So today I was doing my usual net surfing and hitting my favorite blogs when one of them had something that caught my eye. It was a very intimate blog with pictures from the past through now, which she also went on to explain some of the challenges that she has been going through. So what I found particularly interesting in this blog was a comment she made about her current weight. From what I saw she was a extremely tiny girl in the past and since her diagnosis had gained several pounds to help fight the disease. Well she found this to be one of the most repulsive things about her diagnosis and the way she talked about it I got the idea that of all the things that have happened this was the one that made her really depressed. And it made me think why? I would like to believe that if I had an illness there would be so many things running through my head that how much I weighed would be the last thing on my mind.
I would like to say here that I am not judging her or trying to say anything negative about her because I think she is a very strong girl that is handling things amazingly well and with such grace and wit. I am criticizing the society and the industry that would even put it in this girls head that gaining weight, even if its to save your life, is bad. We all know that the American culture and especially the fashion culture cultivate an image of very thin skeleton like women and tells women that looking like you havent eaten in several years is a good thing. But the question has and will always be why? The image they celebrate is not something most women can achieve by healthy means and for those few that can there will be a time in their lives that the image gets shattered to hell and they no longer are able to keep it up. So I wonder who the hell is telling us this shit and furthermore why are we listening to them?
A while ago I read this thing about Oprah being told by Anna Wintour (that cold hearted bitch from Vogue) that she should lose 20 pounds before her cover shoot. The amazing part of this story wasnt that Anna had the balls to say this (though that was impressive), it was the fact that Oprah actually listened to her. Oprah!!!! Oprah the woman that everyone else fears, who is possibly the most powerful celebrity ever listened to someone insulting her weight! In that moment I realized that damn near everyone has been brainwashed to believe that this is the most important thing about a woman. We all fear weight so much and even more so fear someone calling us “fat” that we will stress over this no matter how powerful we are, how hideous the person judging us is, or the amount of danger we are facing. Not even death himself is enough to make us stop worrying about what size our jeans are and quite honestly that is fucking pathetic. We eat less so people don’t judge us, we make up excuses for ourselves, and we do everything short of death to achieve the image we think is perfection.
I realize this as many other women do, yet I am not exempt from buying into it too. For example today my boss came in with this container of guacamole and we popped it open to share while we were having our meeting. Throughout the meeting I had no problem popping chips into my mouth (it was really good), but when we were done I felt the need to comment on the fact that we had eaten the whole thing and make sure I put the idea in my bosses head that I would be skipping lunch. Why did I do that? I am nowhere near skinny so it is sure as hell no secret that I eat and it wasn’t like I had eaten an entire buffet of food, but I needed to make excuses. It seems to me like I need to apologize when I eat or let people know I dont eat that much usually in order for them to accept me and that is such bullshit.
I have been on the skinny side of things and it was just as bad as being with the fatties. When I was a kid I was painfully thin and stayed that way through puberty. Everyone made fun of me, which most likely has a lot to do with the fact that I come from a culture where being a skeleton is not attractive. As I got older I started to pick up weight which gave me a very curvy or what I like to call black girl’s body and I had that for a long time. I stayed happy with my body through most of college because I knew I was within several pounds of my body’s personal best. I came to terms wit the fact that long and thin were never things I was going to be and to tell you the truth never the thing I wanted to be. I am a relatively short girl with short legs, thick thighs, a big butt, and big boobs, no matter what I do outside of starving I will always be that. I also have the very pesky trait of gaining weight on my stomach, which will just get bigger the more weight I put on.
I have generally been able to keep things in control, some may view it as fat but it worked for me. When I took two years off of college everything got out of control and for the first time I was around people that felt the need to make fun of or comment on my weight (by the way they can suck it). I consider this the curse of being near very stupid people because several of the guys tried to date me, yet talked crap, but I digress. At this time I gained 60+ pounds, which lets be honest I still have not gotten rid of and it pisses me off. I think of it as a punishment or a curse, but after reading that girls blog I would like to think of it differently.
As women we generally gain weight when we go through stressful times, really happy times, or when we have kids, but we still view our weight gain as negative. I am proposing we think of it as a battle scar. When boys do something cool like make that really difficult jump on their skateboard they are proud of all of the scars they pick up along the way to accomplish that goal. The scars show you went through a process and cam out on the other side and yes you have to work to get past the scars and create an even better you, but you don’t have to be ashamed as you take that journey. I gained weight in the two years I took off school and my experience at that time was pure hell, I gained weight this year because I was dealing with family stuff, and you know what I made it (am making it) through. My fat ass and belly mean I made it through and its better than scars on my wrist or time in a mental hospital. I can lose this weight and until I do I can at least be ok with it. No I cant wear everything I used to, but one day I will.
If there is one thing I have realized after seeing my mom get sick and lose her job and having my family go through the difficulty of living through this shitty economy, it is that we can bounce back from it all. The little things like how much you weigh are not as important as making it through the trials of life and coming out the other side glowing. I never want to be more concerned about weight gain than making sure I live through the day. So yeah that is my rant, its not about body image or telling you to love yourself because I know as women we are all about improvement. I want you to get from this the idea that you should know yourself and what you want to be, but also realize that when there are bigger things going on you need to let go of that image. It should not rule you because its shallow, fluid, a fad that can change from minute to minute depending on the whim of a horse-faced witch with a fancy magazine job, and to be honest we need to stand up and tell that bitch, FUCK YOU!!!