Guilty As Charged

42 Comments

When you are a comfortably off denizen of the middle classes guilt is a constant in the back drop of your life. You are ever conscious of not being part of the “solution” and hence being part of the “problem”. Everything from global warming, to national debt through to third world slavery is your fault personally because of your overconsumption. You bastard! Mind you the mildly irritating sense of self reproach doesn’t motivate you to change your behaviour. It just causes you to wince inwardly during occasional moments of reflection. Issues dont have to be “big” to trigger moral unease. Sometimes the smaller the transgression the greater the feelings of shame. So in the interests of cleansing my mortal soul I’m going to confess some minor things that I’m feeling really lousy about right now. Please tell me that I’m not the only one.

Social Media

Everybody’s got at least one friend or acquaintance who shows off fabulousity of their freakin’ fabulous existence on social media. You know the type who are continually posting magazine quality photos of their glamorous tropical holiday, their perfectly photogenic children and their Vogue Living standard home renovations. Most irksome are those who post photos of themselves looking super hawt in a bikini (at my age!!!). I hate those bastards! Don’t you just hate them too!

Then I come over all ashamed of myself for being envious. Its not the fault of the said posters that they are better looking, more inherently stylish and more popular than myself. I should just accept my inferiority graciously. Or fight back with aspirational shots of my own.

I see your glamorous tropical holiday and raise you Dadabs' forearms.

I see your glamorous tropical holiday and raise you Dadabs’ forearms BTW – he cooked all that.

 

Behold my backyard pool.

Behold my backyard pool.

Stalking Exes

Showing off may be the most popular purpose of social media but stalking exes is surely a close second. C’mon – If you have an ex, you’ve done it. I’ll admit that I’ve become a middle aged Nelson Muntz on discovering that someone who spurned my affections in the 1990s has (there’s no delicate way to express this) really porked up. The schadenfeude is glorious until the guilt kicks in. What a petty person I must be to think this way…. but I cant possibly be alone in this. Can I? Then there’s that sinking feeling when you encounter an ex on social media who is still smokin’ hawt.

Me while FB stalking exes

Me while FB stalking exes

 

The Body Image Movement

I’m hesitant to admit it but I’m not completely onboard with the Body Image movement that’s been clogging my interwebs lately. I want to embrace the whole Embrace thing (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/embrace/embrace-the-documentary-that-will-create-global-ch) but I’m not quite there yet. Its not that I am opposed to it. On the contrary I believe its motivated by the best of intentions. Of course we should be spreading the message that woman (and men too) should love and accept their physical selves. My problem is that once again its focusing on a woman’s appearance rather than her contribution to society. On top of that there doesn’t seem to be a male equivalent. We’re not seeing non-buffed men posing nude in order to “empower” themselves. To me that in itself indicates that feminism still has a ways to go. However in having these misgivings I feel like I’m letting down the sisterhood in some way. Please feel free to hurl rotten tomatoes at me sisterhood!

 

Its still about how we look not what we do.

Its still about how we look not what we do.

Political Hypocrisy

I cried misogyny with the best of them when folks based their criticisms of Julia Gillard on her appearance (and I was astounded when Germaine Greer had a go had her dress sense). Nevertheless I confess to getting a perverse pleasure from lampooning Tony Abbott’s penchant for budgie smugglers and lycra. I’m such a hypocrite. Please feel free to throw rotten tomatoes at me political purists.

Posting this stuff is so wrong yet feels so right.

Posting this stuff is so wrong yet feels so right.

How about you? Are you guilty as charged?

Shamefully yours

Mumabulous

The lawyer for my defense. Yeh - in my dreams.

The lawyer for my defense. Yeh – in my dreams.

 

 

42 thoughts on “Guilty As Charged

  1. I shall now spend my day trying to eradicate Tony Abbott in his budgie smugglers from my brain. Also finding myself jealous of the culinary skills of Dadabs, way to fight back. I feel the shot of inferiority as my hubby doesn’t have a culinary bone in his body. Oh yeah, I’m into the body movement. When I move my body, I stop, but my body keeps moving 😉

  2. Ewww…Tony ‘whatever his name is’ – Please Photoshop a Tee onto the man! While you’re there, put a red circle and strike-through over his mouth. The man’s an embarrassment on every level to this country! HELP US!!

  3. I will admit that on the Body Image Movement front, that I look at the above image and think “What! I could look like that if I become a body builder!!!”. To me this is so impressive, if completely the wrong message that Taryn is trying to send. Oh well.

  4. I’ve done the stalking of exes thing I must confess. But I deleted Instagram off my mobile devices because of your first point and that whole life-envy thing!

  5. I get Facebook envy too – which I find incredibly ironic given that friends have said they envy MY Facebook posts! Just goes to show that nothing is ever quite what it seems at face value.

  6. I think we’re all guilty of one or more of those, Mumabs. I’ve had the odd stalk sesh on FB with friends… A girl I work with is always showing me her FB and we have a good old LOL during recess and lunch… I don’t get the showy people – showing off is the pits on so many levels…

  7. Guilty of the Body Image dilemma too…it’s okay if people are happy with their bodies, I just really don’t want to see them plastered everywhere, perfect or not.

    • Yes – looking at other people’s imperfections doesn’t make me feel better about my own. The thing that makes me feel better is thinking about other things.

  8. Yep, I’m guilty of FB stalking my one and only ex and being stupidly pleased that he’s fat and repulsive these days, instead of just repulsive. Until I realised that it (the repulsiveness) hasn’t hindered him in any way judging from the exotic looking woman on his arm and the Paris backdrop in the photo. Meanwhile, I’m similarly fat and repulsive – in Boganville. Sometimes I think I just torture myself with social media but I still can’t seem to hit the deactivate button. It’s a sickness, really. Sigh..

    • What am I going to do with you Ness? ;-). You are a pretty lady but I know you dont believe it. Meanwhile I think the ex-flames who spurned my affections in the 90s would still spurn my affections weight gain or not. Its a good thing then that I am happy with Dadabs.

  9. Yep, guilty as charged. I have definitely face-stalked ex boyfriends and ex friends. I’ve also joked about unfriending a friend who always goes on fabulous holidays all the time. Every time I see another pic of her amazing jaunts I die a little inside.

    • Here’s my advice – stick lots of pictures of Ragnar on your Facebook page 😉 This wont make you feel better about your friend’s fab holidays but it will give everyone else something to look at 😉

  10. I think you may be my sister from another mister…. Swoon x

  11. My ex boyfriends are probs dead from old age or don’t even know what Facebook is so I wouldn’t bother. I’ve never posted a picture of food I’ve cooked on Facebook either for a very valid reason… my cooking sucks. You make an excellent and original point about not seeing unbuff men showing off how comfortable they are with their bodies. And yes! Richard Roxy is foxy!

  12. On the issue of middle class guilt, I read this in an interview with American actor/playwright Wallace Shawn this morning (honest!):

    “I was trying to explain to all the nice people out there how it could be possible that from our own point of view we’re so nice, and we’re so lovable, and we’re so cute, and so sensitive, and yet from the point of view of people who are weak and powerless we are an implacable vicious enemy.”

    So there you go: there’s no need for us to feel guilty about feeling guilty, after all.

    And if it helps, I try not to be jealous of your fabulously witty blog.

  13. Yep, I know what you mean about the stalking exes thing. They all look so GREY, and old, and BALD, and fat … I don’t look like that!!!! Best of all, nor does my hubster. I definitely married the pick of the bunch!!!

  14. Oh Cleaver how I adore him and that show! Those pork chops prancing around looking HAWT on social media just need the adulation. I prefer to be porky and happy behind closed doors (suffering with headaches so sorry for lame response time to post – send wine) xxx

  15. Guilty of lots of stuff..but I actually was writing for a presentation about how we need to be careful about the hypocrisy we all share online as everything is so magnified and in our face and shared and always ready to come back and bite us!

  16. I can’t stand budgie smugglers. Especially on a Prime Minister. And I don’t feel guilty about it, because it is just WRONG.

  17. – massively guilty. As we should be, we shouldn’t be able to see poverty and do nothing about it. My solution – don’t pay double for super-guilt-marketed eggs, eat less eggs.
    – yay for ex stalking. Hugh Mackay says that the darkest shadow of our natural desires is the urge to see your own desires frustrated in someone else. So embrace that, heck yeah, fatty foomas, high five. At least when you recognise that it’s natural you don’t waste energy feeling guilty about it…
    – and you’re dead right re bullshit ‘feminist’ self-awareness campaigns. Same as that one where a famous chick got her nips out recently to ‘protest’ Instagram. Mia Freedman was on a show recently though saying that it’s other feminists saying “Feminism: YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!” that are the most vitriolic on her website… which I thought was interesting – I’m guilty of calling Mamamia out – similarly Ita Buttrose is my Feminist Anti-Christ (a fkn mistress talking women’s issues? VOM!)

    Anyway quit overstimulating me I’m supposed to be working (meaning, great blog keep it up 🙂

    • Wow – you’ve given me a bit to think about. Love the work of Hugh MacKay Mia Freedman – Not so much. You are the only person to have ever accused me of “overstimulating” them. Wish it would happen more often.

  18. I’m guilty for stalking an ex, but in a way I’m glad I did because it made me realise how lucky I am NOT to be with him, he turned fat and bald…yuk. There are people I follow on Facebook that overshare, it drives me nuts but I can’t ‘unfriend’ because they’re a bit too close to do so and I don’t want to start world war 3.

  19. Such an important topic. You are right about the social media being a place to show off, and the obsession with women’s appearance. (I recently gave a talk on that topic.) As for consumerism, there is an antidote: simple living. I just wrote about it (again) on my blog. 🙂

  20. Leave the travel photos alone – other than political debate, they are the only good thing on social media. How else do you know where you want to go? My partner and I argued whether it was showing off – I don’t think so, he does – I would much rather look at photos of where you are (if you are off galavanting) than your kids/dinner/dog….

  21. Love this post and relate to like nearly everything. How about those pregnant women who look amazing and post half naked pictures of themselves online. I post photos of me fully covered. No one wants to see a hippo zebra on their newsfeed. I actually never thought about the healthy women movement the way that you have and it totally makes sense. Why are we so damn focused on our bodies?

  22. I go one step further – I stalk my husband’s exes 😉
    Interesting points you made about the Body Image Movement. I think if a guy wants to do the same thing, they should totally go for it. I guess the thing is, there is so much stigma about post baby bodies in the media, I think it takes something like the Body Image Movement to really shake things arou.

    I heard Taryn Brumfitt speak last month and I must say, she’s a strong character and extremely inspirational. She’s taken a lot of flak for what she’s doing and the comments she gets are absolutely atrocious but she’s very welcoming about it all. The more negative the comments, the more reason she has purpose to what she’s doing. And to me, that’s a huge contribution to society.

    • I want to be clear that I’m not against what Taryn is trying to achieve and I certainly dont condone people making abusive comments towards her. I agree with you that the idea of what a woman aspire should look like is so entrenched that we need a “movement” to counter it. My gripe is that men are not valued or defined by their appearance in the way that women currently are. (although there is undoubtedly pressure on men to be “buffed” ) In my view feminism needs to work on that as well as equality in the workplace etc etc.

  23. I don’t think I’ve been to your blog before, but I loved this post. So funny, and lots of little truths here that I agree with you on. I won’t be hurling any tomatoes at you!! x

  24. I too feel conflicted with the body image movement. I am not sure why – perhaps it’s because it makes me feel that in caring about how I look and working hard to have a fit and healthy body, that I am letting the sisterhood down? And I also agree with you that in putting images out there of women accepting their bodies … it’s still putting all the focus on women’s bodies. But then, I do think women need to accept their bodies … so, it’s complicated!

  25. I engage in JOMO rather than FOMO. Although I do get envious when I see people lounging on tropical islands or wandering down little laneways in Europe and I cant help myself but look some more. I also like to stalk ex boyfriends, their chosen partners, and the botched who made me feel like crap in year 8. I freaking love Stalkbook 😉 xx

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