I’ve never seen being fat as a curse. I do, however, think it can, at times, be such a terrible hassle.
JSYK: I’m part of the body love revolution. I’m totally on board that train; I’m practically co-captain of it. But, having been a plus-sized woman for most of my life, there’s a lot to be said about all this beautiful, damning, glorious, squeeze-worthy chub.
#1: Chafed thighs.
Duuuuude. If you have never felt the burning sensation of sweaty thighs rubbing against each other then please count yourself lucky. As you walk along in that cute blue dress, you smile half-heartedly because of the intense friction happening and the fact that nobody understands the hell happening underneath it all .
#2: Eye-rolling can get painful.
Um. I am not blind or stupid or oblivious to this. The fact that you feel the need to say this to my face angers me because it’s a statement that is most often said with subtle disdain. I never needed you to point out that which is glaringly obvious. I can do that myself, thank you very much.
For example: um, sorry but you have a pretty shitty personality.
#3: On some days I just feel trapped.
Woahhhh, what a shift in mood. Sorry, guys, but that’s an unfortunate part of the fat-girl reality. On most days I am okay. Really. On most days I think that I’m actually pretty dang cute.
But there are also those days. The terrible, toxic days where I just want to rip out of this mortal shell I am in. But I can’t. There are days this body feels like a prison, days when the sensation of ugly is smeared all over me and I just. can’t. shake. it. off. There are days when I feel dough-y and useless, when I trick myself into thinking life would’ve been better if I was thinner.
But that’s stupid, right? That is so incredibly stupid.
The quality of life has nothing to do with weight, size, height, appearance; it has nothing to do with metrics or statistics, whether or not you fit into the pristine box people think you ought to belong to. If a good life hinged on our petty ideals, we’d all be doomed to shallow living.
I know that.
I. know. that.
But I still get sucked into the lie because the lie offers a quick-fix solution. “Lose weight” is a lot less abstract than “just go love yourself more”. Sometimes I feel lament the fact that all this self-love still hasn’t warded off these bad days. Sometimes I wonder why it still isn’t enough. Sometimes I’m grateful that I can be human enough to feel bad about who I am. This, after all, is the place where compassion is built.
So if you’re feeling this way, ugly and trapped, please know that I get it. I abso-freakin’-lutely get it. I wish you were not haunted by this sense of not-enoughness. I wish, instead, that you be chased by the intrinsic notion that are lovely. Lastly, I wish, just as much, that I had better words.
The last thing anyone wants is some empty platitude on loving yourself better. The best people have already said it. I think, right now, is a chance for me to tell you quite simply that, yes, it sucks. And you are not alone. And though I am not the one to convince you otherwise, truth is still truth: you are beautiful. Even when you think you’re not.
The great thing about wrestling with that hateful voice in your head is you remember what it’s like to be vulnerable and pained. At its best, the place of suffering makes room for profundity, clarity, and a chance to, eventually, bring heaven to earth.
And while it is a simple thing, I don’t think it’s a small one.
“I want to say one last thing, and it’s important. Though I am a generally happy person who feels comfortable in my skin, I do beat myself up because I am influenced by a societal pressure to be thin. All the time. I feel it the same way anybody who picks up a magazine and sees Keira Knightley’s elegantly bony shoulder blades poking out of a backless dress does. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen my shoulder blades once. Honestly, I’m dubious that any part of my body could be so sharp and firm as to be described as a “blade.” I feel it when I wake up in the morning and try on every single pair of my jeans and everything looks bad and I just want to go back to sleep. But my secret is: even though I wish I could be thin, and that I could have the ease of lifestyle that I associate with being thin, I don’t wish for it with all of my heart. Because my heart is reserved for way more important things.”
― Mindy Kaling,