Women Have Vaginas…and Other Facts Body Shamers Don’t Know

In today’s “stating the obvious” news I’d like to talk about this epidemic of body shaming, how some people think it’s ok to comment on women’s bodies whether they’re celebrities, just some regular person on the internet or the person standing five feet from you. I don’t like when it happens to men either but women definitely get the brunt of the criticism. Recently another woman was called names online for a picture of herself in a bikini because people saw she had, wait for it…CELLULITE.

Here’s the thing, saying women have cellulite or that they’ve gained weight after having a baby is like saying women have VAGINAS, yes because they’re women, it goes with the territory. All women have cellulite, on some women it’s less visible but we all have it. And baby weight, maybe if you’re genetically inclined you lose it quickly but that’s not the norm for most women. Pointing stuff like that out is like when you have a pimple and someone comments on it. Gee thanks I didn’t see that thing on my FACE until you had to so generously remind me it was there, thank you.

Here are some other shocking facts about women, we also fart, burp and poop. We’re human beings, not robots. I also think that men and boys should be able to cry and show emotion when they’re hurt instead of how our society shames them into bottling their feelings. They’re human too, and not robots, and raising generations of males filled with rage because we expect them to deny their emotions has really turned out well for society…but that’s another issue for another day. For the people who like to point out what they see as flaws in others, here are some other things that are factual like cellulite: the sky is blue, grass is green, it’s cold in the winter, hot in the summer…you get the idea.

I’ve been very thin my whole life and have been asked questions over the years like “Do you eat?” Really? No, I just happen to magically exist, like a unicorn. My point is this, no matter what you look like someone will always have something to say about it, even though they shouldn’t. If you want to change because it’s your decision that’s fine but don’t change who you are or what you look like because of something someone mean said to you.

Anyone who feels the need to point out what they see as “negative” in other people needs to look in the mirror and work on their own self esteem. Because people who are confident in themselves don’t feel the need to tear other people down. Here’s a good rule of thumb, it’s what I teach my children. If you have something nice to say about someone’s appearance then by all means compliment them but if you don’t then zip it. If you’re truly concerned about someone’s health you can say something to them but I think there are some rules that should go along with that. First you can’t just be an acquaintance who “means well.” You must actually love the person, have celebrated a birthday with them, something substantial like that. If not refer to my previous rule and zip it. To those of you who always point out the negative, you know who you are, if you learned this behavior because someone in your life said mean things to you, you must now take responsibility for your behavior and change. When you catch yourself about to say something mean, stop and think would you want someone to say that about you or someone you love? I don’t think so. Now go spread some love!

(Find me on Twitter @JennGDonohue)

I Might Tell My Son That Santa Died…

Ok to be honest I’m not really sure if I’m going to tell my son that Santa died but I’m seriously thinking about it. Now hold on, lest you think that I’m a soulless scrooge, let me explain. I don’t know about you but I suffer from L.A.S.G., Lying About Santa Guilt, especially at this time of the year. Christmas happens to be my favorite holiday. I love everything about it from the music to the decorations to the entire spirit of the holiday. I even love the idea of Santa, it’s sweet. As my children have gotten older though, they’re 11 and 7, the lying has had to get more creative and my guilt started to set in.

My daughter found out about Santa earlier this year. I’ll get to the story of how I was so lucky as to be the one to crush her little spirit a little later on. And yes I think I may need therapy now.

My son started his Christmas list this year by being obsessed with wanting a surfboard. He can’t even swim yet (we’re working on it). He tells us it’s ok though because he doesn’t want to actually go surfing with it, he just wants to play with it in the house. Great! Why not? We can use a huge surfboard in our small house. We’ll get rid of the couch, who needs furniture? So I got to thinking maybe I can tell him that Santa died? Perhaps in a tragic surfing accident? For those of you sick of a certain elf I can say they were together and the elf was eaten by a shark who mistook him for a skinny little seal? Ho, ho, ho, oh noooo! Too harsh? Ok fine.

My son says “I want an iPad and a Nintendo 3DS” and why not, Santa can bring them he tells me. Damn you Santa! How can I argue with that? We’ve told him he exists. We’ve fed the beast. Santa’s freaking magical and he wants to give you exactly what you ask for! So now it’s either rob a bank to buy all of that, and I really don’t think I’d like jail, or I can just tell him that Santa died. Easy, no one gets hurt…or arrested. Well maybe Santa gets hurt but you’re missing the point.

It’s insidious this Santa myth. You don’t realize it’s happening. Before you can even think about if you want to perpetuate it you find yourself sucked in! Before our children can even speak we’re excited for them because Santa is coming! Every year the grandparents ask, friends ask, hell even strangers ask, are you excited for Santa to come? What did you ask Santa for? We go so far as to orchestrate phone calls, letters and video emails to our kids from Santa. We put out cookies, milk and reindeer food. Hell Santa even has a website now where you can see him and the reindeer live!

We use Santa as a bribing tool, be good he’s watching! (slightly creepy that one). Oh it’s all well and good until your kids are really invested in it and then one day the hammer drops and they ask you “the question” (cue the dramatic music) dun, dun dun!

I don’t remember finding out about Santa and being upset, unless I was too traumatized and I’ve blocked it out. I’ll work it out in therapy and get back to you. I think it was just an evolution for me of realizing who was really buying the gifts and I just accepted it. I was a very sensitive child and it seems that quality has been passed down to both of my children. This is a quality that I can appreciate and when nurtured appropriately can be an asset and not something to be “fixed.” But you don’t know how sensitive your child is going to be when they’re little. You find out as they get older and by then the Santa myth has really solidified.

This is the conversation in my head. My children trust me, how could I have lied to them about this thing that they believe in with their heart and soul? How will they feel when their beautiful little spirits are crushed and they learn the truth? Since my daughter is older the panic began to set in a couple of years ago. I could feel the question coming. Oh shit my daughter is going to be really upset when she finds out! Oh shit she’s going to be so mad at us for lying! Just as I feared, when she found out she was devastated. Truly, like I had killed Tinkerbell in front of her with my bare hands.

I remember it all so clearly. I was folding laundry in my room when she walked in so innocently and then it happened. There I was in the midst of a huge parenting dilemma wishing that aliens would abduct me (only nice aliens though not the probey kind). I started to laugh nervously and uncontrollably as my mind raced. Do I tell her the truth? She’s going into 6th grade. She’ll be in school with older kids who will ridicule her when she insists that Santa is real “he is, my mom said so!” Do I keep lying to her? What do I do? Aaahhhh! It’s going to crush her. I hate myself for lying!

Now that we’ve pulled her into the ruse, which she is not entirely happy about, she’s shaking us down like Tony Soprano. In exchange for her silence she’s negotiating for exactly what she wants and as all of you with older children know, the older they get the more expensive the things they want get. Once they hit a certain age there will be no more giggles of glee with just a $20.00 toy people! Start saving up now. She also takes delight in torturing us as she jumps on any opportunity to not so discreetly hint to my son that Santa may be even closer than he thinks.

Ok I have to go now and bake cookies for Santa. I guess he gets a reprieve this year. Damn that jolly bastard!

(Find me on Twitter @JennGDonohue)

I Think My Husband Might Be Superman (don’t be jealous)

Disclaimer: I love my husband very much. The reason we get along so well is that we’re both wise-asses and can take a joke. When my husband sees this, he’ll laugh. I’m sure that I do plenty of things to annoy him but I have a blog and he doesn’t so here we go!

I think I may be married to Superman. Don’t be jealous just hear me out. My husband has the ability to watch our children while lying on the couch with his eyes closed! Can you believe it? I can’t either but when I call him on it he insists that he’s watching them so it must be true! If seeing through closed eyelids and hearing over your own snoring aren’t two awesome super powers then I don’t know what is!

Need even further proof? My husband has the ability to walk past a full, stinky garbage pail that’s making my eyes water and not shed a single tear. Why don’t I take out the garbage you say? I do take out the garbage but every once in a while I leave it just to see how long it takes before he’ll do it and how much more he can shove into the already full bag. Yet again, the ability to not smell the nasty garbage, superpowers I tell you. His nostrils of steel don’t detect the slightest hint of stench. Nostrils of steel, Man of Steel…see the connection?

If I weren’t worried about my children contracting rickets or scurvy from a dirty toilet I’d love to see exactly how dirty the toilet would have to get before he would clean it. (I know you can’t get rickets or scurvy from a dirty toilet, they just sound funny). I fear that it would take a lot though and I would never do that to my children.

Apparently dirt is not my husband’s kryptonite…cleaning is. Love you honey!

(Find me on Twitter @JennGDonohue)

If My Children Were Gay

I think it would be great to have gay children. Don’t get me wrong I’ll obviously still love my children straight or gay but hear me out on this one. I mean think of how easy the teenage years would be. If your son were gay you wouldn’t have to worry about him knocking up some girl when they were too young. And by the same token if your daughter were gay you wouldn’t have to worry about her getting knocked up! Babies would come at the appropriate time in their lives. IVF and adoption are expensive, teenagers can’t afford that! Yay for gay teenagers!

Ok so I’m being facetious but that’s how I deal with some of the more serious things in life – through humor. I think the heteros really need to give gay people a break. I mean put yourself in their shoes. Really think about it. If most of society defined you (not to mention infringing upon your civil rights on a daily basis) and were constantly obsessed with what you did in the bedroom and with whom wouldn’t that piss you off? Maybe be a little creepy? Frankly it sounds perverted to me. I don’t want to know what anyone else is doing in the bedroom gay or straight. It’s none of my business. And to me what someone does or doesn’t do in the bedroom and with whom doesn’t dictate what they do with the rest of their lives.

If you’re reading this and you’re straight does what you do in the bedroom rule your thoughts in every other aspect of your life? I’m sure you’re able to focus on your job, be a good parent, a positive influence on your friends’ kids, etc. without thinking about what you’re going to be doing in the bedroom with your partner later on. So why do we place that crap on gay people? Just like heteros, it’s only one aspect of who they are.

If either of my children were gay I couldn’t love them any less than I do now. It breaks my heart to even imagine telling one of my children that I didn’t love them anymore because of who they truly are. To me it’s the same as telling them I don’t like your eye color, I think it’s weird so I don’t love and accept you. Yes I think it’s the same thing. You’re born a certain way. Just as you have no control over your eye color, you don’t have control over your sexual orientation either.

How do I know that it’s not a choice? Well let me pose this question to all of the non-believing heterosexuals out there. Think back for a moment to the time that you sat there and made a conscious choice to like the opposite sex. I want you to think back to the day that you actually really thought about it and said hmmm should I like boys or girls? What? You mean you didn’t make a conscious decision to like the opposite sex? You just did? It was just something that you always knew and felt? Well that’s what it’s like for gay people, it’s not a decision that they just decided to make on a whim one day. It’s just something that they always knew and felt and it just was.

I’m not naïve, I know there are so many societal issues around this subject and maybe it’s not so easy as just saying it’s ok I accept you for who you are, or maybe it is that easy? If you tell your child you don’t accept them for who they are, do you really mean it or are you doing it because you’re worried about what your neighbors, friends or religious affiliation will think of you knowing that you love your child no matter what. Wow what a concept! Accepting and loving your child for who they are, not who you want them to be. Isn’t that what being a parent is all about? Societal rules aside, what does your heart tell you is right? After all if your child is gay, they’re still the same person that you’ve known and loved for however many years, they’re just gay. (And if you’re hanging out with people who would rather see you crush your child’s spirit by telling them how unworthy they are of your love, rather than accepting the fact that they’re gay, then you really should find nicer people to hang out with). There are a lot of us in society who would applaud you for loving and accepting your gay child. Not because being gay is weird and you’re so great because you “accept” your weird child but because you accept your child for the entire person that they are. Period. And we would think you’re pretty awesome for that too. We all want to be loved and accepted for all that we are especially by our parents.

(Note to readers: If you don’t agree with me, and trust me I know that there are plenty of people who won’t, please don’t leave any nasty comments. I don’t expect everyone to love what I have to say but please keep any comments respectful. If you really can’t help yourself then start your own blog like I did and get your opinions out there. What this world needs is more love. If we all accepted each other for who we truly were this world would be a much better place).

(Find me on Twitter @JennGDonohue)