The first time I was ever almost stoned to death because I brought plastic plates for dinner was during my first dinner in France. Growing up, my mother stored all the fancy china Grandma inherited in a special cabinet, while she made all of us use plastic plates. I did not think anything of it- Mom did not have a dish washer and -therefore-logical thinking- we used plastic plates so she did not have to clean the dishes after.
And then I came to France. Study abroad and all, with people from all over the world (which btw, my book on the study abroad is available on Amazon). Anyway, we were almost like representatives from the United Nations or something, gathered behind a tiny table. Trying to be helpful, I brought plastic plates, plastic cups and plastic silverware to eat with. It was not cheap either, so I really thought I was doing everyone a favor. Well, I guessed wrong. Needless to say, most attacks came from the Germans and the nature-loving Scandinavians. I think I had to listen to “how wasteful” Americans are through the whole dinner. I never felt so judged. Is it really so wrong to use plastic plates? Isn’t using a dish washers equally wasteful? Why I am such a horrible person?
The type of treatment I received was more than brutal. Even the Canadians loved to bash my wastefulness and hatefulness for nature. But I did not care- all I kept thinking was my Mom, and how many nights those plastic plates saved her from being the dishwasher. Instead of cleaning the dishes for half hour, she was able to sit down, relax and talk to her kids. That’s worth something too, right?
Finally! Skinny people have to take care of their bodies too! We are going back to the Spartan times. The times of fit people sweating together and sculpting their bodies. I mean, we should politely disregard the military-style education program with hazing and fighting.. here, we are talking about the work on their bodies, their ultimate obsession to achieve the bulkiest, chizzled and god-like muscles. Men or women, they were all supposed to strive to be physically fit.
Somewhere between Sparta and Twiggy, skinny people strategically positioned themselves to be adored and admired. I don’t know how we let them get away with it, but we did. And as lucky as they were with their genetically given bodies that have metabolisms on steroids, they were laughing at us as they ate chips and didn’t gain a pound.
But now, a new revolution is happening. It is slow, but it is sure. Skinny people can’t just be skinny. Now they look weak. And jiggly. And not toned. It is great! As a person who struggled with being fat my entire life, it is nice that the trend is moving towards a “healthy lifestyle.” Because just because you are skinny, doesn’t mean you are healthy. I have tons of skinny friends who gobble down cakes and hamburgers and almost lose weight.
It’s a new trend of eating food that fuels your body. A trend of working out hard to sculpt your body. No one can get away with being lazy or having good genes. You have to work for it, and you have to discipline yourself. It’s nice. Because ultimately it is about being healthy, and that’s what matters the most.
You are like a bad boyfriend. You lure me with the sweet sugar and hazelnut combo, only to make me feel like a horrible person after I finish the jar within a couple of hours. Everyone keeps telling me you are bad for me, but I don’t care most of the time. I need you.
You are like a drug. Probably worse. Because when I eat Nutella, there is no self-control. You turn me into a spoon-licking monster who always wants more.
I first indulged myself during my study abroad in France and I probably gained 10 pounds from gobbling down slices of bread drowning in Nutella each morning. And afternoon. And right before bed.
For Americans it is hard to understand the Nutella obsession. Because you, Nutella, are either loved or hated. David can’t stand you. But I will pay whatever price to get a jar. Like crack-addicts I will sell my TV if I have to just to get a taste.
But lately, I’ve been having to avoid you. It just doesn’t work, Nutella. You swoop me off my feet with your sweet flavors and trick me into eating so much I end up hating myself. I will probably never have a bikini body, and mostly, it is because of you, dear Nutella. Like a bad boyfriend, you make me feel bad about myself… so it’s best I stay away. I have to (even though I don’t want to). It is for the best.
Imagine watching the Oscars; everyone is dressed to the nines, looking stunning and hungry. Next up: Best supporting actor category. They read out the names, and then… they announce the winner. The actor walks on stage and shares a sob story. He kisses his Oscar. He won! The camera turns towards the other best supporting actor nominees and hey, guess what, they are also holding up their Oscars- you know, they should get an Oscar just for their nomination.
Now, how ridiculous is that?
America is turning into a nation of wussies. Everyone is being rewarded these days. For effort, not results. Just last night I saw pictures of my friends running in a 5K. And you know what was hanging around their necks? Medals. Freaking medals. They didn’t come in first, second or third. They weren’t anywhere near top 100. But they got medals. For what? For participating. It makes me vomit, dear fellow Americans.
Medals symbolize something extraordinary- extraordinary time or achievement, sometimes service to the country. They do not symbolize participation, or an effort or getting of a couch to walk a 5K. America, what are you doing? Event organizers, what are you doing? By giving out medals, albeit fake, you are devaluing the value of winners. The winners who trained hard to be the fastest. They woke up every day and trained. Trained to be better, to improve results, to be the best. Not average. The best. They woke up sore, they woke up tired and they put years in training. They sweat tears, they sweat ambition and they sweat dedication. They deserve to get something unique. Because if we stop awarding those who push the boundaries, we acknowledge average… and average will never achieve extraordinary.