For more than 21 years RoseMary's NoteBook© the newsletter, was sent to women all around the world; not only throughout Europe, the USA, Ne Zealand, the Pacific Islands and Scandanavia to mention a few.
During all those years, and indeed even today through this blog (as well as the Australian edition of RoseMary's NoteBook© which is ongoing), we (that is the columnists as well as readers) have repeatedly encouraged women to see themselves as intelligent, articulate, healthy women first and foremost. The fact that many of us wear this attitude in a body that may be larger than some but smaller than others, is offset by the building up of a healthy and happy self-esteem. That's not to say that we suggest larger women ignore the taunts and jokes that abound within conversations, bad joke entertainment avenues, discrimination within the community and indeed within families and circles of friends. We know this sort of thing is present everyday - we'd be foolish to suggest otherwise. **
It's more a matter of rising above the discrimination, and setting our sights on something bigger and greater than trying to meet other people's unrealistic expectations, or should I say demands, relative to how one looks and that takes into account size, shape and aging. For whether we believe it or even understand it, the majority of us have the ability and instincts to know what is best for us (when it comes to food, when it comes to how we dress, and when it comes to how we behave). We don't have to be "told" by others; we have the knowledge already in our own beautiful minds and brains. We just have to work on that knowledge. In our case here it's part of our basic integrity and ethics code - to share what we know, and to encourage those who tread the path of seeking self-discovery and in time self-esteem and acceptance. We will not enter into discussions of criticism or becoming judgemental in our dealings with women, of any age, size and shape.
For a "movement" (size acceptance and self-acceptance) that has been going and gaining momentum for more than 25 years, it comes as no small surprise (and a big disappointment) to realise that women today are as insecure, guilt ridden, self-loathing and hating their bodies and their minds to some extent, as we were 25 years ago. I hope I'm not being biased here, but in my dealings with women's groups, health groups, motivational seminars and conferences, I find that today's women have become so "angry" that their minds are taken up with such hostility and aggressiveness against society and almost everyone in it, that they lose their own dignity.
And the quickest way to lose their dignity is the way they speak and talk. I've been in conversation with so many women who look and act with a certain amount of intelligence but when they open their mouths I shudder. The English language is a beautiful language and yet it can be dragged through the mud so easily by today's women (of all ages, mind you) who resort to what used to commonly be called "gutter language". It doesn't matter what the subject matter is, this is where a lot of conversation plummets to. People say that we here are prejudiced, but I ask you - honestly. If words offend during a conversation or discussion, then it is natural for anyone to "turn off" both the subject matter and the person speaking.
You see, time can be wasted in listening to people who are obviously not interested in attitudes. Their attitude to their listeners is arrogance, and in fact they show no respect towards themselves.
Is this a "modern" phenomana? I can't really say without research, but this I do know personally. I have never come across or been subjected to torrents of words that describe nothing but language which I wouldn't condone or accept from my children or grandchildren (in my presence) let alone my friends, as I have done during the past 5 years. What does that say? To me, sadly it says that those of us who made inroads into building up healthy and happy confidence in women, as well as presenting courses and books (including newsletters) over all this time we find we are now being treated with disdain and indifference by many of those we have attempted to help. We're told we should "get over it" and not only accept this type of language, but to actually use it so that "women understand what you're talking about!" If women can't understand plain English, then I wonder what's going on.
I hope I'm wrong and that things will change.
** We'd hasten to include here those lovely readers who are petite - tiny, small, short, who experience similar discriminations as the larger woman. Their discomfort and pain is just as intense, and it behoves us to recognise that there are many women of all sizes and ages who are treated unfairly and badly by people who really don't care a darn about their feelings. Respect seems to be an old-fashoned word that no-one wants to use, let alone to understand the meaning of.