Mermaid v. Whale

The other day I was on Facebook having a conversation with one of my friends.  Full-blown conversations online have always bothered me for some reason.  Continually commenting on some status back and forth until one of you finally decides to just stop saying things.  It seems silly to formally end it by saying something like “Well I have to go now,” because it’s a comment.  Anyway that’s beside the point.

My point is that while I didn’t enjoy the media for having the conversation I did enjoy the topic (and I hope to continue the discussion when I see my friend next).  We were discussing, of all things, weight.  As in size: fat or thin, big or small, whale or mermaid etc.  The conversation was started from a post I shared from a friend on Facebook.  This post to be exact:

“A while back, at the entrance of a gym, there was a picture of a very thin and beautiful woman. The caption was “This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?”

The story goes, a woman (of clothing size unknown) answered the following way: 

“Dear people, whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, seals, curious humans), they are sexually active and raise their children with great tenderness.

They entertain like crazy with dolphins and eat lots of prawns. They swim all day and travel to fantastic places like Patagonia, the Barents Sea or the coral reefs of Polynesia.

They sing incredibly well and sometimes even are on CDs. They are impressive and dearly loved animals, which everyone defend and admires.

Mermaids do not exist.

But if they existed, they would line up to see a psychologist because of a problem of split personality: woman or fish?

They would have no sex life and could not bear children.  Yes, they would be lovely, but lonely and sad.  And, who wants a girl that smells like fish by his side?

Without a doubt, I’d rather be a whale.

At a time when the media tells us that only thin is beautiful, I prefer to eat ice cream with my kids, to have dinner with my husband, to eat and drink and have fun with my friends.

We women, we gain weight because we accumulate so much wisdom and knowledge that there isn’t enough space in our heads, and it spreads all over our bodies.  We are not fat, we are greatly cultivated.

Every time I see my curves in the mirror, I tell myself: “How amazing am I ?! “

(The girl on the picture is French model Tara Lynn)”

My friend commented that first, humans should be neither whales nor mermaids but humans and second, that he doesn’t like “polarized arguments on either side glorifying either ideal to the extent of unhealthy life habits.”  Both of which are good points.  In responding to him (in the Facebook conversation way that I so enjoy) I started talking about the reasons I shared this particular post: “I prefer to eat ice cream with my kids, to have dinner with my husband, to eat and drink and have fun with my friends.”  I also realized that I have a lot to say about being healthy and my whole life is very focused on size.

The people who surround me spend a lot of time talking about what not to eat and how to stay thin.  The TV shows I watch show “perfect” women.  The magazines I read talk about how best to cut calories and the best workout plan for a flat stomach.  I know I’m guilty of thinking my thighs are too big but I’m also guilty of thinking I’m smokin’ hot within the same day.  And I know I’m not alone.

And all of this, and the realization that all my writing from the past are basically blog posts, led me to decide that I wanted to start a blog.  I want to write about all the things that go into living a healthy life (as far as I know).  I want to share recipes that are healthful, yoga routines that help to balance and a general lifestyle that refreshes.  I want to share the things that happen in my brain and in return I want to discover what others will share with me.

So to begin I’ll introduce myself.  My name is Maggie Haseman.  I am 21 years old.  I currently study restoration ecology in rangeland ecosystems at Colorado State University in Fort Collins Colorado.  My interests include, healthful cooking, practicing yoga, nurturing and collecting plants, playing board and card games, learning as much as I can, teaching others about what I know, reading and getting lost in stories, writing about what I think, laughing a lot, singing to my favorite songs, dancing like a crazy person, listening to music and to what others have to say, talking about things that do matter and things that don’t matter, tasting delicious food, entertaining friends and family, making and viewing art.  I could go on; But I won’t.;sz=180×150;ord=timestamp?;lid=41000000000342669;pid=599179;usg=AFHzDLumrlVFjWIOeKQzROsCOIK8hF-tYA;;pubid=575791;price=%2414.98;title=Weider+Yoga+Mat;merc=Kohl%27s;;width=85;height=85;sz=180×150;ord=timestamp?;lid=41000000026530730;pid=48580;usg=AFHzDLsuNWZV03HZjxHbBEpmZtxBsczJGA;;pubid=575791;price=%24399.00;title=Apple+64GB+Black+4th+G…;merc=Abt+Electronics+%26+Appliances;;width=45;height=85;sz=180×150;ord=timestamp?;lid=41000000028505128;pid=HSB1198;usg=AFHzDLsAQe4wkGYSW3k6pl8jC1Xtxsdn7A;;pubid=575791;price=%2434.99;title=%22Game+of+Life+Board+Game%22;merc=Wayfair;;width=85;height=85

This is me.  I would love to hear from you; who are you?  What do you think about the mermaid vs. whale discussion?  How do you live happily and healthfully?

4 thoughts on “Mermaid v. Whale

  1. Maggie

    Thanks for sharing this Lynn! I had no idea about your experience at West Point, but I love hearing about it. I like your interpretation of this post. I think there are many factors involved with being happy and healthy including your inner self not just how you look on the outside. But often the two overlap allowing you to look the way you want to look and feel the way you want to feel. <3

    P.S. It is hard to believe that you've had 3 babies (if I hadn't seen you with the babies in your belly I might not from looking at you know) but I know you quite literally worked your butt off. 🙂

  2. Lynn Streich

    Maggie – how awesome. Great topic! I would like to say that I'm a whale at heart. At West Point, boys would pick us girls apart to the Nth degree. How do we look in our uniform, how big is our rear, how much weight have we gained … Nauseating to say the least. We were referred to derogatorily as Grey Trou. We were given the same diet as the guys though … A fatty 3000 calorie a day diet. Hard to stay skinny or hot on such unhealthy type food. Now in my 30s and after 3 babies, I am realizing that I'm in fact blessed with a high metabolism and if I stay fit & eat healthily, the weight stays off. Some women give me a hard time for being 'skinny'. I part feel bad because it's hard to lose weight after baby for LOTS if women … I mostly try to revel in the fact that this is the most comfortable I've ever felt in my own body … So I chose whale for myself because I'm actually happy with how I feel which translates to how I look. xoxo

  3. Maggie

    It was a good conversation, “friend”. And Thanks for commenting here. I'm trying to generate traffic to my blog. More comments = more views 🙂

  4. Dustin

    I think I remember the Mermaid vs. Whale conversation 🙂

    I thought I'd comment here instead of Facebook. I always hate getting into discussions on Facebook because you never know who you're really talking to. Sometimes a 3rd party will jump in and be super rude and disrespectful.


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