I Don’t Mean It

I don’t, Gentle Reader, as much as I pretend to, mean it.

“It,” of course, is the body positivity I spout.

Of course, I mean it for other people.  But not for me.  I lie to myself, to you, to anyone, when I tell you that I am positive about my body.

Some days, I am.  Last night, I wore a dress that accentuated my curves.  And not all the nice ones, but the stomach ones, too.  Yes, the wobbly curves.  The wiggly ones.  The ones that lack any purpose except FAT.  And I wore that dress, somewhat self-consciously, but proudly, still.  I wore it.  In public.

Today, however, as if in a bad dress hangover, I wore an overlarge shirt and a maxi skirt.  I hid behind my clothes and refused to shine.

Why am I like this?  Why is any woman like this?  What has been done to us to make ourselves hate our bodies, oh so much?

In college, I wrote a poetic essay examining plus-sized and regular-sized models.  From the voice of the plus-sized model, I asked,

Why is it that when there’s more of me to love,

People love me

less?

I have felt that way since I was a child.  I was six when I started gaining weight, and I remember going on my first diet not long after.  I hated my body with a passion, even then, because I was told there was something wrong with me.  With my body, which is me.

The life of the mind saved me, somewhat, because I could separate my brain from my brawn.  I was smart.  I didn’t also have to be pretty.  These were the eighties, you understand, and you had to be one or the other.  Rarely were you allowed to be both.

But then, the “Curse of the Pretty Face” haunted me because I was pretty, or, would be, if I lost weight.

I was told this by everyone, again and again.

I don’t mean it.

I don’t.

But I’m trying to.

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