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Thursday, May 2, 2013

If the shoe fits..

Parker returned home from what he declared, the second BEST day of his life yesterday in a flurry of excitement to tell me about his trip to the Field Museum in Chicago.  The BEST day of his life is when we picked him up from camp. Apparently, he is not the camping type of kid, and I still feel a tinge of guilt for leaving him in 100 degree record temperatures with the promise of fun, and him returning with heat rash and bites all over his body.
Anyway, he was so excited and talking as fast as the micro-machine guy. Later he shared that he had a Frappacino from the vending machine but didn't know it had caffeine.  He plopped down on the couch to show me the pictures he had taken. After we scrolled through a dozen consecutive shots of an aboriginal woman (you know, the kind that don't wear tops) he got to his favorite one.  It was a picture of a tiny shoe.   He showed it to me with Huge eyes.  "Do you know what that is?" I explained that it looked like a shoe. To my credit, the scale of his photos can be misleading at times. He will take a picture of a penny which looks huge and a picture of his dog from so far away he looks like a squirrel.
He explained that is was a tiny shoe of a Chinese courtesan whose feet were bound to fit into what looked like a Barbie size. 
He looked at my feet, then to his, then to his 3 year old brother's.  'That would be like you wearing Oscar's shoes!"  When he put it that way, it made me cringe. "Why in the world would ANYONE do that?"  I have a very vague memory about this ancient custom but what I told him was that it was considered a thing of beauty to have small feet.  He explained that in order to achieve this, the  young girls would have their toes broken and then wrapped tightly so they wouldn't grow.
Again he asked me, why would a woman hurt themselves to be pretty? 
What was I suppose to say? Because she wanted to attract a man?  I just said I didn't know. But here is the thing, I do know.  Not to why small feet were considered attractive, I do have a theory on that which I will get to later.  But to why a woman would hurt themselves for beauty, because I do it myself as do many woman around the world. 
At some point, some where, somebody declared that pubic hair is ugly.  And because of this, I spend money, time and a lot of pain tolerance getting it ripped from my most sensitive areas in an effort to not offend anyone at the pool.  It hurts like a mofo.  In additional to having hair ripped from every sensitive part of my body with hot wax, I have partaken in other beauty treatments that   would make Ancient Chinese women scratch their heads.  Acid treatments on my face, laser treatments on my scars.  One I have not and will not do is anus bleaching.  If this is the first time you have heard about this I apologize to be the one to burst your ignorance to this trend. But yes, woman (and maybe some men) spend money to have their anus bleached to look like a babies. 
I have seen many a baby's anus, and never did I covet their new anus appearance.  Their skin (YES) their butt, (No).  
These treatments are all superficial, what about the ones that aren't? Removing ribs to look slimmer, having fat sucked out of your thighs with a instrument the size of a flute.   Just because we have the means of anesthesia doesn't make it any better to the women breaking their feet, less painful however, yes. 
I found myself asking the same question as Parker. Why?  God doesn't make mistakes.   I have told the boys this so many times. Especially lately.   But if this was the case, why do I spend so much time trying to correct his work?
Now back to my theory on why ancient Chinese men found crippled feet so appealing.  Obviously, a women with bound feet can't move very fast, there for can't run away.  If all anyone wants is to be seen and heard, why are women trying so hard to create less of themselves to be seen?  
I'm sad for young girls of our time.  They are growing up bombarded of images of beauty that focuses on being everything that you are not naturally born with, famous for sex tapes, and a slew of examples of why God made a mistake on them. 
I recently viewed a website that focuses on celebrity plastic surgery. The "good" jobs and the " bad" jobs.  But if celebrities are famous, and recognition is what everyone strives for, then why are they filling themselves up with collagen and fillers? Is it in an effort to restore their youth, that they spent the majority of hating themselves? True beauty doesn't  fade, it just changes and if you have spent time trying to beautify your brain, you will be radiant for years to come.
I may not have girls, but I do have boys who will eventually love a girl.  I am their one continual example of a woman.  They have seen me at my worst, sick, hairy, sweaty , sad, chubby and worst of all, looking in the mirror and hating what I see. My physical appearance means them because  it does not effect the love I have to offer them. In their eyes I exemplify beauty by staying up with them when they are sick,  laughing at their jokes or hugging them when they are scared.  I wish I could look in the mirror and see the beauty they see.  Jack loves to draw pictures of me and the one thing that is constant is my arms, they are always disproportionately huge and extended ready for a hug. 

The World really is our classroom. Its funny that a tiny shoe is what caught a ten year old boy's  attention most.  Well, that and large floppy boobs of an aboriginal woman.  And also shows that it doesn't matter what age you are,  if you pay attention to the tiny things you may learn something. 

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