The Way We Look


“Look upon the world with loving eyes and the reflection everyone sees will contain love.” 

― Bryant McGill


A: Yes, I went to their house to meet her.

B: Did you see her children?

A: It was late by the time I got to their house. So only the oldest one was awake. The youngest is just 3 months old.

B: Now that she has three children, is she fat?

I interrupted in an exasperated tone, ‘How does that even matter? She’s just had a child!’

Later that evening, as I kept playing that conversation in my head, it hit me: it’s things like these that make even a five-year-old child have body image issues.

A meerkat crowned for its looks by fellow meerkat judges, leaving out other animals
Photo Credit: Jeanne Masar via Compfight cc

Why?

Because when we define a woman by the way she looks, when we use words like “fat”, “too thin”, “sexy eyes”, “big nose”, “chunky thighs”, “ugly”, “big boobs”, “pretty”,  we are reducing her entire existence to be the sum total of her body parts, labelling each, as if she’s a specimen to be dissected. We are telling her that it doesn’t matter if she’s brilliant, smart and intelligent, it doesn’t matter if she’s talented, if she has a successful career she loves, if she’s kind and generous, it doesn’t even matter if she’s a good human being, because her one sole purpose in life is to fall within the purview of what others consider to be “beautiful”. And let’s be clear here, it’s physical beauty we are after. Whoever cares about what’s on the inside? The heart and the mind are just organs to keep us alive, right?

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