8 minute writing prompt: Billboards
The Arizona freeways have very few billboards. I like that. When I travel through Utah I see a lot of billboards for plastic surgery for some reason. When I travel through Las Vegas I see a lot of women who have already had plastic surgery in very small outfits trying to advertise the casinos and shows. Women's bodies, when I come to think of it, occupy a lot of space in advertising.
I have such mixed and complicated feelings about how much space women's bodies should occupy in our collective economy, space, and conversation. Although I think it has become more complicated to be a male recently, I still think those expectations pale in comparison to being a woman. Women think about their bodies, food, clothing sizes, desirability, beauty products, and ways they can control all of these things to an astonishing degree. Wraps, eye creams, Botox, vitamins, vaginoplasty, waxes, steams, tucks, tattoo makeup, and implants. Weight watchers, Jenny Craig, Nutri-System, Diet Center, LA Weightloss, Curves, Modified Starving Fast, and fricking Slim Fast. Think about all the ways we keep women occupied. And broke.
I have dieted, lasered, surgically altered, starved, and binged. I have purchased expensive creams meant to make me immortal. I bought the spanx, drank the lemon with cayenne, and did more than one water aerobics class into the night.
And you know what? I still occupy way too much space. And I still don't occupy the right proportion of space to ever be one of the women on the Billboard.
Sometimes I think maybe that's something to be grateful for.
And sometimes I re-read my copy of intuitive eating again and just try to get it right.