Let me tell you a secret. I love GLEE. It has to be one of the best TV shows on the air that promotes good self image, loving yourself, facing challenges, anti-bullying, and diversity. It also makes me giggle hysterically. And yes, there are elements of ridiculousness about it. (The fact that a tiny high school in Ohio has a ton of vocally talented students and a championship cheerleading squad, Sue Sylvester - period, over-the-top theme episodes, etc.).
I think that's why I love it so much - it can be ridiculously hilarious one moment with one-liners but then 5 minutes later it is laying down something serious. In season 1, Kurt becomes the kicker for the football team to try to please his dad and can only score field goals after he dances to "Single Ladies" in the middle of the field [ridiculous], but then he comes out to his father, who then tells him that he loves him no matter what [serious theme].
There was a 90 minute episode of GLEE on the other night. (You can bet your ass that I rushed through my workouts and dinner in order to catch it. I may have also ignored phone calls). The entire episode embraced loving those things about yourself that you may not like, such as body image, mental disorders, sexual orientation, level of intelligence.
The highlight of the episode (for me at least) was a duet with Quinn and Rachel (if you don't follow GLEE - these two are basically enemies who fight over the same guy) because one of them wants to get a nose job so she looks more like the other one. It's essentially a remake of "Unpretty" by TLC. I don't care if you hate GLEE, show choir, whatever, this song is WORTH a listen.
The episode rounded off with "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga. And honestly, I think it's awesome how many "pop anthems" there are this year about loving yourself, not changing, and being happy with your life. I'm sure these are familiar with most people who listen to the radio (I am definitely guilty of being a top-40s music listener in the car and especially when I run). I am also guilty of purchasing WAY too many GLEE cast songs on iTunes.
It makes me so happy to see TV shows like GLEE and artists who are sending positive messages to everyone about being happy with who you are. That is so much the opposite of what most media is doing.
I think it's even worse trying to be 1) female and 2) an athlete. Out of all the women that I know that compete in triathlon.. many have struggled with either an eating disorder or issues with food at one point in their lives. And I include myself in that statistic. Some are still struggling. It's really a shame. We need to eat to stay healthy and train/race to our highest potential.
And every time I hear a friend being upset about some part of their life that they wish was different, or weight they want to lose, or appearance they want to change, I just want to give them a hug. Because everyone feels that way. We all want to be prettier, thinner, faster, funnier, earn more money, own nicer things, have better fashion sense, accomplish more. And in a sense, it keeps us grounded rather than floating off with our giant egos acting as balloons. But it also keeps us from reaching our potential when we focus on our negatives rather than our positives.
It's ok to make changes in our lives in areas that we are unsatisfied with.. if the change is positive. But there is a limit to what is healthy. Leaving a job that is unfullfilling to search for a better one - healthy. Going to therapy to deal with depression, anxiety, or some other mental disorder that we feel ashamed of - definitely healthy. Getting a nose job or developing an eating disorder to deal with self-image insecurities - not healthy.
Not being happy with who we are - not healthy.