Thursday, 8 March 2012

Tolerance. Kindness. Acceptance.

Some time ago a friend and I were talking about beaches in Perth. My friend mentioned that she doesn’t fancy my favourite beach as she feels there is pressure to look fabulous on said beach. She was under the impression that beach goers were constantly ogling others and therefore a beach trip for her turned into stressful, as she felt she needed to have her hair looking primped and she needed to be dressed in such a way that she would fit in with the ‘cool crowd’. Last week I had another conversation with another friend about the pressure to look good on the beach in a bathing suit. We got to talking about ‘mature’ women in bikinis and whether it is acceptable to still wear a bikini when the body no longer resembles that of a 20-something.

I got to thinking about our conversation. Who determines what is acceptable and what is appropriate in our society when it comes to appearance? I don’t look into my closet in the morning wondering what to wear to please the masses, I put on what pleases me. I wear clothes that make me feel good. What others think is not my business, it is theirs. And so back to the point about mature women wearing bathers or a bikini, shouldn’t they do it for themselves and not be concerned about complete strangers at the beach who may or may not care what others are wearing? I certainly don’t spend my time on the beach looking at others and judging what they are wearing, I barely even notice others (yes I live in a bubble)! I am way too busy enjoying quality time with my family to be concerned about whether another woman is fit enough to wear a bikini. In fact on the contrary, if someone does stand out to me on the beach it is usually someone who looks happy and confident, irrespective of their age or body shape.

There seems to be an ongoing debate in the media about acceptance of our body shapes. I don’t buy into it. I don’t really care. I think if the individual is comfortable, happy and healthy (or not if that is their choice) then great. To have these discussions and to read such articles only enters into the debate further, and it isn’t something I really wish to engage in. There are a lot of gaudy and what society has taken upon itself to deem ‘inappropriate’ outfits walking around, does that affect me? Not in the slightest.

The need to judge others on their appearance is something that I witnessed at school, I am slightly baffled as to why, as a mature thinking adult, it still goes on. I was laughed at for shaving the side of my head in high school (Rihanna is applauded for it now, no? Who knew I was a 14 year old trendsetter decades ahead of my time!) and I remember the anxiety and embarrassment I felt. I don't want to instill that kind of embarrassment on others, just because they choose to look and dress differently to what I do. Good on them, I don't want anyone to look and dress like me!

When did our society become so intolerant? Is it our business to judge or be concerned with what others are wearing? I think not. I’d rather put that energy into something a little more constructive like this for instance. Or this.

But that’s just me.


  1. Hmm, interesting. I am (always have been) a larger lady. As a Buddhist I don't pay a lot of mind to what I wear or how I look. Clothes serve a practical purpose to me, not one of fashion. I don't wear make up or jewellery or have a "hair style" but would I subject the world to my body in a bikini? No. I personally wouldn't feel comfortable doing so. If someone else does, then good luck to them.
    Quite often I feel people look down at me because of my appearance. I almost never get offered assistance in a shop because I don't look like I could afford anything. Sometimes this makes me sad. I wish people didn't judge others by how they look but unfortunately, it's the way we are. I wouldn't change the way I am to make anyone else happy though.

    1. And that's why we love YOU Cate. I wouldn't want you to change, I think you're amazing as you are. I find it sad that people would judge anyone on their body size. I've been 30kg heavier and I was still the same person with the same values. I don't look down on anyone.

      In saying that I am positive I don't look 'great' in a bikini, but I don't give a rats what others think. It would be sad if people were sitting on the beach devoting their energy to studying whether I was fit enough to wear one.

      ps...You're fabulous! xo

  2. I love your posts like this Peggy, they really make me think and stop and think about what I do.
    I do admire those mature people that feel confident enough to wear a bikini, because I definitely do not have that confidence. In saying that though I am at the same time guilty of thinking 'did you really make that fashion choice?' I am trying to be better and less judgemental though, and it's posts like these that help! Thanks Peggy!

    1. Thank you Nat. It is easy to have those thoughts, and I guess there is no harm in thinking your own opinion. I just find by not engaging with others about negative or judgmental thoughts reduces the thoughts and the tendency to judge. Don't worry, I too see some things and think 'what the?' :)

  3. Just what I needed today, beautiful.
    :-) xx

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it, thank you lovely. :) xo

  4. Oh hear hear Peggy, wonderfully said. Just what gives any one person the right to judge or dictate how someone should dress or wear their hair. And who decides cool, fashionable and beautiful anyway!? I don't quite understand it either. I like to dress how I feel my best. Some days that is jeans, others it is a long flowing dress, other days that is short shorts/skirt/dresses. No one person is going to feel the same way every day of their lives, I think people should be allowed to dress as appropriate for THEM, no one else. I sound like I'm on my soap box now, but I do get annoyed with how judgey the world has become. Great post! xo


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