Friday, May 6, 2011

battle of the bulge

kim pointed out to me that is, in fact, international no-diet day. i happen to adore this idea. basically, the goal of the day is to stop freaking the hell out about how your body doesn't resemble [insert impossibly skinny/buxom/etc. starlet here]'s body, relax and have a freaking cookie if you want to. and i fully support that. i am someone who once allowed my weight to get radically out of control for all the wrong reasons, then managed to get myself to a happy place that is far from kate moss territory (is that a dated reference?). but i like how i look. i'm curvy. i can walk from capitol hill to far-northwest DC without praying for death. i'm pretty healthy.

but by this culture's standards of beauty? this size-6 skirt wearer is still looked at as fat. and that, my dear friends, is about the stupidest fucking thing on the planet. that thought bears repeating, in bold, because it's so true: the fact that someone with my body type is considered "fat" is totally fucking stupid. really. what's wrong with us? stars' lives are too important to us. if someone paid you hundreds of thousands of dollars to work out all day long, you'd be impossibly skinny, too. you'd also be miserable as hell.

but that's not even the real point. not even close. the point is that our national obsession with body image is another symptom of what i like to call "mind your own damn business" disease. we care just way too damn much as a society about what other people are doing. we are a nation of nosy, bossy busybodies who can't resist passing judgment on others as if the way we individually live is so all-fired sainted that we have that kind of moral authority. here's a news flash: no we don't. no one person has the right to make another person feel small, stupid or unworthy over the superficial. the fact that we've made it a national civic religion is the height of disgusting.

the side effects of this affliction are absurd at best and unspeakably harmful at worst. there are practical deficiencies. for example, i went to buy t-shirts at a nationally renowned upscale casual clothing chain associated with preppy people. i bought smalls, as that has been my shirt size of late. strikes me as weird; not to overshare, but i wear a 34D brassiere. small is not something that seems to go along with that. but when i put the first shirt on the next day, it hung off me like it belonged to the man. turns out that this chain has created new sizes. they now run from extra-large at the top... to DOUBLE-EXTRA-SMALL at the bottom. this new "xx-small" size is the rough equivalent of the same chain's small from three years ago. vanity writ large. not to mention extreme inconvenience. all in service of being as "small" as you can be.

and that's anodyne as hell compared to the side effects to people's emotional health. eating disorders. public ridicule. scorn and derision. big people being shown on the news from the neck down like they're cattle being led to slaughter. (this is something that never used to bug me, but on further reflection, horrifies me as insanely cruel and juvenile.) plastic surgeries that are closer to ritualized mutilation of people's bodies, all in the service of being "perfect." it infects ALL of us, no matter what we actually look like. so many beautiful, smart and amazing women look in the mirror and see things that make them sad, depressed, and worse, all because some preening OTHER in the world says, nope, you're just not good enough.

well, no more. it's hard enough as it is to be a woman in the world these days, as TKOG reminded us today. we need to stop letting venal, small, mean people make us feel bad for NO REASON. love your body. do what you need to do to be healthy, but do NOT make yourself a slave to vanity standards that have no bearing in reality. you're beautiful. ALL OF YOU. trust that, and follow what you want for yourself to live YOUR best life.

and if you want that damn cookie? eat it, relish it and love it. 100% guilt-free. you're so worth it.


  1. Somehow, in the past year, my size 8 foot has shrunk to a 7. However, my 34B is now a 34C (in only one store), and I now wear large and extra large t-shirts (seriously, you've seen me. How am I an XL?), except at Old Navy, where I wear an extra-small. I bought a small, and it looks like I stole one of Thomas' t-shirts and dyed it purple. I am so very, very confused...

  2. I'm totally going to go to Cafe Rio and get Tres Leches, all because you've inspired me!

  3. I needed to read this today after having a body image meltdown last night. I hate that at size 6 I also feel fat. ALL THE TIME. For me, it's a lot mental, though, as I compare myself to everyone and anyone.


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