Personally I think people of all different sizes can look fantastic. There’s no prerequisite that someone need fit in a certain size pants to be beautiful, handsome or sexy. In fact, often I think the heavier version of someone is far more attractive than his or her thinner version. Like Carrie Underwood. Or Victoria Beckham.
I know I often pout and whine on and on about the 15 or so pounds I’ve put on in the last two years (I’m going to go right ahead and blame that on the fact that I eat REAL dinners now, instead of cups of applesauce and saltine crackers like I used to on that old single mom’s budget of mine) but, really, I’m okay with it. They’re just thighs. Okay, they might be bigger thighs than they used to be, but it’s not the end of the universe. Mostly.
And I still have great hair, dammit!
Some women put a ridiculous amount of pressure on themselves to be skinny. They’re brutal. It’s almost like they think they’re worth nothing if they aren’t a size 0. (Or maybe it’s exactly like that, I dunno.) They take their “thin-spiration” waaaaaayyyyyyy too far down a very dark, dangerous (and hungry!!!!) road.
I know a woman who has been anorexic for 40 years. Let’s call her Joann. Joann is very blunt about her anorexia. She talks about it totally openly. She’s not shy about it at all. She flat out tells me, “I’m anorexic,” rather than making up some cutsie nickname for it, like ‘Ana’ or ‘Rexy’ to make it sound less horrible.
Joann and I have had several conversations about her anorexia over the 12 years I’ve known her. When she talks about it, she acts like it’s impressive or an achievement. She’s actually kind of proud of having starved herself for 40 years. I’ve never understood it.
According to her it started when she was a teenager. Most of her family members were overweight and she became determined to escape the “fat gene,” so she started restricting herself to only one “meal” a day (usually something junk food-y like a few onion rings or a piece of pie) and nourished herself the rest of the day on a strict diet of Pepsi, coffee, beer and cigarettes.
That’s what she has survived on for 40 very hungry years.
Her weight has fluctuated a lot. At one point she was down to a frightening, skeletal 70-something pounds. She never really has much energy and she looks a lot older than she actually is.
Joann died last night from cancer. Even with multiple surgeries and chemotherapy, the cancer ran rampant within her because her body was too weak and malnourished from 40 years of starving to fight. There was nothing more the doctors could do.
Joann was in her 50’s. She leaves behind a son, three grandkids she will never get to see grow up (one who is less than a year old and will have no memories of her), a house full of cats, and a big mess for her grieving son to deal with…. and all because she wanted to be skinny.
To everybody out there who is unhappy with their body, can you do me a big favor today? Embrace your curves, your thunder thighs, your beer belly, your badonkadonk butt, your double chin, or whatever body part is ticking you off! Love those imperfect parts even if it’s just for today, because there are far, far worse things than extra pounds.
I think Joann got that in the end. I heard that her last request in the hospital was to pig out on ice cream. I don’t know if that is funny or really sad. It makes me feel both things at once, honestly.
I know this song has nothing to do with death (more likely a fight) (or drugs) but it always kinda reminds me of troubled souls being set free. I imagine Joann drifted away across the universe last night and is in heaven right now where she can eat all the ice cream she wants to without fear or guilt or worry. Joann, this one is for you….