The One Minute Writer's writing prompt today was 'Independence'. The task was to write for one minute on something from which you would like to gain independence. Turned out I had more than a minute's worth to say on the topic.
Without further ado:
My Declaration of Independence from Societal Ideals
We hold these truths to be self evident - that all men and women are created equal. As such, it should hold that neither the worth of an individual nor the amount of respect they deserve is determined by the size of their waist, the size of their bank account, or the number of candles on their last birthday cake.
Furthermore, as a woman, the value of my thoughts and opinions are not in any way related to my ability to be deemed attractive by middle class white males (who tend to set the standards) or any males, or, for that matter, anyone at all. This quality is often referred to by an adjective that begins with an 'f' and ends with 'ability'. Should I need to again make reference to it, I shall refer to it as fability. Because I'm also declaring the right to make up words as I go along if it so suits my personal pursuit of happiness.
And I have the right to pursue happiness.
I have the right to wear sleeveless tops and dresses, even if I do not have guns that resemble those of our first lady. Even if I have something that more resembles pillows than guns, I have the right to bare them without apology. Same goes double for shorts. Maybe a little more than double.
IT. DOESN'T. MATTER!
It doesn't make me in any way less.
The house I live in - the neighborhood I live in are not reflections of me. You can't know anything about me just by knowing my address. Am I more worthwhile if I live in a more affluent neighborhood? Am I trash if I live in one that is less affluent? The answer to both is a resounding, "NO!" It's just a house. It doesn't say anything about me. It's where I keep my stuff.
And it's just stuff!
He who dies with the most stuff, still dies.
The age issue points us right back to fability (it would've been a shame to coin such a fine word and never use it again, no?). Does my worth decrease as my perceived fability decreases? Certainly society points us in that direction. A gray hair? For heaven's sake, cover it, lest someone think you've left your twenties behind! Wrinkles? Avoid or hide them at all costs! Make the world think you're at least a decade younger! Sagging boobs? Well, hoist those puppies up, wouldja? Have a surgeon hoist 'em up, better yet. If people see you for who you actually are, you will cease to be relevant!
I declare independence from this train of thought!
All men are created equal. That includes (but is in no way limited to) those of us who, for a reason (or two, or three) have outlived our fability. Fability has nothing to do with worth. It has nothing to do with respect. Happiness is worth pursuing. Perceived fability is not.
Give me Liberty, or give me - a candy bar.
I deserve one, for Pete's sake.
So do you.