Monday, November 7, 2011

I'm Fucking Fat

I'm not fucking fat. I look like this:

J.S. circa 2011

But I feel fat. All the time. It's fucked up that I feel fat all the time, and everything around us, including myself and my relationship to everything around us, is fucked up for making me feel that way.

I was a fat kid. Well, relatively chubby. I was teased a lot, wore overalls every day, and thought I would never, ever be lovable because of how I looked. The chubbiness was a phase I grew out of. The mindset was not.

J.S. circa 1992

Now, I practice yoga every day. I bike ride and hike. I eat very well, with tons of organic vegetables, homemade meals and such. I don't overeat (usually), but I enjoy food. A lot.

I am thick with muscle. I can pick myself up onto my hands and extend my legs into the sky. I know I'm in better shape that 95% of people in America. But I still think I'm fucking fat.

I was in a retail situation (like, getting clothes from a real store with dressing rooms and everything as opposed to the usual sacks of discarded clothes I find on the sidewalk or hand-me-downs from friends) and I was absolutely appalled by my body in the mirror. Dimples, everywhere! Malleable white flesh covering up all those ab muscles! My brain was a whirlpool of fat-girl shame for the rest of the day.

At my absolute skinniest, about 128lbs, I look like this:


I have only ever been this skinny three times in my adult life. All of them involved depression and amphetamines. I do not look like this now.

I like beer, and cake, and pizza. These preclude my body type from looking like I do up there. But even when I'm enjoying the shit out of a milk stout and thin crust I still obsess over what I eat, EVEN IN THE MOMENT WHEN I'M EATING IT. It sucks.

Feeling fat is not cool. It's a #whitegirlproblem. Everyone knows white girls' problems are funny and not to be taken seriously, because we have no REAL problems, right? I mean, all of our daddies bought us new Porsches when we turned 16 and then we all joined sororities where we developed HILARIOUS cases of bulemia. (You mean you, like, eat food and then throw it up? Like, on purpose? OMG why would anyone do that? That's CRAZY! Lolz.)

If you are a woman in America, you probably have a fucked-up relationship with food. You're supposed to be thin, obviously, because otherwise you're an utterly useless slob, but god forbid you care about being thin. Then you're the vain Wicked Queen talking to herself in the looking glass like a crazy person as opposed to the benignly chaste and obliviously lovely Snow White. Disney movies have taught us girls what an unforgivable sin trying to be beautiful is. It's almost as bad as being fat and ugly. Just kidding, nothing's worse than that.

Oishii da yo!

The most desirable type of relationship a woman can have with food in mainstream culture is Sailor Moon's. This girl has the metabolism of a hummingbird, is swizzle-stick slim, yet constantly and compulsively stuffs her face with abandon. She's super-skinny, but doesn't TRY to be skinny at all. Everyone knows women who care how they look and diet or work out too much are stupid shallow bitches, because how a woman looks doesn't affect how she's judged and treated by society and her peers at all.

I'm not meaning to be super gynocentric here. I know a ton of men are probably just as fucked-up foodwise as are I and my XX-chromosomed comrades. My male roommate, Dr. Manhattan, who is a scientist and may therefore be cited as A SOURCE, told me the other night while we were drinking beer and eating pizza that studies of high-school age kids are showing that men are now competing with women in the Who Fucking Hates Their Bodies the Most pageant. So hooray for that.

Then our friend Kate came over. Kate is skinny. Fashion-model skinny. Sailor Moon skinny. She cracked open a beer and I told her about my dressing room horrors.

Then, much to my surprise, fourteen-year-old-boy-skinny Kate said, "Yeah, I feel fucking fat every time I go in a dressing room, too. I have these dimples everywhere. It's gross."

WHAT THE FUCK?

Why can't we just stop? I don't mean just stop obsessing over losing weight or staying skinny, but stop being so fucking focused on the way our bodies look in general. Stop being so concerned with the eating habits of your our skinny coworkers. Stop being "empowered" to wear a bikini when our thighs rub together. Stop buying fucking yogurt.

I don't care if you're fat or skinny, thinking about your weight for more than ten minutes a day is simply a big fucking waste of time. I mean, with climate change and healthcare debates and the Occupy Movement, don't we have more important things to do with our lives?

6 comments:

Skarrg said...

I feel a large part of it is our culture. Every day I wake up, go online, see a few ads on sites about how fat I am, get dressed right after seeing a few more ads for clothes that don't look as good as mine, go to work passing more billboards about low calorie food or the newest diet soda or any other innumerable condemnations. Every one pasted with people I won't be and who most likely don't exist themselves.

The worst part is we see all of it, and don't even think about it. Countless instances, every day, reinforcing the impossible as 'the norm'.

Yup, totally eating a pie when I get home.

Carolynn said...

These are my thoughts about this:

1) Not to be a total weeb here, but Sailor Moon does try to lose weight every once in a while, and her friends ridicule her for her overeating, even though she gains no (noticeable) amount of weight.

2) I can relate to this feeling completely and utterly. I've been in this position.

You are a good writer, but a little bit loose. I think this entry could have used a bit more structure but it's a solid post (I'm an aspiring editor, I realize you didn't post this looking for editing and criticism, so I will delete this if it's offensive or out of place).

Sare said...

Not to be a total concern-troll, but this sort of body policing isn't just a white girl problem. Black girls, Latina girls, Asian girls, American Indian girls, etc all experience these sorts of feelings, only they are being held to the meter stick of a white beauty ideal that tells them not only are their bodies wrong, but their facial features, hair, skin colour, etc.

Other than that contention, fuck yeah. That was a great read.

Jo said...

Fat is not a feeling, it's a fact. Like 'blue'. The sky is blue. That woman is fat. The sky doesn't feel blue.

Perhaps it would help to reframe it, and discover what the real problem is. It's not that you "feel" fat, it's that you have low self-esteem or poor body image. You can work on those things. For instance, I do not feel fat, but I *am* fat and I'm working on it by eating better and exercising. Working on self-esteem sometimes takes the form of doing repetitive tasks that reiterate you are a good person, and helps you remeber that fact. Not the feeling, but the fact.

Amber said...

I just ran a half marathon and do I feel accomplished? Fit? Impressed by the things my body is capable of? No, I just feel pissed that I've been running 27 miles a week and I haven't lost one fucking pound.

But it's OK. I'm starting a new diet today! Body issues forever!

RainFeedsFlowers said...

Je t'adore Jade Sylvan. Knowing your ability to use words with precise economy, I enjoy the blazing quality of this controlled rant. Both fire and truth are hot.