A few weeks ago, I was watching the 10th episode of the Amazing Race where the fast forward called for the contestants
to shave their heads. The team who pulled this coveted gem chose not to use the fast-forward, which would have brought them to the top of the line.
Why did they not use it?
The female member of the team could not reconcile shaving her head because she had spent $500.00 on hair extensions.
I have been thinking about that choice quite extensively.
Here we have a woman who is an amazing athlete. She has survived for 10 episodes and has undertaken and conquered tasks that she could not have even imagined doing just a few years ago.
BUT how does she see herself?
She sees herself as the woman with a big nose and a need hair for extensions to look pretty.
As the whole world looks on and admires her, she sees nothing more than a big nose and her need for hair extensions.
What kind of message did she have to internalize for her to reflect so microscopically on her gifts? What kind of words had she been exposed to that caused her to digest all the marketing that we women are bombarded with?
I am getting old and much of that marketing no longer applies to me, except that they keep trying to get me to look younger.
I see the younger generation and I cringe at all the unlearning they must do to have a healthy acceptance of self.
I see the toddlers playing with dolls that have more boobs than an Amazon woman, and wonder when they will want their breasts enlarged.
I see all the beautiful celebrities who have undergone plastic surgery only to emerge looking like someone else.
I do not know what we can do as a strong feminine presence to stop this delusion of “what a woman should look like” but I do know that as thinking parents we must start pointing out these atrocities to our kids.
It is easy to think that they’ll figure it out, but will they figure it out before the scars of “not being good enough” make an indelible mark?
I am not saying that I have the answers.
What I do have is lots of trepidation about why, as a society, we are still so focused on outer appearances.
To that Amazing Race contestant, I say:
“honey, you are strong, beautiful and brave. Those things have NOTHING to do with your nose or your hair extensions.”
Oh, and by the way, that guy you are racing with showed the most love and acceptance any one could show under those circumstances. He accepted your decision without any negative comments. He is the poster boy for “support your partner, no matter what.”
Love and light,