Last week, I wallowed on my sofa nursing the blues and watching the Olympics. Occasionally I would get off the couch to check my Facebook news feed and Yahoo! News. Discouraged by all the posts about bad hair and fat girls, I quickly returned to flopping around on the couch, wishing I’d never left it in the first place.
As I lay there, flipping channels between NBC, ESPN and MSNBC, I wondered about all the crap I’d just read. My Facebook feed was full of snarky remarks about women’s hairstyles and their body size.
The first post I read was about Hillary Clinton and her current hairstyle. There was a long, detailed conversation about that.
The Secretary of State has let her hair grow out. And not everyone likes it. Oh, darn.
One poster said he liked Hillary’s longer hair, but he thought her legs were too heavy.
I’ll bet the Secretary of State worries about that a lot. It’s not like she’s busy or anything…she’s just trying to keep Iran and Israel from starting a war and North Korea from starving its entire population and Syria from murdering its women and children.
I’m sure that while Madame Secretary was dodging the tomatoes and shoes lobbed at her motorcade on her diplomatic tour of Egypt, she was quietly obsessing about getting her roots touched up.
I’ll bet that when she got back in the States, her first call was to her hairdresser. Mmmhmm.
Then there were all the comments about Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas. Forget that the 16 year old won two gold medals for the U.S.A. in both the team and individual all around competitions, it’s her hair that concerned folks.
I imagine that Gabby won’t be too concerned about her hair when she competes this week. She will likely be focused on her performance on the balance beam and the uneven bars.
Maybe she can do something about her hair when she gets back home, wearing those big gold medals around her neck.
And then, of course, everybody had something to say about Holley Mangold, the U.S. weightlifter in the 75 Kg-plus category. She’s too fat, everybody said. Strong, they conceded, but fat. And her hair looked tacky, slicked back as it was to stay out of her eyes.
Holley didn’t win any medals, but she tried. She lifted 231.5 pounds and 297.6 pounds in two categories: the snatch and clean and jerk. She did that with a torn wrist on one hand and a fluid pocket, bruised bone and tear on the other one.
I wouldn’t expect a 98 lb. weakling to do that.
I have to wonder: what the hell is wrong with us? Why do we casually insult people about their hair and their weight when they are obviously engaged in other worthwhile efforts like bringing peace to the world or setting world records?
Why do we focus on bad hair and fat girls when there are so many more important issues with which we could concern ourselves?
These women, Hillary…Gabby…Holley… are accomplished. They are strong. They are focused and engaged. They are making important strides worldwide with their feats of strength, diplomacy and derring-do.
As I lay on my couch, I compared myself to these women, young and old. There was actually little to compare.
- I can barely carry on a good conversation much less speak with world leaders.
- I’ve never been able to turn a cartwheel.
- I struggle to lift a 40 lb. sack of dog food into my shopping cart.
- I don’t even have a good haircut.
I’m no match for these women. I admire them for their strength, determination and inner beauty.
Their messy hair and body mass index doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of Life.
And if it doesn’t matter to them and their lives, I don’t think it should matter to us.
We’ve all got more important things to do than coif our hair.
Hillary and Gabby and Holley are doing those things…their things. They’re not too worried about bad hair and fat girls.
Why aren’t we doing our important things as well?
“We need to understand that there is no formula for how women should lead their lives. That is why we must respect the choices that each woman makes for herself and her family. Every woman deserves the chance to realize her God-given potential.”
- Hillary Rodham Clinton, It Takes A Village -
“We need to do our own important things, accomplish our own important goals…despite our bad hair or fat bodies.”
- Peggy Browning, Bad Hair and Fat Girls -