Saturday, June 21, 2008

Shut Up and Eat Something

I think I may have mentioned before that I am, shall we say, Rubenesque. Heavy. Larger. Whatever you call it. Just not thin.
I am actually ok with this, because I have never been thin, and don't know what its like. Also, and this makes people mad, I have NO health issues. Perfect blood pressure. No diabetes. Slightly high cholesterol, which is hereditary because both my parents have it. It's not from my diet because I eat almost no red meat, cheese, and only allow myself to have eggs like once a month, if that. And I'm fit enough to take my stupid dog for a walk, which means that she pulls as hard as she can on the leash and I have to run to keep up while having my arms yanked out of their sockets. No joint problems. I am in general ridiculously healthy.

I've been on a healthy eating plan for the past month or so, and have lost 20 pounds, which is good because all my old clothes fit again. And I'll probably lose some more, just because I don't want to hit 40 and suddenly develop all the health problems that the medical profession believes I should already have. But I know that I will never be a size 2, or a 4. Or probably even a 10. I am just not built that way, and even when I was in grad school and lifted weights and worked out to the point that I had
muscular definition on my torso and like, sculpted upper arms, I still wore a size 16. I looked a lot smaller, but contrary to popular belief, women can be shapely, muscular, and not emaciated.

I would be delighted to be back in a size 16 now, and would feel very, very thin if I were. But even if I wore a 16, I would still technically be considered huge in a world where size 2 is now the optimal size for women. I'm sorry, but when I was in high school and had the same measurements as Marilyn Monroe, I wore a 12. I look at size 2 jeans and I think, what would it be like to be so small? To take up SO little space on the planet?? I mean, how do those Hollywood starlets who expand to an enormous size 4 during the 8th month of pregnancy carry those giant fucking purses without just toppling over?? How do women that small pick up their kids, or push a loaded grocery cart?? How can they do normal everyday things like take out the trash, or buy a bag of ice and carry it to the car?

I guess the answer to a lot of those questions is, they simply can't. I think it's really disturbing that the ideal woman's shape today is that of a skeletal, tiny, bird. How did we go from women taking more of an equal place in society to women just wanting to physically disappear?

I'm thinking about all of this today, because this afternoon I was, once again, witness to a conversation that made me want to scream fuck you, smack people, and just generally remove myself from the company of women completely. Or, let's be honest, heterosexual women. I've never heard lesbians have any form of the following conversation.

I was with a group of women who were discussing piercings and tattoos*, and the talk turned to bellybutton piercings. Personally, I think piercing your bellybutton is really, really odd. I mean, basically you're punching a hole in the place that once connected you to your mother. I guess I also don't see navels as particularly sexy, either. To me, they're mostly just kinda weird. Especially outies. They look like some kind of malformed genital that just didn't work out.

Anyway, one of the women present had had her navel pierced. One of the other women present, who is extremely thin, said that she was planning to pierce hers as soon as she got her "6-pack" back. She asked to see the other woman's piercing, and of course, there was a lot of giggling, and then that time honored conversation between women that goes something like this:

"Ooooh nooo, I can't show you cause I'm so fat!!" [slapping of nonexistent stomach fat]
"Oh nooooooo, you're not fat, look at MEEE" [pinching of three millimeters of excess skin on stomach]
"You guys!!! You look great!!! Look at my huge roll!!!" [Exposure of tiny fold of skin caused by sitting.]

"No way, you are all soooooo skinny!!!! Look at this huge muffin of mine!!" [Pulling up shirt to display half a centimetre of skin over tiny waistband.]

giggle giggle giggle giggle.

And I have to sit there, in complete shocked silence, as all of the participants are at least 50 lbs lighter than me, and not one of them could wear anything bigger than a size 10.
These women were thin. And some of them were the kind of thin that would even pass muster in Hollywood. And they're all trying to basically out-FAT each other???

I mean, what the FUCK???

And I remembered all of a sudden why I don't have many straight girl friends.

I mean, what am I supposed to do when this conversation takes place around me??

Laugh, and point at their imaginary fat, and say "Oh gosh, yes, you ARE grotesque, please cover that up before I vomit??"

Make retching noises and run out of the room??

Suggest emergency liposuction???

Cover my face and scream "Stop raping my eyes with your cellulite!!!"???

Point and chant "PIG PIG PIG"???

Shriek and giggle along with everyone else and assume that they can't see me?

Or am I supposed to be the jolly fat girl who says "Come on guys, look at ME!! Now don't you all feel so much better???"

Could that be what they really WANT?? Are they really that cruel??

It wouldn't surprise me. Because that's certainly what it felt like.

I don't know. I mean, what if we were all sitting there and one of us had only one leg, or no legs, and then the others started talking about how ugly their legs were?

Or what if one of us was bald, and everyone started talking about how much they hated their hair?

Or what if one of us had cancer, and everyone else started talking about how sick they felt after having that cold going around?

Or if the person with cancer had had a double mastectomy, and everyone started talking about how their own breasts were too small, too large, or otherwise unsatisfactory???

Would they have understood that they were being horribly insensitive and hateful then??

I'd like to think so. But I'm not sure. Because being party to that conversation felt pretty terrible to me. Just for future reference, no matter what you weigh: if you're with someone who clearly weighs quite a bit more than you do, please don't start complaining about how repulsive you are. Because the message to the heavier person is, "My God, if they all find themselves so disgusting, WHAT DO THEY REALLY THINK ABOUT ME???"

I mean, while watching my tiny, tiny friend pinch at the quarter inch of extra skin on her miniscule stomach and proclaim herself "huge", all I could think was, Is she blind? Is she retarded? Does she call me pig behind my back and snort when I walk out of a room?? Why does she even like me??

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I don't understand women. And at times like this, I'm glad about that.

*Okay I have to be honest. I don't fucking get it. I was trying to talk to a really nice, brilliant, otherwise lovely woman today and I could not hear one fucking thing she said because I could not stop staring at the ring through the middle of her nose. Why the fuck do women want to look like they are livestock?? And i'm sorry, I know you thought that little butterfly on the back of your neck was really cool in college, but what about when you're 75 and it's sagged to the middle of your back???

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