“You see, I’m a butcher…
and just like I gotta stay away from them beautiful steaks,
such a beautiful girl like you gotta stay away from them beautiful pies.”
As the customer said this to me, I slowly took another bite of strawberry cheesecake and replied simply, “Why?”
He stuttered a bit, trying not to say what he obviously wanted to say. So he settled on, “Oh but you exercise a lot right?”
“Hmm,” I shrugged, “not really.” He keeps looking at me, waiting. So I decide to cut him a break and said, “I love my body. I love my little tummy.”
Why do I have to conform to other people’s sense of ideal beauty and weight? Why do I have to confirm his suspicions about what I would want, should want in his eyes? Why, even, do I initially feel defensive when he asks me about me eating my SMALL SLICE OF CHEESECAKE?! How dare a stranger try to take away my little pleasures of the workday! He has no idea what my eating patterns are like, what my body image is like, how I feel and think and decide to act.
Since becoming vegetarian a few months ago, I’ve probably never eaten as healthy as I am right now in my life.
Did I lose weight? Nope. I even gained some. Do I still snack and enjoy a delicious bowl of ice cream now and again? You betcha.
I remember a few years ago I went on this lovely and well-planned (ah, sarcasm) diet of coffee and cigarettes. Wow, I was never thinner… or more physically unhealthy or uncomfortable in my own skin. Health isn’t dictated by the size of someone’s stomach or amount of weight they are carrying. Every body type is different; every person has different nutritional needs.
Why then, is health not the first consideration for individuals?
Why do 54% of womyn in the US would rather be hit by a truck than be considered fat? AND 81% of all TEN-YEAR old girls are afraid of the same? 10.
Though this is in regards to a “fat talk free week,” the statistics are eye-opening and the message still crucial:
Babysitting the other night, an 8 year old boy asked me why he weighed less than his younger sister, at 6. Interrupting my idea that all bodies are a built differently, he asked, “You mean, she’s chubby.” I was shocked. He then asked me if I thought I was thin or chubby and I turned it back on him, “What do you think I am?” Ignoring the actual question, he pressed, “well, you want to be thinner right?” Again- shocked. What are we teaching everyone?
So I made some promises to myself.
- I decided to stop “sucking in,” as I was taught was proper
- I decided to eat healthy, but not to limit or diet based on someone else’s opinion of my health or body image
- I wrote a love letter to myself, per her rad suggestion
- I wore a bikini top + reallllly short shorts to Chicago Pride
- I am removing fat talk from my vocabulary, to combat my inner-fat-phobic as well as make a difference in my community
- I visit sites and promote sites like Curves Ahead and The Body is Not an Apology that tell me I am beautiful because I am beautiful, not because society has or hasn’t passed approval in some way
the best of the best:
- a close friend and I planned a body-positive evening out of “Bikini Karaoke,” that will be a wear-what-you-feel-comfortable-and-beautiful-in and come be supported by people that love you and your body as is