Monday, August 23, 2010

Body Positivity and Fat and Disordered Eating, Oh My!

I've been having some post-vacation crazy head around my weight, so it's always good to check in with the blogosphere to put things in perspective, or at least find some commiseration.

I loved this post over at Saturday Jane, especially this:

The weird thing is that I don’t actually think I have an awful body. I can look at it objectively and go, “Oh, hey, I have a waist! That is a nice thing to have.” I can try to rate myself on the 10 scale (I don’t recommend this) and come up with a number that isn’t in the negatives. I am pretty dang standard, but as soon as I try to dress above my ‘attractiveness rating’ I get nervous.

I think this is because a woman’s confidence can be seen as an inherently dangerous thing. If a woman proudly posits that her ears were, in fact, carved by artisan Gods, people will give her The Look. You know The Look. The ‘Mm, do you really think you can afford to say things like that? Are your ears really that fantastic? In fact, I think one is bigger than the other. Hey, Barbara, look at this girl’s ears, don’t you think one is too big?” Rather than deal with the heartbreak of somebody tearing down her assumptions, the woman with the fabulous ears will keep her confidences to herself, becoming ashamed of her own pride in a weird cycle of non-esteemy esteem.

What it boils down to is this: I am okay with my body, but I don’t want other people to know that I am okay with my body, because then they will notice it, and what if they discover something that is not okay? And then if they think I am okay with something that really isn’t okay, they’ll think I’m a snob, or a bitch. They’ll think I’m one of those blindly self-praising girls who thinks she’s all that. They’ll tell everybody else that that’s what I am. A girl who thinks she is all that, when I am not all that at all, I’m not even a little bit that! And then everyone will talk about me behind my back and I’ll never get asked to prom and nobody will ever approve my housing loans.

I am not afraid of people thinking I am ugly.

I am afraid of people thinking that I am presumptuous.

This is why I am eager to beat The Universe to the punch, to explain that oh, no, don’t worry. I know my nose is weird and blobby and crooked. I get that my fingers are the size and shape of chewed-on cigars. It’s cool. I’m cool. I don’t think I’m ‘above my station’ or anything. I’m being realistic here.

I could have written that. I wish I wrote that. I am that.

In other news, please check out this article on Jezebel about the new reality show, What's Eating You -- an Intervention-like show about people with eating disorders. Or as I like to think of it, A How To Guide For Young ED Sufferers.

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