Today’s mindful rant is about overcoming the female pack mentality. Or why you need to drop the group fat talk (and eat your egg yolks).
I once worked at a coffee shop in Sydney’s eastern suburbs that was frequented by four American girls with a penchant for egg white omelets. Every Saturday morning they would roll in — perching under the same white umbrella in our outdoor seating area — and proceed to order breakfast in broad, Southern-sorority-girl accents.
“I’ll have an egg white omelet with cheeeeese,” drawled one after the other.
These customers’ casual disregard for yolks really frustrated me. In Australia we know that the yolk is the most nutritious and tasty part of the egg — without a yolk, an omelet is just a sad white pancake.
(Little did I know that I was soon to meet an American boy — now my husband — who would whisk me away to the land of egg white omelets and non-fat-mochaccino-frappe-lattes.)
Questionable tastebuds aside, it also got my goat that these girls would order the same thing. Every. Single. Time.
Even if one deviated from the script — like the time they went wild and ordered iced coffees instead of black — the others quickly followed suit.
Which brings me to the “female pack mentality”.
You know the drill:
- One woman orders dessert, so everyone orders dessert
- One woman has a dig at her husband, so everyone starts bemoaning their own
- One woman complains about the size of her thighs, and everyone jumps on board, finding camaraderie in self-criticism
While I would like us all to be independent dessert thinkers and stand up for our partners, ultimately this last practice of body-bashing needs our most urgent attention.
While you may think that publicly referring to your legs as “thunder thighs” is harmless, studies show that the more you participate in this kind of self deprecation, the worse you feel about yourself.
Unfortunately, social norms have put us in an awkward situation that makes it more appropriate to criticize our appearance than to show appreciation for it. Some might say that the first is being ladylike, the latter arrogant. I call this B.S.
Respecting your body is not arrogant, it is an essential component of self-love and sets a healthy example of body positivity for other women.
So I ask you this: The next time you hear girlfriends engage in negative-body-chatter, be brave enough to stand out from the crowd and say nice things about your thighs.
And for goodness sake, eat your bloody yolks!