Friday, April 6, 2012

Size Only Matters to the Blind

Awhile back I posted a poem dedicated to my kids titled ; More Than Skin. Lately, the subject of superficialism seems to be a recurring thing in my everyday life. Let me explain a bit. When I was a teen I spent some time living on the streets. Something happens to your view of the world when you see it through the eyes of hunger. No matter how many years pass, how many degrees you obtain, how high you climb, you never forget that look.
As a parent I see it in a different way. I am unfortunately a size zero. Yes, I said unfortunate, wait before you judge. My daughter is still growing. She is at that beautifully awkward in between stage where one part of her body is trying to catch up with the other. She flatters me because she wants to be like me. But she doesn't see the world through my eyes.
She thinks being called names goes away once you're thin. She's wrong. The world around us only sees the surface. They look at me and think I'm anorexic, on drugs, superficial. I frequently get comments like;you need to eat more, don't go out in the wind you'll blow away, a fly could land on your ass and kick it.
People don't bother finding out anything about me they judge. They do it to everyone; subconsciously. Try this for an experiment if you don't believe me. Put an army duffle on your back, dress in the rattiest jeans and shredded tee you can find and stand on a corner. Don't beg for money or anything just stand there. I guarantee someone will laugh, someone will turn their head like if they look at you they will instantly become poor, someone will cuss you, and maybe, someone like me will stop and ask your story.
Give a bum a suit and a shave and the world suddenly respects him.
My question is why? Why as humans do we judge the value of a life with anything other than life?
We do. As a society, we do. On paper, we say a heartbeat is valuable but walking through the streets in a daily we only see skin.
Take off your blinders look a person in the eyes and listen to their words before you ever weigh their value. Maybe you will see something spectacular, maybe you will change a life. It will probably be your own.
We are more than the skin we are in. Skinny, fat, in between, straight, curvy. Whatever it is, just a shell that time changes. Why not look beyond it?
For me, if you fail to see beyond what I am wearing any given day, I understand it's your loss. I will not judge you or even dislike you. I fear that your loss may someday affect my kids. Because your actions become your children's actions. I hope mine have learned to look beyond labels, color, size, to see the value life. But I know once they leave me they are surrounded by a world of surface. Please stop the hate. Look deeper. Help change the world for the better. Not for me, for them.
Imagine a world beyond skin.

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