Sunday, February 24, 2008

Senior Year Crush

I recently found a high school classmate via FaceBook. It's funny, the first thing I thought to tell him was how I had a crush on him in High School. Why would I pass that information to him at this stage in our lives? I'm happily married now and its quite inappropriate behavior for a married woman. However the deed is done.

Senior Year. It was a windy day. I had a hat on. My best friend Naomi and I were standing on the 2nd floor balcony of a building. I see "JC" walking toward us. Naomi, of course, knows about my school girl crush and snatches my hat off my head and throws it down. It lands right in front of JC and Naomi tells him, "Hey JC, can you bring Neena's hat for her?" Then she whacks me to go and meet him in the stairwell. He smirks at me and picks up the hat. I'm like ON FIRE with embarrassment. I was so self-conscious. I giggle thinking about it now.

We were just kids then. We're all grown up now. I had wondered what he'd been up to all these years. He's single, never been married, no kids and still waiting on the perfect woman.

He was really quiet in high school. Shy, mysterious, really talented. I wish I had asked him to the prom or something. Lord knows that my senior prom left much to be desired. If I could do it over again, he and I would have gone on at least one date. After college, he picked up and moved to Chicago. I hear he has family there. Now he's in Korea teaching English or something. He's doing well. It was great to run into him on Facebook.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Naked: The Show

I have fallen in love with Carson Kressley! Don't worry my husband knows about my obsession with Carson Kressley. LOL... Carson is the host of the new Lifetime Network TV Show, How To Look Good Naked. The show is still brand new and I've only seen a few episodes but I'm hooked. Also, Oprah dedicated an entire episode to the show. That guarantees FULL exposure.

Each episode follows the same basic template::
1. Woman stands amid some mirrors to examine her body. The woman points out everything she hates. It's almost always a given that the woman will be emotionally connected to her perception of self and will shed tears of insecurity. Carson points out all of her strengths.
2. The womans body is plastered on a billboard where random people on the street comment on the woman on the billboard.
3. Carson introduces a panel of women of several different sizes dressed in undergarments only. The panel of women are standing in numerical order according to size. Carson asks the woman to find her place according to size just based on her perception of self. Like clockwork, the woman always chooses several sizes bigger than she is.
4. Bra / Underwear fitting... this ALWAYS goes off well.
5. Fashion makeover with Carson... this is where the woman is absolutely floored at how fashion can really change how she feels and carries herself.
6. Hair and makeup... by this time, in a matter of days the womans perception of self has improved several times over.
7. A nude photo shoot.
8. The final, crowning event -- the sexy photo is on a billboard and the woman must ask random people, "How do I look naked?"

I am extremely connected to the show, as I'm sure many women are, because of my own struggle toward loving my reflection. I don't actually remember the exact moment that I fell in love with me. I just know that I love ME now but that was not always the case.

I believe my family had a lot to do with my perception of self. I remember many women in my family telling me, as a child, that I was so big; that I would be so much prettier if I were skinny. I held on to that for so long and it creeps up from time to time. I also used to link my "bigness" with power. As if my size proved me more powerful than someone smaller. Many of these issues contributed to my self-esteem or lack of it. I had zero confidence when I was younger even though I was quite popular.

I struggled with my body image in a society that seemed to worship the non-shapeless creatures of European descent. I was neither. I remember once, my mother telling me that I'd have an easier time in life if I were thinner. She projected such a limited belief onto me at a tender, impressionable age.

Obviously, my mother was a petite woman. 5'1", 120lbs on her wedding day. On my wedding day I was 5'5", 220lbs. The last time I weighed under 200 lbs was before my freshman year in high school. And the thing is, I don't think I would have thought anything of my extra weight if she hadn't said anything, on so many different occasions. I think the baby fat would have melted away naturally. I played sports, year round. Volleyball all year round except during Track season when I threw the shot put and discus. I was always active.

Here I am nearing 32 and in the past 10 years I have come to TRULY appreciate my reflection. And honestly, I can't say when that moment happened when I fell in love with me. I have always loved my brains and my giving heart -- my body was the heartbreak. Over the years, I've stopped allowing the world, stopped allowing spiteful women, stopped allowing my mother to define BEAUTY for me. I love me, flaws and all. I love my roundness and no one has to validate that except me. I'm the one that counts. My opinion on me is what matters. How could I fully learn to love anyone else until I fell in love with me?

And the truth is, today, here & now -- I am a vision of beauty, created in the image of the MOST HIGH. How do I look naked?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Basic Questions that Bounce Around in my BRAIN

LEGISLATION / LAWS = Less Crime. True OR False?

Does new legislation mean that crime will go down?

I wonder how many laws and bills and acts have been introduced. How many are passed into law? How many are enforced? How many lives has it changed?

Has it benefited society to have MORE laws?

If we have more laws, do we have less criminals OR more criminals since there are more laws that can be broken?

Do police officers understand the basic rights afforded by the constitution? If the answer is 'No', can they protect my constitutional rights?

Do laws change human behavior? Does the death penalty discourage murderers? Are there punishments harsh enough?

If States are privatizing their jail systems, does that mean that the private jail industry is ENCOURAGING crime... just so they can stay in business? Is the BLACK Male their target "consumer"?