Sunday, June 23, 2019

Come as You Are: Preaching to the Choir and Pissing Into the Wind

Probably what I’m doing with this post, but I’ve got something sticking in my craw, so here goes.
I don’t believe in lambasting another person’s physical appearance. Even if I really dislike that person. Their behavior, not their physical appearance, is what makes them a good or bad person. There are physically attractive people who are really awful people and people who are not conventionally physically attractive who are very nice people. I’d rather point out what’s wrong with a person’s actions than make derogatory statements about their looks. Attractiveness is subjective.
I also find scornful statements about people “aging badly” dismaying. We age at different rates for different reasons. Many times people who “age badly” have health issues that contribute to their haggard appearance, and making derogatory comments about a given person’s appearance is hurtful not only to that person but to other people who may not have “aged well” themselves, or who care about someone who hasn’t “aged well.”
My ex-husband, with whom I have remained friends, had a serious health scare earlier this year. He had cardiac problems, previously undiagnosed diabetes, a serious infection, and it turns out that he has a chronic condition called giant cell arteritis which is more common in people of Scandinavian ancestry than people of other backgrounds. (My ex-husband has Swedish ancestry.) He is 56 years old but looks much older due to all the health issues he has endured.

I was shocked when I saw this photo of the late Malcolm Young as he seemed to have aged twenty years in the space of five years. I watched the video from which this image was taken and thought that he might be developing Parkinson’s disease. His stance and facial expressions resembled those of Parkinson’s patients. 
I was correct that he wasn’t well but wrong about the reason. He had Alzheimer’s disease. His brain was literally being destroyed. He certainly didn’t deserve the cruel comments about his appearance or how he was “aging badly.” He was always a humble person who tried to treat others with common decency. He didn’t deserve what happened to him.
I watched my father age badly as vascular disease and congestive heart failure caused his body to retain fluid and caused him to have vascular dementia. At the end of his life, his legs were the color of dark purple grapes because of the lack of circulation. 
I’ve spent my life trying to see myself as simply ordinary rather than hideous. I shouldn’t have to fear the inevitable cruel comments that will accompany any image of myself that I share because I’m not conventionally attractive or young. On a good day, I don’t give a fuck about people’s shitty comments and small minds. On a bad day, it can make me suicidal.
Since I don’t want anyone making me feel bad about my physical appearance, which is one of those “luck of the draw” things and I drew the wrong lot, I have a policy of not dragging other people for their physical appearance, no matter how much I dislike them. Not Mishmash (who, to be honest, is ordinary looking as far as I’m concerned, but behaves like an utterly reprehensible asshole.) 
Not even tRump, whom I despise with a burning passion. I may sometimes ridicule his clothing choices because with the money he has you’d think he could afford someone to advise him on what to wear, but I will not ridicule his physique. His physique is not what’s causing derision and damage to the United States. His crap demeanor and rubbish policies are.
I will call them out on their behavior at any time, every time, all the time. Their looks? Pfft. Whatever. It has no bearing on anything.

~The Cheese Hath Grated It~

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