All right, you guys, I just deleted another new comment on the monster Fantasy of Being Thin thread, because — although I’m sure the commenter was quite well-intentioned — it was another variation on a theme we see every time we talk about giving up the ol’ fantasy: That’s great for you, but it’s impossible to be happy in MY body, because it’s so bad, you can’t even imagine!
Shapelings, shapelings, shapelings. I’m not even going to take this opportunity to blow sunshine up your asses about how hot and capable and whatever else you all are. If there’s one thing that thread demonstrates, it’s that overcoming low self-esteem is a long, grueling process; bloggy affirmations barely make a dent. I won’t bother with those right now.
And if there’s another thing that thread demonstrates, it’s that it is okay to talk about your insecurities here, where there are a whole ton of people who can relate.
It is still not okay to slam your body in such a way as to suggest your repulsiveness is a verifiable fact — much less insist that this means you, unlike everyone else here, really do need to diet.
And here’s why (setting aside all the other reasons I’ve gone into a gazillion times): when you post a comment here, you’re not just talking to yourself. Or just to me or Sweet Machine or Fillyjonk, in all our not-that-fat, thick-skinned glory. Or even just to the other commenters on the thread. You are talking to the few thousand people who read this blog daily.
And among those few thousand people:
- There is someone fatter than you. (Okay, technically, one person actually does have to be the official fattest Shapeling, but since we don’t know who that is, just go ahead and assume it’s not you.)
- There is someone whose shape is less conventionally attractive than yours.
- There is someone who has all the same problems as you but is also a member of other oppressed groups.
- There is someone with one or more disabilities.
- There is someone recovering from an eating disorder.
- There is someone currently struggling with a full-blown eating disorder.
- There are a couple thousand someones who are here because they’ve struggled with low self-esteem, body dysmorphia, and/or disordered eating patterns over the course of their lives.
So when you say, “But MY body is disgusting because of X” or “I still need to diet because of Y,” what you are saying is that X and Y are disgusting and unacceptable characteristics, full stop — and the problem is, you can bet someone here shares those characteristics, or is worse off than you are, by your standards.
If I can’t convince you that the body you’ve got isn’t intrinsically horrible, then maybe I can at least convince you not to insult other readers, who really don’t need to hear your negative opinions about bodies like yours, which also happen to be bodies like theirs.
You know how annoying it is when some relatively skinny chick stands there and talks about how disgustingly fat she is right in front of you? And you’re like, “Hello, what does that say about me?”
And you know how it’s even more annoying that if you actually call her out on it, she’ll inevitably say something like, “Oh, but I totally wasn’t thinking about you!”
Yeah. It’s the same thing. It’s being so focused on your own self-hatred that you forget the implications it has for the people around you. That’s really not cool.
So, if you think the fact that you weigh X lbs. is justification for slamming your body around here? Think again about the people who weigh even more — possibly a lot more. If you think your discomfort in your own fat body is a good reason to hate it, think again about the people with disabilities and illnesses that make living in their bodies even more uncomfortable, but who are still trying their best to love those bodies. If you think calling calorie restriction something other than a diet makes it okay to discuss around here, think again about the people recovering from eating disorders, who really don’t need to hear that rigidly controlling your food intake is just swell if you do it in the right spirit. And if you think it’s fine to say, “But ____ characteristic means I really AM unattractive, unlike the rest of you,” think again about all the other people here who share that characteristic. There are more than you think, I promise.
Bottom line, when you insult yourself around here, you will inevitably be insulting anyone who happens to be like you. And the reason we’re all here is that we have a lot in common, remember?
So just don’t do it. Seriously.