It’s spring! The trees are blossoming! All six of them! Or maybe that’s just on my block. The several tufts of grass are violently green. I suddenly want to buy at least two pairs of gladiator sandals. Because suddenly one doesn’t feel like enough. And also, because it’s spring, weight-loss advice is blooming. It’s everywhere. Shed those extra pounds before summer! Be able to fit into those shorts! Get your bikini bod on! Or, you know, catchier slogans.
I am going to the Caribbean in a couple months. My dad won a trip at an auction, and he’s taking the family, significant others included. When I found out, my first thought was “Yay!” and my second thought was, “Shit.” The “shit” related to the fact that I have not put on a bikini in well over a year, and since then, I’ve gained about 15 pounds. Keep reading »
Recently, I ended up naked in front of a full-length mirror. It was an accident. Seriously, it was. I don’t walk around naked that much. Anyway, there I was, naked, in front of this mirror. And for some reason, I took a long moment, just to look. And it was weird. Because it occurred to me that I never do that. Which I guess is actually pretty normal. But the weird part was that I didn’t really know my own naked body. It was vaguely familiar, of course. I mean, I do take showers and stuff. But I almost never pay attention to it, except to give it some unhelpful critique or be surprised by how chubby it’s gotten in certain places. Actually, ever since I gained some weight, I’ve wanted to be naked even less. Especially when there’s no immediate sex involved. Standing in front of the mirror, I had a small epiphany. I should get to know my naked body. I should get good at being naked. Actually, everyone should. If I was a dictator, I’d mandate daily naked time. And free healthcare for all! And cake! But mostly naked time. Why? Here are some reasons… Keep reading »
I started watching what I ate around third grade. A boy in my class had made a crack about my weight — an aspect of my physical self I’d never even pondered before — and, suddenly, I was self-conscious about and uneasy in my body. I didn’t dive into actual, formal diets until much later, but third grade marked the beginning of my weight obsession. An obsession that lasted beyond my college years. I won’t bore you with the details because honestly? They’re textbook self-loathing and body dysmorphia. My story could be anyone’s. Keep reading »
By now, many of you may have read Vogue’s annual “Shape” issue and had some reaction to the story of Bea, a seven-year-old girl whose mother was intent on curing her “obesity,” which was, in reality, 16 extra pounds of baby fat.
“One day Bea came home from school in tears, confessing that a boy at school had called her fat. The incident crushed me, but it was a wake-up call. Being overweight is not a private struggle. Everyone can see it,” said Bea’s mother, Dara-Lynn Weiss.
Weiss immediately put Bea on a Weight Watchers-type diet designed for children. Reading this, I felt a familiar pang in my gut. I was also an overweight child who came home from school and complaining about being teased. It was fifth grade, and I was the new kid in school. I didn’t know I was overweight until one of the popular boys spit on my new pair of Vans and called me “fat ass.” The girls were even worse. They attacked me in the bathroom with a barrage of spitballs. I spent most of the school year alone, writing in my journal. There’s one heartbreaking entry I’ll never forget: Dear Diary, Please let me be popular. Please let me not be fat anymore.
Although I’ve moved on and healed from these experiences, which happened more than 20 years ago, it still hurts to write about them. They’re a reminder of how cruel people can be, perhaps without even meaning to. What’s more painful for me, though, is remembering how my mother reacted to these incidents. Keep reading »
Being gorgeous sounds pretty great. It sounds like exactly what a woman might want to be. When you’re gorgeous, the world is supposedly your oyster. Whatever that means. More like, the world is your lobster, because people want to buy you expensive stuff. But is being incredibly hot really all that it’s cracked up to be? I think not! You look shocked. But read on. I will give you 10 solid reasons why I’m glad I’m not a perfect 10. Keep reading »
I read Kate Fridkis’ recent essay about small boobs with a mix of fascination and envy. As someone who’s had double Ds since junior high, the small boob experience is totally foreign to me, although I’ve wished for smaller boobs on many occasions. Large breasts are idolized in pop culture, but the experience of actually walking around with two watermelons attached to your chest? Well, sometimes it’s awesome, and sometimes it’s decidedly not awesome. Here’s why… Keep reading »