25 January, 2014

Chips or Salad?

The other day I had lunch with a male friend at Post Box Cafe, a very lovely local establishment in Yowie Bay. We had ordered two servings of their scrumptious steak sandwiches, one with salad the other with chips.

As the waiter came by with our food, he asked who was having which dish. We hadn't particularly decided what we wanted, and told him it didn't matter. He paused for the slightest second and placed the plate with the salad in front of me.

How preposterous! I thought, in a posh English accent. 

Now yes, this was a rather humorous assumption that he made, but it bothered me.

It was the waiters' natural instinct to hand me the salad and my friend the chips. When in fact, I felt like having chips that day. I soon realised that we all, to a degree, have this unconscious assumptive nature.

Assuming how others should act, and how we ourselves should conduct ourselves.

He had unknowingly made a conclusion through his experience of living in a highly self-conscious, health-crazed society that:

A young woman = a calorie counting, health magazine buying, green juice drinking junkie.    That in turn = SALAD.

This innocent act revealed a truth about our society. That it is easily accepted and even expected for a girl my age to be dieting, that I would eat a salad over chips particularly in the company of a male, and that I would be repulsed at the sight of oily potato sticks.

He didn't mean any offense, but it got my mind churning.

Maybe this is the moment in a science fiction text, when the protagonist (me) realises the world she once thought was her own is in fact controlled by an alien species. That we are stuck in the Matrix. A stimulated reality, controlled by image-obsessed fiends, who demand humans to be sucked into a manic devotion to obtain the "perfect" body.

Have we perhaps reached our dystopian society?

A society that I have easily been dragged into? Allowing myself to be seduced into buying more and more clothes. Being flooded with negative self-talk about my body. Surrounded and bullied by images all over the media.

A society where conversations overheard in bathrooms want to make you sick.

I was in a bathroom at Strathfield, washing my hands, when two girls who couldn't be more than 16-year-old, wearing mid-drifs, came in to look at themselves in the mirror. 

One of the girls had recently gotten her belly button pierced. As her friend admired the piercing and her "super flat stomach", I slowed my hand drying process to listen to their conversation. Keep in mind that both of these girls were very clearly in the category of "super skinny".  

First girl: O.M.G! You are so skinny! You're so lucky you got a belly button piercing!

Second girl: Oh my gosh… I am not skinny… you are SO much skinnier than I am. You should just get one as well!

First girl: Oh no, I could NEVER get one, I'm way to fat! 

Now, either both of these girls were completely delusional, or have gotten into the habit of saying, "stop it, you're prettier!" It's become something hip and an instant response for people to push down their own self-image to lift another up. 

Constantly being unaware of what simple comments like that do to ones self-esteem. And not only does it affect your own self-esteem, but it creates a standard of what everyone else should be reaching. 

Due to the superficial values we place on image, we have collapsed under an automatic thought process in terms of how we are expected to look and act.

That as a woman I should order the salad because I am expected to. And when I do order salad, is it because I want it or because the evil healthoids force me to?

Next time a negative comment crosses your mind. Stop. Stop before you say it out loud or let it boil in your brain. Think about why you are choosing to throw yourself a pity party. Is it the aliens? It sure could be.

But if there are no aliens hovering over your stolid body, then it's up to you.

Does anyone agree with what I am saying? Or are these comments completely irrelevant? Are all my readers lettuce munching, kale gulping, image obesssed calorie watches? Surly not.

There is nothing wrong with being healthy.
There is nothing wrong with drinking smoothies.
In fact, there is nothing wrong with ordering a salad.

What is wrong, is that I wanted those chips but instead got a poorly dressed salad.

Join the fight, do what's right,

Plug out.


  1. I really admire how brave you are to try new things, is it okay if I ask you something for your advice? I know this is not suppose to be a "seek for advice" blog, but I could really use some advice if you don't mind :) I have always been a person that is scared of changes like changing school and I always get this sick feeling inside me, if you know what I mean. I am starting uni this year, but I am scared of this new environment, new people, a place I know nothing about...I am just not so sure what I can do. thank you for reading this post btw :)

    1. Hello! It is no problem at all, I would love to help you out in any way possible! I honestly know exactly how you feel. And I was in fact in the same place this time last year. I only stayed in uni for one month because I got so overwhelmed. I put way too much pressure on myself to perform and to make friends etc. You just have to remember who you are doing it for? It is for yourself. Try to put the pressure off. Try to relax and enjoy it. It will be different and it will be hard, but everyone is in the same boat and you will handle it! Friends will come naturally depending on how open you are to them and to experiences in general. Honestly for people like you and I, it comes down to practice. Practicing to put yourself out there. Other people may be naturally more easy going or eager to try new things. But for me it has definitely been something I have to constantly practice doing. Deliberately putting myself in awkward and new situations. Enjoy the moments when you feel out of place! Soon enough it will get easier and easier to be fearless and actually have fun in the process. I hope this helped! If you need any more advice in the future you can email me at - cj.newyearnow@gmail.com

    2. Thank you so much !! I really appreciate it, I know I will need advice very soon, so thanks again :)