Thursday, July 15, 2010

Vanity / Self Image

Yesterday was #boobiewednesday on Twitter. Those of you who know me in real life probably don't know of my Twitter addiction. See, as I work at a computer all day, it's very easy for me to be a "Social Media junkie". Facebook is great, but it's blocked at work and is relatively slow-paced. Pictures of your kids/friends/vacations? It's the perfect venue - but for discussions of the designated hitter, or the new bar that's opening, or strip-club etiquette, or who needs what plastic surgery where? Facebook isn't the best forum.

Well, Twitter is, dare I say it, perfect for the "barely there" attention span. Don't want to participate in a given discussion? Wait a second & another one will come up. You can hop-in, hop-out of anything at any given time. Something shiny come across your line of sight? Post about it & distract a world. It's kind of cool.

Well, one of the Twitter memes is #BoobieWednesday, where women post (G-PG13 rated) pictures of their knockers to raise awareness for Breast Cancer research. It's a cute thing more than it is a perverted thing -- lots of cute bras, some creative shots, and every time you see somebody's avatar it's easy to think about how important it is to destroy the disease that is breast cancer. My step-mother is a survivor. One of my favorite Tweeters is like my hero (she's a breast cancer survivor and single mother all before 30). And, well, I'm all about boobs.

So, what does this have to do with vanity? Well, I was dared to post my own #BoobieWednesday avatar on Twitter (since I have man-boobs, or moobs instead of boobs: #MoobieWednesday). I'm horrible at saying "no" to a dare, so I did. My first go had mixed opinions. Taken in my office, a purple dress shirt unbuttoned to my belly, it clearly showed my bare chest & a nipple. Some people enjoyed it, some did not - but it got a laugh & I got use it as an excuse to say "men get breast cancer too", and since men are so much more unlikely to check themselves or report something, it's generally "too late" by the time a doctor gets involved in the case of male breast cancer.

Following that semi-successful post, I took a #MoobieWednesday week off, as I had a very cute picture of my daughter napping on my chest as I napped myself (pictured, right) as my avatar, and I had little desire to change that. I mean, Leila is a doll, right?

Well, that week, a few of my followers asked why I wasn't playing with #MoobieWednesday. I simply said that more people wanted to see my "awww" picture than something silly, and left it at that. However, between the time I posted before heading to work and arriving at work yesterday, I had six "why hasn't your avatar picture changed" tweets directed at me. So, I unbuttoned my dress-shirt & decided to take a "no nipple picture". It actually turned out ok (below).

Much to my surprise, I didn't have any negative feedback - I mean, it's an ok shot by my standards, but it seems everybody really liked it. So, it got me thinking about my own body (which, as I've stated before, I rank somewhere between "average" and "kind of handsome", though my impression is always much closer to the "average" side of that scale). At what point do you start thinking that you actually "look good" as opposed to "look better" or are "not actively made fun of for being a walrus"?

This is hard to admit, but I really have a hard time accepting compliments about my appearance. Part of me thinks the complimenter is:

  • Misinformed, has poor eyesight, and/or just plain wrong
  • Being sarcastic
  • Has an ulterior motive
I simply cannot easily take them at face value. To me, I'm always pudgy, despite the fact that I have shorts that I can't wear because they fall right off me or that I need to buy new belts because I have them as tight as they go. I always see myself as a weakling, despite the fact that I'm taller than most everybody I know and I'm working my way toward one-hundred pushups. I'm see myself as always pimply faced, despite the fact that I'm nowhere close to being a teenager anymore (though, when stressed, I do tend to break out -- have I mentioned that I have a stressful job and am the father of two?).

So, to any/all who enjoyed the #MoobieWednesday pic, thank you -- I promise to try to accept your compliments more easily in the future.


Allison said...

Great post! I loved it!!!! Thanks for the shout out too. You are awesome!

Anonymous said...

As someone who knows you IRL, I can say you lean way more towards handsome than average on the looks meter. And I have no ulterior motive. ;)

It is a lovely picture. And it takes guts to post such a thing. I, for one, would never engage in #boobiewednesday. So kudos to you.

Dana said...

I'm very much the same way, only my default to a compliment is usually "They're just saying that so I don't feel bad!"

AbelPetSupply said...
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Duffy Batzer said...

You know our daughter got her strong genes from somewhere, Handsome.

Jessica said...

I see hotness. But, I understand.

Lovely post.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

Darn, I missed the moobwednesday! And you are looking fine!

Shimmer418 said...

Thank you for spreading the Boobie Wednesday Word and From one of the Boobie Wednesday Duo, You are very Hot. (shimmer418)