I recently read the article Can We Retire The Phrase ‘Real Women’ Please? Thank you, Kate, for your point-on postulations!
Basically, the parts I liked best were about how fat has become the new black, as in popular, and how there’s a new accepted trend to shun skinny bitches (my words, not hers).
This resonated with me, because as a former skinny bitch, I caught flack a lot for not measuring up—or rather wide—to bigger ladies. Even now, having gained enough weight to no longer be considered thin, most ‘average sized’ women would and do still call me skinny.
Of course, it’s impossible for me to say “I eat pastries every other day” or “Hey, I’ve gained weight from where I was” or “You should see my cellulite,” because none of those fly, even though they’re true.
Why is it so unfair for me to vent about my weight issues just because I fall within someone else’s ideal standards? Isn’t this about owning our own power and celebrating our uniqueness? As in, I don’t need to look like Heidi Klum but I also don’t have to look like the ‘average sized’ woman (Read: women who are heavier than I am).
(Incidentally, my ideal weight isn’t the lowest weight I’ve hovered at.)
If we are to embrace, accept and inspire each other, why can’t we support and encourage each other to be the healthiest, happiest version of what’s good for that person based on their barometer, not what we think they should be?
I’ve gained weight because of a thyroid condition, but also simply from lack of self-discipline with exercise and unhealthy food choices. Some of those choices have included stuffing my face when in the company of bigger women. I don’t want them to feel bad, or judge me, or whatever. There’s no win here, though.
If I eat cupcakes, they could feel bad that I can get away with that, as evidenced by comments like, “You’re so lucky.”
If I don’t, they might think disdainfully that I’m vain with comments like, “One dessert won’t kill you.”
I’m not imagining these things as women have made these, and similar, comments with both arguments. And ultimately, I’m the one who feels shitty afterwards, whatever I decide.
Yes, it’s my own damn responsibility to do what’s best for me. Who knows better what’s right for me: someone who’s never lived in my body, or me, who’s been in it for over 40 years?
Why do I feel responsible for these women’s happiness? It’s not my responsibility to make them feel at ease or sacrifice my own health for their self-esteem. I don’t like being (or feeling like) the source of someone else’s unease—even though I’m not really that source.
And not every woman is catty, of course! They may not even give it a second thought. It just happens enough to bug me.
I couldn’t care less if someone is fat or skinny or anywhere in between. Everyone would do well to do what makes them feel good with their own bodies.
I couldn’t care less about being a measly 10 pounds over my best-for-me weight simply for dress size sake (that much has also changed for me over the last few years, too).
So, why do I still like a slimmer me better?
At my icky weight, a countdown:
5. My clothes don’t fit. Sure, I could get new clothes, but I love the clothes I have! Not only are they more costly than I can now afford to buy, but they looked good on me and I felt good in them. And though I wouldn’t buy brand new again (unless the clothes were made entirely from unprocessed, recycled material), even purchasing used frocks takes extra money I simply don’t have and wouldn’t want to spend on clothes, anyway.
4. Yawn. Followed by more yawning and then a bit more and a lot of nodding off. I’m in need of a nap and it’s only 10 a.m. Physically, I’m constantly exhausted, mentally fuzzing and lagging. Which brings me to…
3. Eh, who needs energy, anyway? I love the outdoors, biking and hiking and playing and frolicking in the forest, but refer back to #4 even thinking about those makes me tired. I used to bounce up the stairs, light as Nike Air, now I’m gasping for air just looking at them and—I feel heavy… That. Sucks. Bad.
2. Cellulite. There, I fucking said it. Sure, that’s a bit of vanity insanity for you, especially since it beat out running up the stairs, but it’s honest. (I give myself points for that.) I gave up botox and peels and procedures to allow for some natural, graceful aging, but this cottage cheese I can’t accept. And it’s only visible when I’m above my best-for-me weight. Aside from the other items on this list, if I could eliminate those and this one, I’d be A-okay at this size on me.
And the #1 reason I prefer being a skinny-ish bitch….
1. I’m less bitchy. Yep, whenever I creep up even five to seven (ish) pounds beyond my ideal weight, I’m a cranky cougar. This is not from looking in the mirror. This is from the imbalance in hormones that accompanies this weight gain for me. I wake up depressed before there’s even a thing to remind me on why I ought to be. (Hint: There’s no reason!) I’m anxious, negative and downright dowdy-feeling.
So, I have to remind myself of Marianne Williamson’s famous quote about how “allowing our own light to shine unconsciously gives others’ permission to shine, too.”
One of my philosophies about bitching and complaining is that we ought to be allowed one bitch session aka venting, but after that it’s just complaining. And complainers are drainers. So after the first expression of an unpleasant situation, I think it’s our responsibility to do something about it. Something. Anything.
If we at least try to fix our situation and it’s not working, we get to go back and bitch again–which I consider more of a brainstorming session, really. (Remind me of this if I bring up how my muffin-top won’t fit in my pants.)
And please, let’s encourage others to achieve the ideals they set for themselves, not what we’d be happy with. It’s not our jobs to decide what’s best for others.
What I don’t want to hear: “Oh go ahead, you can afford it.”
What I would love to hear: “Are you sure you’ll respect yourself in the morning?”
I now take full responsibility for not saying, “Should I?”
I know better than that!
Editor: Jenna Penielle Lyons
Photos: Wikimedia Commons