Born in regional South Australia to a farming family, I was the third girl of four children. My parents were hoping for another boy after two girls and a miscarriage, but to their disappointment that was not to be. This attitude about girls was not unique to my family. At that time, most farming families wanted boys to help on the farm.
I knew I was not what they wanted, and that most of the family inheritance was to go to my brother. I guess that’s why I gave up very early in the piece. Although the farm was my ‘home’ for a time, it was expected that I leave and find my own life. My father paid for my accommodation and living costs while I completed my degree. He also bought me two new cars so I could drive back and forth from the city to the farm each week to see mum.
As soon as my degree was complete, I was on my own. Not only did the financial support end, but also contact with my family and any emotional support which came with that. Feeling rejected and ashamed I drifted away from them. I didn’t want to leave, but I had to survive. Although I remain grateful for the support from my family, it was a shock that it ended so abruptly. And all this happened because I was a girl.
I rented a place to live and worked with men who also believed that women were less valuable than them. By the time I left that job my esteem was shattered and I doubted I had anything of value to give.
Being obese in a world that values the work of men, and the appearance of women is stressful. We live in a culture where women are taught that they have nothing to offer but their physical beauty to men. This is a degrading way for a woman to see herself.
We need to see the real value of femininity. Femininity is a necessary balance to the culture in which we live. There is a space for the nurture, kindness, compassion, and understanding that we offer, and it is worthy of recognition and compensation.
I encourage you to enjoy your femininity. Surround yourself with people who value you as a woman.
Message me if you want to chat.
In love, Jenny