Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"Skinny" people have feelings too.

The blogosphere is all atwitter (social media pun alert!) about a recent post in which the author discusses why gay men hate their bodies.  Since I am fascinated by the degrees of body acceptance in cultural groups different from my own, I was very excited to read this, especially given the fact that it had stirred up a lot of anger in the blog community.  Though the post was maybe slightly too tongue in cheek at times, for the most part, I understood where the blogger, Orlando Soria, was coming from.  LA is a city of Barbies and Kens.  It's hard to feel good about yourself some days, no matter how skinny you are.

I figured there would be the usual critics shouting "it's what's on the inside that counts!" The typical name calling as people criticized him for being narcissistic or superficial.  What I was not prepared for was people saying he had no right to feel this way since he was thin.

To which I say, are you fucking kidding me?  (pardon my French)

Yes, this is what some "skinny" people really DO
see when they look in the mirror.
NEWSFLASH: being skinny is not the key to self esteem!!!  When I was at my lowest weight I was also on my knees in a rest stop bathroom throwing up the road trip junk food I had inhaled in the car.  Do you think I felt GOOD about this?  No.  Every time I looked in the mirror I wanted to punch the fat slob that was looking back at me.  And it's ok for me to feel that way.  Just like it's ok for a person at ANY weight to feel good about themselves.  Who the hell are we to decide how a person should feel about themselves?

Seriously folks, I know a lot of people think that skinny people have no reason to ever feel bad and I wish that was the way the world worked but it's not that simple.  That was the biggest lesson I learned from my ED, when I had to say to myself, "Congratulations, you're skinny.  And where exactly has that gotten you?  How has it changed your life?"  The answers to those questions were, "nowhere," and "It hasn't."

So before you start completely invalidating a person's feelings because to you they look perfect, maybe just try listening to them and understanding where they're coming from.  Sometimes that's all we need, is someone to listen and recognize our feelings as valid.  THAT will help to build a better self image than any amount of congratulations for fitting into a size 0 ever will.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Denial ain't just a river in Egypt

I'll admit I currently have one large fault as a woman: I hate shopping.  I used to love it but ever since I've become stupidly happy with my life, the idea of "things" just doesn't excite me as much anymore. Sadly, we do not live in a world where clothes that fit and that I like magically appear in my closet so I was forced to go shopping today.  And instead of being a fun, zen like activity, I left the store infuriated.  (and not because of the prices!)

How my jeans normally fit.
I headed to the Gap for some basics and soon made my way to the dressing room with 2 sweaters, a pair of jeans, and a pair of shorts.  I even had a little pep in my step because it's been so long since I've been able to go in a store and find something I'm even interested in trying on.   That old feeling of being on a shopping high was returning!

Then, I discovered the ridiculousness that is Gap's vanity sizing.

When I tried on the jeans that were in my usual size, they were too big.  And I don't mean there was room to pinch an inch, I mean suddenly I was standing there wondering why it was so drafty in the dressing room until I realized it's because my pants were down around my ankles.  One size smaller?  Too big.  Two sizes smaller?  Now we're getting somewhere but it was at this point that I stormed out of the store in disgust.

How pants at the Gap fit.
Really, America? THIS is what we've come to?  We're so in denial about our own weight problems that instead of being responsible for what we put in our mouths we have made it so that manufacturers realize the key to our wallet is to call a size 16 a size 8?

This is complete and utter bullshit.

I am so sick of the entitled, coddling attitudes this country takes towards ourselves and I'm here to call it out.  If you want to/need to lose weight, deal with it like an adult.  Figure out what's going on, take responsibility for it, and make a change.  I absolutely realize a lot of weight problems are driven by emotional issues, but that is not an excuse!!!  The only person who can make any changes in your life is YOU.  So WHY are we blaming everyone else but ourselves?  Think we're not?  Then how do you explain how one of the biggest stores in America has CHANGED it's sizes in order to accommodate our new girth?

Maybe this sounds odd coming from me because I am very much about feeling good about yourself.  But let's turn the tables: would you think it's good that Gap is making a size 0 fit like a size 8 in order to help me deny I have an eating disorder?  NO.  I would hope you would tell me to get my act together and realize that I'm NOT healthy even if some designer's mislabeled pants tell me I'm fine.

It's time for all us of to put our girl/boy pants on and DO something instead of spending millions of dollars creating things to help us avoid facing our problems.  I know I can't single-handedly go in and re-label every pair of Gap jeans correctly, but I hope that I can inspire just one of you to make a change.

Want an example of one?  After my disaster of a shopping trip I took the stairs, all 6 flights of them, back to my car instead of taking the elevator.  If we all start making little changes maybe these sizes will go back to normal, our health care premiums will drop, and we'll live longer, better lives.

It's time to take off your fat pants, America.