hours with someone devastatingly handsome but deadly dull, or someone rather homely but endlessly fascinating?  And, take heart, most of us are too busy worrying about our own lacklustre appearance to even consider what anyone else looks like.

So, next time you want to pay someone a real compliment, why not comment on their kindness, their friendliness, the color of their eyes, their parenting ability, their fabulous style...  any one of a thousand things that really highlight what makes them special.

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