Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Fantasy of Being Thin

A couple nights ago, in an effort to procrastinate from writing my papers (what else is new?) I stumbled across a very fascinating blog piece. From, "The Fantasy of Being Thin" is her in-your-face, brutally honest version of why you (you being women who constantly diet and say things like, "when i'm thin, i will wear a hot bikini or when i'm thin, i will meet the man of my dreams") should shutup about what a great person you'll be when you're thin and all the wonderful things you'll do and just accept that you can be that person and do those things right now. You know, as "fat." It's an interesting notion because i definitely empathize with the fantasy of being thin. My entire adolescent and adult life, up until about 6 months ago, has been an endless battle with my weight, my size, my fat. And i've made hundreds of those lists. If i were thin, that boy would love me. If i were thin, i would never be depressed. If i were thin, it wouldn't matter that i suck at law school because clearly, i'd be happy because i'd be THIN! And i wouldn't say that i'm 100% over it, because i'm most definitely not, but i no longer spend 90% of my day obsessing over my body and my food. Maybe that's just because i refuse to not eat mass quantities of french fries (as i did yesterday) or maybe i've given up on the notion that i'll ever have the body i want. The point is Ms. Harding is totally right. Life is way too short to start living it when you're thin. Who knows how long it'll be before then?? Anyway, you should definitely take a peek at her website. In the meantime, here's a little taste:

Accepting my fat really wasn’t the hard part. Accepting my personality — and my many limitations that have jack shit to do with my thighs — was. But oddly enough, once I started to do that, my life became about a zillion times more satisfying. I found the right guy, I took up yoga, I started taking my writing more seriously, I stopped apologizing for taking vacations in the U.S. and Canada instead of somewhere more exotic, etc. And lo and behold, things got a lot more fun around here. The thin person inside me finally got out — it just turned out she was actually a fat person. A reasonably attractive, semi-outgoing fat person who has an open mind and an active imagination but also happens to really like routine and familiarity and quiet time alone.

That was never who I expected to be — it was just always who I was.

So giving up dieting and accepting my body didn’t just mean admitting I would never be thin; it meant admitting I would never be a million things I might have been. (Which, I’m told, is a phenomenon sometimes known as “maturity.”) I am absolutely not one for settling — which is where the confusion about pessimism comes in, I think — but I am one for self-awareness and self-forgiveness. Meaning, there’s a big difference between saying you can’t be anything other than what you are right now, and you don’t have to be anything other than what you are right now. You will probably never be permanently thin, unless you are already, but other than that, the sky’s the limit. You can be anything or anyone you want to be, in theory.

The question is, who do you really want to be, and what are you going to do about it? (Okay, two questions.) The Fantasy of Being Thin is a really convenient excuse for not asking yourself those questions sincerely — and that’s exactly why it’s dangerous. It keeps you from being not only who you are, but who you actually could be, if you worked with what you’ve got. And that person trapped inside you really might be cooler than you are right now.

She’s just not thin.

The Fantasy of Being Thin

1 comment:

L. Kuah said...

amen to that! life is too short to worry about how you look in a bikini, or wonder why you don't have "xyz" yet. as cliche as it sounds, today is truly the first day of the rest of your life. JUST JUMP :D