I'm reading this book by an author named Richard Klein called "Eat Fat" or "Fat Fat" . . . the interpretation of the title is up to the reader. It's a postmodern "diet" book, but really, it's not a diet at all. It's about America's preoccupation with fat connoting something negative rather than just seeing it for what it is- a fat cell. It illustrates the myths we have about fat and society's perceptions that are constantly shoved down our throats. I've just started it, so I will have to continue reading to really get a grasp for his arguments.
My body image has ALWAYS been an issue. I was a chubby kid and teased relentlessly for it. I hated being fat. I didn't think I was beautiful and I felt like I was the ugliest thing ever to walk this dearth. Now, did I really, truly feel this from inside my being or was I just manifesting in my own brain what everyone else thought about me? It's definitely the latter. I think without the input of everyone around me (the kids, mainly) telling me how fat I was and making fun of me for it, I would have been okay. I would have noticed I was different but, perhaps, I wouldn't have actually cared.
The same could be said for when I realized I was black. I never actually thought about it until everyone else started telling me about it. I wasn't brought up being über conscious of my race. It was just something I was, like being tall or having dark brown hair and eyes. The adjective "fat" could have been lumped with it, too, but somehow FAT became it's own monster. It ate up all the rest of me.
Now when I look at my body, I think I'm beautiful. Sure, I could lose a few more pounds, but I've loved every single bite that it took to get to where I am today. Sure, I agonize over eating fries or taking a few extra bites at dinner (never about eating dessert though), but I'm working on that. This path to enlightenment that I'm on doesn't have time for me to take a break counting calories. I just know there is far more to life. I'm not "accepting" my body or "excusing" my shape. That implies that I need to make an extra effort and that I'm not wonderful the way I am.
It saddens me when girls don't eat in order to be skinny. It annoys me when people think thin equals beautiful. This anorexic mentality is what makes girls think they're not good enough. But not good enough for who? Why would you want to be good enough for someone, or a society, that lessens you to numbers on a scale? I sure as hell don't. How I feel inside is good enough for me. Being healthy is good enough for me. I happen to love and appreciate curves on my body and on others. It means that we're happy and that we've indulged in good food with good friends. It means we're alive.
One day I will have a daughter and I pray to God that she'll be confident, happy and will not even need to write a blog about her body image because the whole concept of not being proud of what she looks like will be foreign to her. One day I'll have babies that will sleep on my full breasts. I'll rest them on my wide hips. I'll have a husband that loves my thick thighs. And then, maybe, I'll forget every negative thing anyone else has had the nerve to say about my body.
Man, I could really go for some pumpkin pie . . .