I got the idea to showcase this week’s song from two awesome people on Twitter that I follow. For those of you who haven’t heard the latest controversy, there was a horrible article written that basically says people who are overweight should feel ashamed of themselves. This isn’t all that is said and it’s a grossly understated statement, so I urge you to read the responding article written about by the amazing Jenny Trout. She outlines what is said and responds to it, way better than I could.
Anyway, I got the idea for the song for today’s Friday Fusion, from Katie, (@Katiebabs on twitter). She noted in a tweet:
Linda Kelsey should watch the music video for You & I by John Legend for some perspective https://t.co/Vht73Sabsd
— Katiebabs (@katiebabs) July 11, 2014
I’d always loved this song, but I’m not much of a video watcher. Not since MTV stopped airing videos. So when she tweeted the link to the video and I wateched it, well, holy hell. This makes me love the song even more. Here is that video, embedded for your viewing (and listening) pleasure:
The article and blog post I mention, and this video, segues nicely to a blog post I read discussing lack of diversity by Marquetta at Loves to Read For Fun. She talked about the lack of older heroines and heroines who embrace sex and are unapologetic about having it and liking it, among other items we don’t often see in romance (or, really, anywhere). It’s a great post and I even ranted a bit in my own comment. I urge you to read this, as well. I’m going to continue my rant a bit here because that’s how fired up I am over all this craziness about weight, size and sameness not only in books, but in the world. I never (or rarely) rant. But something triggered this and I can’t not rant. I need to get it out so I hope you’ll bear with me.
My big thing is, why the heck are people so hung up on looks? Still? In 2014? Why can’t we embrace diversity in everything? And why must people be so judgey (I know this isn’t an actual word, but I’m using it anyway), about weight and size? Why must we all strive to live up to a set of standards that are set by…well, hell…I don’t even know who they are set by! The media? The public? The fashion industry? Hollywood? Aliens? I mean, who the fuck are they, already?
Cause whoever they are and me, well we need to have a sit down…
When it comes to weight or size or whatever you want to call it, why do people care so much? Don’t tell me it’s a “health” thing, because someone calling someone a fat ass or mocking them or shaming them for their weight isn’t a concern for health. That’s just cruelty for cruelty’s sake. I’m not a size 6. And I never will be. I have hips, and ass, and apparently, curves in the wrong places, wherever those are. But you know what? I’m sick and tired of being judged for it. I’m ME! And if people don’t like me because I’m not a perfect size or weight, or have a scar that will be with me forever, or wear glasses, or have plain brown hair, or just normal green eyes, well, you know what? FUCK ‘EM!
I’m done with peoples’ so called ‘health’ concerns over this. It’s not health. Judgey people just don’t want to look at something they don’t find attractive in their judgey, cruel world. Well, guess what, assholes, I don’t find your judgey-ness attractive. So, fuck you.
And this brings me to the mini-rant I had on Marquetta’s post: I noted that women in books (romance in particular) don’t often have scars, or at least they aren’t pointed out often. And I don’t want them dwelled on, but seeing a woman with scar on her forehead from a fall off a bike when she was 8, or one of her chest from when she had major life saving surgery? (Gemma on SOA has this, and it doesn’t make her less bad ass or beautiful. Oh, and btw, I have one too-just like Gemma’s. And it doesn’t make me not beautiful!) I also weigh more than I should, but guess what? I walk 3-5 times a week and do bootcamp. So yeah, people who want to shame me for being what you consider ‘fat’, I get off my fat ass and work-out! Try not to be so shocked and disgusted to think of me, in my fatty clothes, at the gym, being healthy but not the size and weight YOU want me to be!
Which brings me back to the John Legend video. I cried watching it. A lot. Like big, sobbing cries. When I saw the cancer survivor? I cried, because that is similar to my mom’s scars. And those scars don’t make her less beautiful. When I saw the young girl with the birth mark on her face–that doesn’t make her less because she doesn’t fit into the ‘flawless skin’ category. And the pretty blonde who some assholes would call ‘heavy’? I think she’s gorgeous. I think each and every one of those people is beautiful because they’re themselves. They’re unique. And they deserve to be loved for who they are, not what they look, or don’t look, like.
So whether it’s age, weight, scars, curves where they should or shouldn’t be, hair color, eye color, glasses, no glasses, breasts or lack thereof, or whatever, let’s see more acceptance of all of it. And more of it in the books we read and write. As a writer myself, I am going to push myself to do just that. I want to see a character with a scar like mine. Or my mom’s. I want to see women who struggle with the mean people of the world judging them for their jean size and then I want to see those women embracing that jean size, whether it’s a 4 or a 24. And I want to see women of all shapes, ages, and sizes enjoying sex and wanting more of it. And I want to see them falling in love, and being loved.
I want to see, finally, the people who love these women, no matter that woman’s size, age, shape, skin color, scars, eye color, hair color, breast size, etc. I want to see those people love these women just for the simple reason that they are strong, awesome, wonderful, caring, fantastic, sweet, wild, sexy, amazing individuals.
And you know what, seeing a hero who isn’t perfect -visually- wouldn’t be a bad thing either.
I’m sorry, but not sorry, for this rant. And I know it’s all over the place, and might not make complete sense. But I’m angry. And yelling and raging as I type is better than letting women like that Linda chick, or anyone else like her, make me cry. I’m done crying.
Oh, and by the way, as Marquetta mentions on her blog, go get Fanning the Flames by Victoria Dahl. It is, in my opinion, an epic novella that I will read over and over again for the simple reason that the hero and heroine are over 40 and…wait for it…want to have s-e-x!! Oh my god, nooooo! The world is ending! They have sex, they like it, and dear god, they want to have more of it!
Well, hell yeah they do. And I know that I’m all the happier about that. And if you too want to read about such a horrid, disgusting, amazingly hot and delicious thing, well you can get it FREE (at the time of this posting anyway. Check the price BEFORE you one click, you dirty, dirty reader!). Here are the links:
I must be a horrible individual for wanting heroines who don’t all look the same,are over 30 (and even better if over 35 or 40), have lots of dirty, awesome sex, have scars *gasp!*, and aren’t, in a word, perfect. Well, then I embrace my horribleness with gusto, damn it.
Have a great weekend everyone and feel free to comment about the issues I’ve brought up (or even just the song I’ve picked for this week’s post) in the comments!