Friday, June 24, 2011

I Feel Fat

I write this as I'm watching New York make gay marriage legal. So, first a note on that: you're so gay, New York. So wonderfully, awesomely gay. It brings a smile to my heart to see us one step closer to the future I imagine for my daughter where sexual orientation is no impediment to status as a full and free American. Good on you, New York. People in the chambers are chanting "USA USA!" It's awesome.

I still hate the fucking Yankees.

But I wanted to blog on something else.

I feel fat all the time. Whenever I feel any moment of insecurity (professional, creative, social), I feel certain that I would NOT feel this way if I weighed 20 or 3o pounds less. I find myself often wishing that I could muster up enough self-loathing to just go fucking hungry. To just stop eating. I could pretend that what I'd really like is to eat healthy foods and exercise. But I am a pretty healthy eater and I do exercise. What I really want is to find my way to hating the way I look enough to stop eating. To be hungry. Virtuously, blithely, skinnily hungry.

That is fucked up. And it's a level of fucked up that I think a whole lot of women share.

But, there is one area where I think I'm doing right. I made a vow about four years ago to never, ever, never, ever, never, ever nevernevernevernever say "I feel fat" in front of Laney. To NEVER stare obsessively at my body and make gross out statements about my belly or thighs. As godtupus is my witness, I will do whatever I can to not pass on the self-loathing, body obsessed bullshit that so many American women mistake humility for.

I don't kid myself that I can keep Laney safe from the body-hating thing that American women do. It's rife in the culture. But it starts with me. And I'm not rearing the kid in the cult of self-loathing that seems to be de rigeur for women. Am. Not.

And, here's what I'm saying to you: if you're raising girls, join me. Don't hate yourself in front of your kid. Don't disparage your body or bemoan flaws. Eat. Enjoy your food. Celebrate your strength.

And stop thinking that being ashamed of your body is a virtue. Because we pass that onto our girls. And don't we want our girls growing up to love their bodies?

I do.