I saw something over at ED Bites that made me so angry; so angry, in fact, that I think my rage could fuel a sizable nuclear reaction. Are some people seriously judging the competency of public officials now based on their body weight? How the fuck is that even a little bit OK?
I have spent nearly a quarter of my life attempting to overcome the obsessive, pathological idea that my worth, my competence, my beauty, my intelligence were all inextricable intertwined with the size of my waist, with the number on the scale, with the amount and types of food I put into my mouth. I have suffered and toiled and railed against this thing inside of me, this monster that wouldn't let me live for a single second without thought of how much space I was taking up in the world. It is a mental illness. And now that I am better, now that I have learned how to think more "normally" about my body and try to love it despite it's lack of conforming to some random and ridiculous feminine beauty ideal, I have emerged on the other side of the abyss to a world that is basically immersed in the same pathological nonsense I have just escaped from. Fucking nonsense.
If I hear one more person lament a bite of food, if I hear one more person talk about their diet, if I hear one more person mention the obesity "epidemic", if I hear one more person make a disparaging remark about an overweight person, I really just might explode in my fury. I seriously can't take this shit anymore. It's a constant onslaught - everywhere. You're fat. Lose weight. You're lazy. Lose weight. Lose weight. Lose weight. Lose weight. Sometimes I feel this malice bubbling up inside my veins and I get a stronge and difficult to repress urge to scream, "SHUT. THE. FUCK. UP."
I realize I'm more sensitive to this shit because of the fucking monster that lies dormant in my brain, but is anyone else sick to fucking death of this bullshit? Am I all alone in my confusion? What the hell has happened? What is particularly upsetting to me is the way that not only has thinness been thrust upon us as a beauty standard, they are now insisting that thinness is a health standard. There is absolutely no evidence to support the idea that being thin means you are healthy. You can be overweight and be healthy. In fact, recent studies suggest that overweight people tend to live longer than "normal" weight people.
Perhaps the worst thing of all is the fact that we, as a society, are pushing a thin, anti-obesity agenda on our children. Kids I talk to are literally afraid of fat. They see it as a death sentence. Where did they get this idea? The other day I overheard someone talking to a 9 year old girl. This person said, "You look like you've lost weight. You look great!" I just about lost my damn mind. This child is not fat, nor has she ever been fat. So what does this comment tell her? That losing weight is appropriate, and actually encouraged, during a time of life when weight should actually be gained. Growing and gaining weight is a good thing. Are kids getting that message? I sincerely hope so. My daughter isn't a skinny thing. She's a sturdy 4 year old with a good amount of baby fat on her bones. I think she is absolutely beautiful. Even is she were to put on a little weight and look "fat" by our society's standards, she would still be beautiful. Being a little chubby is not the end of the world. There are more important things for her to focus on than that.
If she ever came home and told me that she hated her body or wanted to go on a diet, I would lay down and die a little death. I am bracing myself for that day, because I know it is surely coming.
16 hours ago