Monday, February 26, 2007

This and that

If you go over to the Big Fat Blog, you can get a link to an article by a British woman who has written a book about her diet successes. I have very mixed feelings about the article. She is trying to make the point that losing weight is a feminist act because it's taking back control of your life. I suppose that if you feel that your weight has emotional issues behind it, or that you are feeling empowered to eat more healthily, then it could be construed that way.

She speaks rather eloquently about the pain of being overweight. She talks about the "invisibility" that fat people experience. But then she crosses a line venturing into territory that is, indeed, very unfeminist. She asks, "Why is it wrong to like what you see in the mirror, or to like your body? Why is it good to be pleased that you look like a pig?"

Now, I don't think it's wrong to like what you see in the mirror. I've come to like what I see in the mirror much more than ever before...but in the definitions she's thrown out before she contends that I, and others who look like me, look like pigs. She is arguing for the idea that it is okay for women to be judged by their looks, indeed, if they want better self-esteem or to reclaim your "self" the way to do it, according to her is to lose the weight that is causing you "emotional injury." It couldn't be that the emotional injury is that people you don't know tell you that you are a pig, could it?

This kind of thing just makes me crazy. Lose weight if you want to...but do some investigation on the pros and cons. I did. I chose to try to lose weight anyway. I did lose weight. Did it make me happy? No, it was at that time that I fell into a clinical depression (not that the weight loss caused it, I'm just saying there is no cause and effect the other way either). Now I'm just trying to make peace with my body as it is.


Hippy Chick said...

i am with you 1000% my friend :)

P'tit-Loup said...

Your body is beautiful just as it is, and the best part is that you know it! Big white women are just not celebrated as they should be. I find that there is a little more acceptance of large African-American women, but if you're white, you should be thin. Will there be a day where we grow up enough to see beyond looks? I hope so.

Aravis said...

I think we spend too much time judging each other. It isn't just thin people calling heavier ones fat, it's overweight people calling thinner people "anorexic." And both sides seem to think that there's something mentally and/or emotionally wrong with the other.

Morbidly obese people with health problems should seek help.

People with eating disorders should seek help.

Other than that it's nobody's business. I won't be made to feel ugly when I'm overweight, and I won't be made to feel guilty when I choose to lose some of it.

I don't think accepting my weight- fat or thin- is the real issue; I think it's about accepting and loving myself, period. My sense of self-worth can't be tied to what others think of me; it needs to be based on what I know of myself.

And if I feel beautiful- "fat" or "thin"- I am.