If you are familiar with BBC comics Mitchell and Webb, then you will be familiar with the commercial parody on women and men – commonly known as Women? Sort Yourself Out.
Women, it alleges, are to blame for everything and suffer from everything. From children’s dirty clothes to peeing themselves. Women are taught to have problems. Women are taught that health and wellbeing are defined by the problems they have. Men are taught not to have problems. All they need is a beer and a shave and all is well again.
A bit backward, but absolutely true. I see this all the time in my practice. When I counsel couples for instance, I can’t think of many times that my female client has finished her list of complaints about her life, how she has been feeling and how she doesn’t feel as supported as she should be – and I kid you not. My Male client is sitting there with a blank – and slightly abashed look on his face. Blink. Blink. Everything seemed okay to him…
Whose fault is this? I am blaming women. We need to sort ourselves out. We need to romance ourselves. We need to love ourselves. We need to be sexy for ourselves. Then – the world will find us sexy. Women can be dumb about that.
The media and even your friends are caught up in providing us with endless lists on how to improve ourselves. Endless lists. 13 ways to be a better wife. 24 ways to please your kids. 14 ways to have a nicer home. Be your best self by the time the world ends in 2012. 19 days to a new you. How to shed ten years from your face in one week. Lose 20 pounds while you sleep and your family wont’ recognise you. And I only made one of those up.
Who are we kidding? For some, this is not the season for romance at all. The coming month is going to be an explosion of messages from everywhere on everything romantic and sexy. But the usual messages are aimed directly at women…all men have to do is show up with chocolates and roses and it’s all good.
I am not picking on the boys here. I admire the fact that a guy thinks he has done well by showing up, smelling good, with a bouquet of roses, believing this is equivalent to the work the woman has just put into the same date…and he still gets dinner and sex out of the deal. It is really rather cute. And they are super duper proud of themselves. I am partially kidding here. I do know a lot of men that behave the same way women do. But there is this media centered attention on women to be ‘better than they are’ and that is insane. Women, need to have a full day spa, Botox their sagging earlobes, get tummy tucks, chin lifts and fake eyelashes, drop twenty pounds before the big day of love…all this while being community leaders, strong role models for their children, run businesses, be – all that they can be…
It is a load of…crock.
I remember a couple of years back when I was going through a particularly bad spell…and I had gained some weight from the stress hormone, cortisol (yes – cortisol causes weight gain and there will be more on that in another article), and feeling hormonally out of control, and stressed beyond reasoning and I kept asking my partner ‘do I look fat in this?’ Does this coat still ‘work’ this dress? It even sounded pathetic to me. One day he finally asked me – why do you keep asking me these things? Do you want me to see you less then you are?
My turn. Blink. Blink. I love this man. And, more importantly, he reminded me that I had fallen out of love with myself.
Men care differently about how they look. And – wait for it because this is huge – they care differently than you do about how you look. This thing about dressing and doing to please others is just wrong. Now, having said that – men could work a bit on the way they express their love. They need to express it differently at times. Men? Stop buying stuff for your lover. What should you do? Don’t stop bathing and keep smelling good. Those remain the basics. Then – many light caresses throughout the day. Intentional caresses. Kisses – on the mouth. Tickles. Her – not the dog. Loving glances. Do not ‘wink’ at your woman. Don’t do that. And don’t fart in front of her. Loud gas noises are not funny. Clench and remove yourself from her vicinity. Feet rubs, hugs, gratitude for her and for the way she rounds out your life are all great ways of expressing your love. Sit with your partner, ask her how her day went…and look into her eyes as she is speaking to you. Do not pick at your toe nails, read the paper, glance away at the TV or other things around you that you find distracting. ‘She’ is what you are finding distracting. Let her know that, as you breathe her in. Ok – reality check. But you get where I am going.
Stop looking at yourself as imperfect – in anyway. It takes twenty four hours to break a habit. (Check back on my article February De-Resolutions at (www.margolaing.ca). Buy yourself fresh flowers. You too, should keep bathing and smelling good…be sexy for yourself. That is crazy sexy. And the Zen way – by not trying to be sexy – you become sexy.
Imperfections are self imposed, culturally imposed and designed to make you feel…bad. Not good enough. Sexy is not needy. Sexy is confident. It is confidence in your sexiness that you know you are not needy.
As women, we reinforce imperfections upon each other. Awhile back I ran into a woman I hadn’t seen in some time. One of the first things out of her mouth was “You look wonderful! Have you lost weight?” And without hesitating, I said “Why? Did I need to?” And, who cares if I have a few extra pounds on me now? I still look good.
Ladies? Stand naked in front of a mirror and tell yourself who you are then ask yourself why this is important. When talking with other people, I dare you not to start sentences with – I am the wife of…or the mother of…who are you and why is that important?
Hang out with women who can dare to be who they are. Be that woman…and the rest will follow.
Margo Laing, RHN, NCP, OHP
Certified Orthomolecular Health Practitioner
Certified Holistic Women’s Hormone Health and Breast Health Coach
Certified Professional Cancer Coach
Registered Holistic Nutritionist
Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit me: www.margolaing.ca