jan_can_too (jan_can_too) wrote,

In which we are encouraged to be Veruca Salt?

I was reading the Oprah magazine the other day and came across the article about three women beginning a new health and fitness program that goes with this ”>link. I’ve already sent the magazine to the recycling, but one particular part of the article stuck in my brain.

One of the women was struggling with the idea of how she was going to fit her new behaviors into her life. One of the fitness team, probably the psychologist, told her she wasn’t going to be able to be there for everyone like she has been in the past. The woman said, “I deserve this [new routine],” and the instructor applauded her. She was encouraged to be selfish in this way.

Selfish is one of those magic words (like, say, hair, or guilt, or bank) that instantly evoke stress. My rational parts tell me I’m probably selfish to the same degree as most people. My irrational parts counter that I should not be selfish at all, that I should panic at the very idea of being selfish, and if any signs of selfishness show their pinched little faces, I should do my very best to hide them until they can be destroyed.

Naturally, I found someone being encouraged to be selfish a little shocking. I’m not saying that the woman shouldn’t take the time to take care of her body, not at all. But, really, culturally, we are already selfish enough. We already think we deserve indulgences from massages to chocolate to fancy cars to books. We don’t need any help with selfishness!!!!! Seriously!

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