Last Saturday I took my son to one of the local beaches for the day. It was very sunny, in the low 90’s, but the humidity level made it feel like we were inside a pressure cooker. Thank God we found a parking spot close to the entrance, because I looked like a walking coat stand carrying my back-pack chair, the beach bag, beach toys, and surf board.
The only thing I asked my son to help me carry was the cool-pack—which by the way had his snacks–and yet he whined and complained the entire time. We settled in a nice spot. While my son played in the sand, I just sat on my chair taking in the view and smelling the salty aroma of the ocean. After a crazy week at work, being by the sea in silence was my cheap version of a spa day.
Everything was great until the family that was sitting next to us decided to feed the seagulls. A couple of toddlers started throwing crumbs of cookies in the air and in a split second a cloud of yapping birds started hovering over us. I knew something was going to happen.
As I got up from my chair and walked away from the ocean, hoping to escape the attack, I felt something wet hit me on the cheek. When I touched it, I realized that one of the seagulls had pooped on me! I cursed the darn thing all the way to its prehistoric ancestors and wished I had a BB gun.
I washed my face, filled with disgust, and then I remembered a goofy superstition in my country which says that it is good luck to be pooped on by a bird. Nevertheless, it’s been several days and I am yet to see the benefits of such a gross moment.
After what felt like an eternity, the rugrats ran out of cookies, so I was able to go back to my chair and resume people-watching. I enjoyed seeing the families that appear to be moving to the beach because of all the gear they carry—tent, table, chairs, cooler, grill, and a baby pack-n-play to name a few.
I also saw a couple of human examples that boosted my self-steam and reaffirmed that I can still wear a two-piece bathing suit. But, what really caught my attention was the number of young kids who were in good shape. Sculpted, tan bodies are a voyeur’s buffet and even though I look at them with motherly eyes I wonder, how do they decide who to like?
These young men and women are the Millennials. They are born cute. They watch what they eat, and exercise religiously without a second thought. If they drink, they even count the calories in their cocktails!
As a member of the Generation X, I have to follow a ritual to look good. Working-out means punishment, and I can’t say no to a beer, chocolate, or fried food. I remember that back in my teenage and college years, we were chunky and the meaning of “six-pack” was the literal six-pack of beers and not the wash-board abs currently on display at almost every gym, beach, or pool. Lucky girls!
For decades, women have been objectified by the beauty industry in all its forms—television, magazines, internet, and social media–while men sat and watched, but times have changed. Today, men are equal objects of desire, turning the younger generation of “Barbie Kents” into the new target of the clothing, beauty products, and even plastic surgery industries.
Avoiding narcissism, I think that it is great that younger generations think about their appearance and follow healthier life styles. I hope this trend will last long enough for my son to become a young adult, because with a hereditary heart disease knocking on his door, having a cool beach body is not just a matter of vanity, but a life saver.
Thanks for reading and sharing.