I’ve had a great break across summer, heading away from Melbourne and back to South Australia and across further west to Western Australia.
On my trip back home one thing I was starkly aware of is how WHITE Adelaide is. Sure there are way more visibly Aboriginal people there (which I LOVE because you don’t get that as much in Melbourne), but overwhelmingly Adelaide just has loads and loads of White people and not much diversity in cultural demographic make up – such a contrast to Melbourne.
Catching up with mates really confirmed this for me as I realised how the white-skinned-blonde-haired-thin-bodied ideal is still so much the rage in Adelaide*. I’ve gotta say that even though I know I could stand to lose some weight, I’ve never really had too many issues with confidence based on my appearance – I reckon I’m pretty alright and I try not to compare myself to others. However, there are times when I have compared myself to others and my confidence has wavered. I’ve gotta say that more recently, it’s been when the partners of friends are these thin blonde white women. Not that there’s anything wrong with that at all – these women are lovely and gorgeous and obviously there is love and compatibility there between the couples. I think it’s more the underlying current in society that tells us that the ideal woman is thin, generally blonde and generally white OR that they are women of colour who are hyper sexualised with big titties and big booties (e.g. Kim Kardashian, Beyoncé, Shakira, Salma Hayek, that actress from Modern Family whose name I can’t remember, etc.) when conversely I am a modestly dressed woman of colour.
When I visited New York City in 2009, one of the things I noticed there was how I was appreciated physically by the men there (in a non-sleazy way, because as an Asian female, trust me it can get very sleazy). In Adelaide, where I was living at the time, I went largely unnoticed and unappreciated. It was always white girls who dressed in the same cookie-cutter outfits showing off all their assets who got noticed, not me – so it was really nice to see that as a covered woman of colour I was appreciated in a respectful way.
Anyway, the point is, I really hope to quash my last shred of insecurity about my appearance. Sure I want to lose weight for health reasons, and an added bonus is that I will probably look ‘better’ as I will be thinner, but I would like to think that at the end of the day, no matter what, I would be happy to be me, in my skin.
And really though, it IS ultimately about societal shift in what constitutes beauty. Beauty comes from within, being comfortable in your own skin, being true to yourself, dressing up and looking good for your own sake not for others and understanding that bleaching your skin, losing weight, growing taller, dying your hair lighter, putting your ass and titties out and about – none of that is going to help you if you don’t think you are beautiful on the inside.
Peace, love and beauty…
* I suppose on some level it is in Melbourne too, but as I said before, in Melbourne, I live in a bubble of like-minded people and networks.