By Guest Blogger, Mary Schmidt, Marketing Troubleshooter
Following on Yvonne's post last week, The Power of A Woman's Face
I admit - I look at "stars without makeup" photos on occasion. Most of whom look like normal, pretty people on their day off. And, I'd certainly hate to have people taking shots of me shuffling out - in my bathrobe, flip-flops and Clark Kent glasses - to get the paper off the driveway every morning.
Like Yvonne, as I've gotten older I've gotten more comfortable. At one time, I would never, ever have left the house without my full make-up. These days, my daily routine is often simply slathering on moisturizer and - if I'm feeling a bit fancy - a bit of eyeliner and mascara. And, if I'm tired, the contacts stay in the case. Staring at a computer screen makes for dry eyeballs; you feel like you've put the lens in with super glue...about two days ago.
So, the world-shaking "news" that Hillary Clinton appeared without makeup and in her glasses was less than shakin' for me. I can relate. And, as I noted on Yvonne's post, Ms. Clinton looks like she does a great job of moisturizing (No mean feat given how much she flies...After a full day of flying I look like an extra from The Mummy Returns.)
However, there's a big difference between "comfortable" and "sloppy." As Ms. Clinton well knows. She looked professional and put together in those photos, albeit a bit tired and wan. Personally, I'd be sitting in a chair, in a bathrobe, guzzling a 'tooni if I'd put in her hours...but I digress...
We can be ourselves without - as we say down south - lettin' ourselves go. For example, one reason that I avoid Wal-Mart - aside from their corporate policies - is the shoppers. Need an appetite suppressant? Visit The People of Walmart. (Warning: Today's featured photo is particularly awful.) Snarky and all that...but these are real people who go out in public, literally exposing themselves for all to (glag and gag) see.
I think it's great if we women are comfortable with our real faces and bodies, given the totally unrealistic standards set by the media. HOWEVER, (and yes, I'm yelling just a bit), fat is not healthy, as proven again and again in medical studies and statistics. Morbid obesity is really not healthy. And - no, thanks, really, Walmart people - I don't want to look at you in skin-tight short shorts. (Seriously? How can that even be comfortable???)
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than two-thirds of Americans are overweight, and a third, some 72 million people, are considered obese. From 1980 to 2008, obesity rates doubled for adults and tripled for children, with 17 percent, or 9 million children over 6, classified as obese.
The average American is 23 pounds heavier than the ideal body weight. Experts blame the usual bugaboos: lack of exercise and side-splitting food consumption.
"There's definitely a new norm," said Dr. Robert Kushner, clinical director of the Northwestern Comprehensive Center on Obesity at Northwestern University in Illinois. "It's a norm that, 'My entire family and my community is overweight, and that's what I am.' "
Certainly, many of us are carrying a few extra pounds as we age,or what we have - um - has moved around a bit...but we should also have a bit of discretion, self-awareness - and - yes - good old-fashioned self-respect. (There's a reason nobody's seen my hips since about 2005.) The other day, I couldn't go through a double-wide door at the same time as another person because we both wouldn't fit...and I wasn't the problem, middle-aged hips and all. Wouldn't that make you stop and think, hey, maybe I need to drop a few pounds? (And not circle the parking lot for 1/2 an hour to get the spot closest to the door? Just sayin'.)
Now, I've got to head out for my power walk, so I'm not one of the "new normal."