Thursday, May 8, 2008

Dolphins and body image

Here is the beginning of my vacation review. I'm not going to give you a play by play, because even if I were doing it for family history purposes, I would never read it again. Not to mention that Kevin already has the play by play in his journal. Instead I'm going to write little snippets of the things that crossed my mind in the course of our travels.

I think the highlight of the trip for me was fulfilling a dream I've had since childhood. I wasn't one of those fourth grade girls that loves horses, and I never wanted to become a marine biologist, but I DID always want to see a dolphin. You'd think I'd have done that in New Zealand or Fiji, but no such luck. So, when Kevin asked me what I wanted to do in Orlando, Disney World was not the answer. I told him I wanted to see a dolphin. When I told him I'd always wanted to, he took me seriously. Good for him. So that was the first thing we did in Orlando. I'm serious, we went into SeaWorld and headed to the dolphins. (OK, we stopped to look at the sting rays for about 30 seconds, but only because it was on the way.) I was so very excited I couldn't even take my eyes off of them. I was like a little kid, and it was so fun.

Now, I'm sure you've seen Lisa Frank dolphins, and dolphin charm necklaces, and pictures of dolphins in many different places. They seem to be everywhere don't they? There's plenty of dolphin publicity. They are slender, graceful, beautiful creatures according to everything I had ever seen. What surprised me most when I saw the real, live dolphin was that it was not slender. Dolphins are fatsos. That's just the way they're built. They ARE, however, graceful, beautiful creatures. Isn't it lovely that they can be fatsos and graceful, beautiful creatures at once?

I was thinking about that idea quite a bit throughout the rest of the trip, in which we went to the beach several times. The thing about the beach is that you can't really hide anything. No matter how many times you've watched "What Not to Wear," there's only so much you can do with a swimsuit to flatter your body type. My mom used to make us wear T-shirts over our swimsuits (for the sun) but even that doesn't hide anything when it's wet.

Women in swimsuits are perhaps even more highly publicized than dolphins are. (Although I've never seen one on a Lisa Frank pencil box.) They are slender, bronze, cleavage-laden creatures. However, like dolphins, what you find in the magazines is not what you find on actual specimens at the beach. Some are slender and bronze, some are bronze and cleavage-laden, and some are just cleavage-laden. I did not see even one who had all three characteristics. And the only ones with flat little tummies were about 17 years old. However, there were many, many beautiful women there at the beach. I think in making this observation I have discovered a new treatment for poor body image. Attend the beach and do so often. You might just find out that it's possible to be graceful and beautiful and not look like a swimsuit model.

You also might find out how important it is it apply sunscreen to your legs as well as the rest of your body. I know I did.

On a more journal-y note, Alena also enjoyed SeaWorld. In fact, she like it so much that she graced Shamu with her very first applause:

P.S. Check out the new photos in the "photos" tab.

P.P.S. That floppy dorsal fin in not caused by captivity, it's genetic.



Blogger Becca Bell said...

You have discovered the reason why I don't mind wearing a bathing suit to a public beach...I just tell myself, "There always someone there who's bigger than you." Works every time.

9:39 PM  
Blogger Becca said...

this parallel = one of the many reasons I love talyn :)

11:50 AM  
Blogger the man said...

i hear hawaii is a nice place to vacation... you might even have room and board for free too.

2:57 AM  
Blogger melody said...

Very insightful observations. Lisa Frank has nothing on the beauty of real, fat dolphins anyway! The video is great. What a happy little girl you have.

5:24 PM  

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