However it is an important topic. I now have another little pair of eyes watching me. Not only is Abigail going to watch what I eat (how I eat, etc), she's going to pick up on my self-image. I don't want to be a mom always unhappy with myself and always on (or off) a restrictive diet. I want to teach her love what God has given to her and to be comfortable in her owns skin. I've been doing much better on this point. It really happened when I had her. My body did amazing things (as it was created by God to do) and I have a lot more respect for it now.
I read this body image discussion on a blog recently and wanted to share. It is very insightful!
I got this from Kate Harding over on Salon.com.
This is fascinating stuff, isn't it! Too bad that "fat" doesn't just mean "fat". Just for the record, I've been counting calories lately. I'm doing really well at tracking what I eat. However, everyday I look at it and I think, "Wow, I eat way too many calories" and I don't do much else about it!
I was once standing on the street talking to a business contact I hoped to impress, when a homeless man came up and asked us for change. The man I hoped to impress said he didn't have any, and the homeless guy spat, "Oh, fine, you just keep talking to the fat girl, then!" Which meant the business contact spent the next five minutes sputtering about how that guy was crazy and I shouldn't think anything of it, while my face flamed and I stammered, "It's ... OK, really, it's ... please ... it's fine." So much for the awesome professional image I was hoping to project.
I may not be as big as some of my friends and family members, and I may not be the size most people mentally associate with the word obese, but I am bloody well fat, and I have been most of the time since college. The homeless man might have been crazy, but he wasn't wrong. The friends who kept insisting "You're not fat!" were the ones out of touch with the truth.
But then the truth was never really the point. Thin women don't tell their fat friends "You're not fat" because they're confused about the dictionary definition of the word, or their eyes are broken, or they were raised on planets where size 24 is the average for women. They don't say it because it's the truth. They say it because fat does not mean just fat in this culture. It can also mean any or all of the following:
- Socially inept
- Just plain icky
So when they say "You're not fat," what they really mean is "You're not a dozen nasty things I associate with the word fat." The size of your body is not what's in question; a tape measure or a mirror could solve that dispute. What's in question is your goodness, your lovability, your intelligence, your kindness, your attractiveness. And your friends, not surprisingly, are inclined to believe you get high marks in all those categories. Ergo, you couldn't possibly be fat.
The exercise is a hit or miss. Many times I get to it a few times a week, then I'll miss a few weeks, or months. More about this in a later post but I'm just short on time when it comes to this.
Anyway, I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts on this. When did body image get so off in America? When did the ultra-skinny become the most desirable instead of a woman who can hold up under real life?