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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Unexpected Life Lessons

There’s has always been a running joke at the affluent gym where I work out that most of the women there are members of the “Prozac Nation.” To be a member of “Prozac Nation” you have to spend at least two hours at the gym six days a week, have a fake tan, fake breast, at least two facial surgeries under your belt and more money than you know what to do with. Stories have circulated around the gym for years that if you go to the 8:30 am spin class and accidentally take the bike of one of the members of this exclusive club you better be prepared for some hostility.

A guy who is lovingly termed LSU Bob, because he ALWAYS wears LSU colors and goes to every single football game they play, recently confirmed that this was in fact a true bit of salacious information. He was unfortunately on the receiving end of a Prozie’s tantrum when he took her usual bike in spin because he, the poor sop, didn’t know she had claimed that bike fit for only her size zero bottom.

Let me tell you up front, I am not a Prozie. There is nothing fake on me except my hair color, which is only colored because at thirty-eight I think it highly unfair that I have so much gray hair. I suppose I’ll be like my dear old grandmother, God rest her soul, who had lovely chocolate brown hair until the day we buried her. Of course, it was velvety brown because she religiously visited the salon every four weeks, and I have taken it upon myself not to let that tradition fall to the waste side, or at least that’s the excuse I give myself for the ridiculous amount of money I pay my hot French hairdresser every four weeks. Does this make me a member of “Prozac Nation”? Not even close, ladies.

First of all, I do not have more money than I know what to do with, I am lily white, I spend no more than an hour at the gym five days a week, and I still, unfortunately have the breasts I was left with after giving birth to two children. Here’s the clincher though – I have recently gotten to know a Prozie because I started doing spin class, and I realized who am I too judge this woman? Don’t we all want to look our best? If I had the extra money, I might get some sort of breast surgery, although I doubt it because I hate needles, pain and the idea of something fake inside of me.

However, this is my choice and those who have joined “Prozac Nation” make their choices. No one should judge them, or perhaps be jealous because those women really do look great and frankly, they work darn hard to look that way. 

As I approach thirty-nine, I realize I am constantly re-learning lessons I strive every day to teach my children. I sat and listened to a man speak last week who said, “The mistakes of your parenting will ripple down through your children’s lives forever.” This struck a chord in me and made me gulp. I don’t want my children to be judgmental people. I never thought I was, but I was reminded this week that I constantly have to strive to be a good person, and I hope I teach my children constantly to strive to be good and truly kind in their lives. There’s no way to avoid not making parenting mistakes, because I am human, after all. But I know I can teach my children to go forward in life and lift themselves to a higher realm where they look into people’s hearts and judge what’s there and not what’s on the outside.

Is there a lesson you have re-learned or something you hope to instill in your children or tried to instill in your grown child? I’d love to hear from you!

Have a great day!
Julie Johnstone, The Marchioness of Mayhem


  1. This post has resonated with me for various reasons, Julie, but I am constantly reminding my children to appreciate every little detail in life, including the differences in people. If we all looked the same, it would be a very boring place indeed.

    We all do strive to look good and that is normal. Though what is not normal is changing your entire facial structure or boob size to please society or even yourself. At some point we need to teach our little girls to be happy with who they are and love how they look. But mostly let them learn to love themselves because of who they are. I may get blasted by people who've had plastic surgery but how can we as parents teach our children to love their inner selves when we struggle so often with outer appearances? Beauty fades. It's a fact of life and at some point we need to learn to stop fighting it and learn to love our lives, not because of how much money, or how good we look at whatever age but because the experiences we've gone through are those that have brought us joy.

    Great blog post and very thought inspiring. I love it.

  2. I agree that we should teach our children to love themselves because of who they are on the inside, but I also do not that it is my place to judge what someone does to make themselves feel good. After all, I feel good on the inside, but I feel better when all my gray is not showing. Sad, but true!

  3. Oh, I'm not judging other people just stating that I disagree with it and btw, I'm a bottle blonde and proud of it. However I'm not going to do a risky surgery to change my appearance. And again that's just my own opinion, everyone else can do what they like, its just not me. But I do feel we need to spend more time on how our children feel about themselves and less on how they look. Again this is just my own two cents which isn't really worth that much anyway.

  4. Intriguing post. Especially since I just got back from having "natural blonde" put back in my hair. LOL I am not ready to let gray be the dominant color just yet, and partly it's because I still look relatively young for my age.

    I don't think I judge people who want to do more with their appearance, but I am slightly bemused or puzzled by it. Probably because it seems like an obsession for so many folks. Maybe because there's an obsessive appreciation of youthfulness.

    In the olden days, a woman's body shape was changed with odd costume paraphernalia (i.e., hoops, corsets, etc.) Now things are implanted into the actual body! LOL

  5. My kids often teach me as much as I teach them. I'm most pleased with their confidence and kind hearts. I love when my daughter says, "I'm a really good singer." And when her brother tells her she isn't, which brothers sometimes do, she just looks at him like "whatever" and keeps singing. :)

  6. Great post, Julie! I couldn't agree more!! In recent years I've come to learn that I have no place or right to judge anyone for anything. Everyone is on a path and it belongs to them and only them. If it makes them feel good to get fake boobs put in, then more power to them! Personally, I like my rack :) LOL! And like you, I'm terrified of needles and such, so I just bust my hump at the gym to TRY and keep things in shape. I know for me, if I go a few days without wearing makeup or fixing my hair, I feel awful! It has nothing to do with wanting to impress other people, but everything to do with making me feel good about myself. And I like to feel good :)

  7. Hey ... I left a comment here this morning. All about how my dad taught me the value of having a good laugh and being silly. Where did it go? (Hands on hips - feeling distinctly unhumorous)