Date #26

The Virtue of Intolerance

Wait a minute...isn't intolerance a bad thing?

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Appropriate intolerance is refusing to put up with what you see as unacceptable. It is very important to develop this when what you see as unacceptable is socially the norm.

Inappropriate tolerance is putting up with what you know is unacceptable.

It is my hope that the work you have done to accept your body over the last few weeks will now make you see the standards for beauty (ie you must be size zero to look acceptable, and make sure you trash talk yourself for any imperfections) that all your female friends are indulging in as inappropriately tolerant.

What I am going to suggest to you as a response is appropriate intolerance.

Your first thought when you discover the joys of relaxing your Cavebrain and saying She Looks Great (SLG) is that this is a lovely thing that all women should embrace. Let's enthusiastically tell everyone about it!

When I explain SLG, I get definite interest, but behind most women’s eyes is a look that says: that’ll never work.

I find that healthy appropriate intolerance makes me feel far better and actually makes people think.

What To Do On This Date

If you are getting frustrated with hearing your friends trot out the same old toxic nonsense that the beauty industry used to brainwash you with, why not try a bit of intolerance? Here are two different ways to proceed....

Example Conversation A

Friend: I’ve got a date on Friday...and nothing to wear. Unless I can lose 5lb in the gym that is!

Me: Why do you think you need to shed weight for this date?

Friend: Because who wants to go out with this ??? (grabs her muffin top in desperation)

Me: I have a tummy and I think I look great! Neither of us have washboard stomachs, and I certainly don’t have film star looks, so why am I OK with what I look like and you aren’t? Why do you think?

Friend: Well, you’re just so confident.

Me: It’s true I am confident, but I spent years hating my body even though I was generally confident. I have done some serious work on how I think and I have learnt to accept my body.

Friend: Err... (I can see her visibly dismiss the idea that she could do the same)...well that’s great for you but doesn’t help me for Friday.

Me: I am happy to explain a bit about how I learnt to accept my body.

Friend: (Losing interest fast) Yeah, another time maybe. (looks miserable) Why am I so fat?

Me: Listen, I’ve had enough of hearing you trash talk yourself. I really don’t want to hear anymore. Can we change the subject?

Friend (taken aback) Oh...OK.

Example Conversation B

Friend: I’ve got a date on Friday...and nothing to wear. Unless I can lose 5lb in the gym that is!

Me: I'm not in perfect shape, and I think I look great! Here, have a look at this (Opening Instagram and showing my friend some pictures of Ashleigh Graham)

Friend: Yeah, but what am I going to do about Friday?

Me: Listen, I’m not really the person to talk to about this. Hey, Look at this one - bodyposipanda. She looks so great. She’s got a tummy too. Did you know she used to have anorexia? Look how happy she is. What a great role model.

Friend: (Cannot think of a reply to this. Looks at Ashleigh Graham and is distracted from her trash talk. This is a minor triumph!)