I have prominent arm veins.
I never realized I should feel bad about it until the media told me I should.
It’s become a fun game – paparazzi are photographing female celebrities’ hands and feet up close to capture their veiny appearance, and the media is publishing those images with much glee.
You can’t win, really. If you gain weight, they make fun of you for “packing on the pounds.” If you stay slim and work out, they make fun of you for being “scary thin” or “veiny.” Whatever we do, whatever we look like, apparently we should feel deeply ashamed about our appearance.
You can tell me that the media only does this to celebrities and that celebrities deserve this type of treatment, but I’m not buying that. I disagree that anyone deserves this kind of treatment, and I disagree with the assumption that scrutinizing and documenting celebrities’ imperfections does not make us non-celebrity-women feel worse about our own bodies.
If you think that realizing that celebrities are imperfect will make you feel better about yourself, think again. When you’re exposed to headlines that keep dissecting women, showing their imperfect body parts, you will start dissecting yourself too, carefully scrutinizing yourself in the mirror, looking for imperfections, and feeling ashamed and self-conscious when you inevitably find them.
When I look at this photo of myself, taken a couple of years ago in Barcelona, all I can see is arm veins. And after being exposed to thousands of media messages telling me that I should feel ashamed, I indeed feel ashamed. Deeply so. Even though I eat well, exercise but not excessively, and am at a healthy weight for my height. So in my case it’s likely genetic – my late grandfather had prominent veins, and my mother has them too.
But I still feel ashamed and self-conscious. (And please don’t tell me it’s not so bad. This is not the point of this post, plus this is a forgiving picture actually.)
Think the women-hating messages spewed by the media on a daily basis do not affect you? Think again. From my own personal experience, they do.
Loved this comment: “If you are overweight you are ugly, if you are underweight you are ugly, if you are too short you are ugly, if you are too tall you are ugly. If your hair is too dark you are ugly, if your hair is too light, you are ugly. So who does that leave in this world that is attractive? No one? I have veiny hands, am over weight and have brown eyes. And I am attractive!” – Emsxiety