This week's Five Star Friday is brought to you by the incredible relationship between a woman and her dog, breast cancer, the sad consequence of fat shaming, sex selective abortion, the pressure to be superficially beautiful, life's strange balance, appearance-based discrimination, a wealthy volunteer, and Margaret Atwood:
A word after a word after a word is power.
— Margaret Atwood
The woman must have faith her dog will return with the ball. She trusts her companion to be loyal, smart and patient, understanding and I suppose that is the most any of us can hope for.
We had to wait for the mammography results.
For those of you blissfully ignorant, the technicians that manhandle, flatten, and take x-rays of your boobs don’t read the films. We had to wait for the radiologist to read the films and then report back to the surgeon who did my original exam.
And wait we did.
We have no idea how many people hide, understandably afraid to be judged, bullied or harassed, because of the way fat shame has been permitted in its many guises. Alert the CDC: there’s a Shame Epidemic out there, let me tell you, and it's a killer.
What would banning sex selective abortion mean for the people – many of whom identify as women themselves – who already exist in a culture or household where they themselves are devalued? What would it mean for the baby girls they were forced to birth?
I was weeping for that woman, every woman who denies or cannot see her own beauty, for every teenager who stands in front of his or her mirror and wants to hide. How do any of us truly claim our own version of beautiful? What happens to our girls and boys after the unabashed delight of playing dress-up ends and self-consciousness sets in? What lifelong expectations are set up when everything around us is idealized and falsified?
These are strange days indeed. The Washington Nationals are going to the playoffs with the best record in the league. I can almost see the white horse from here.
Two days ago my cousin lost his wife. She died in her sleep. We don't know what happened. They also have an eight-year-old daughter. She no longer has a mother and nobody can even say why. Things don't make sense anymore.
Oppression hurts all human beings. It hurts civilization itself, which requires the contribution of many and diverse people to remain strong and to grow in sophisticated and sustainable ways. Oppression effectively prevents, or marginalizes, certain people's contributions to society, often based on nothing more than a surface characteristic. It squanders their talents, lives, health, intelligence, and humanity by arbitrarily deciding that, because they look a certain way or their body does or doesn't do certain things, they are simply not good enough.
It was complicated, watching this deeply weathered parade file past me. It's always embarrassing to be plainly revealed as spoiled beyond redemption. This might be why I often avoid situations in which my relative wealth is painfully, awkwardly obvious, to the point that I want to apologize for it, as if anyone is really interested in making me feel better about the privilege that I am sheepish about but not particularly eager to give up — as if they can really be expected to empathize with my dime-a-dozen, middle-class journey in which I perpetually wish I could find a way to be a better person, but without all that inconvenient personal sacrifice.
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