Sunday, June 04, 2006


Hi. I am going to write a post about body image and stuff.
No, I'm not.
Yes, I am.
No, I'm not.
I'm scared.
Me, too.
You "too?" You ARE me.
Oh yeah.
And we're fat.
We're totally fat. But we're *so* healthy right now.
I know.
Don't say "I know" like that. We ARE!
I can feel our chins rubbing against our neck as we dip our head to look at the screen.
Shut up.
YOU shut up.
No, YOU!
Oh, we are SO mature.
I know you are, but what am I?
Fuck off.
No, YOU fuck off.
Look, I am NOT the one having a self-loathing conversation with myself in front of the whole Internet?
Except, see, you ARE.
Fine. We both are. We will both talk about this.
Do you not remember the obsessing? The crying? The money you- Um, WE- Okay, the money WE flushed down the L.A. Weight Loss toilet?!? What about our humiliating stint at Weight Watchers with our high school trig teacher? Do you really think we can diet again without going Nutty Nutty Fruitcake?
Ooh, cake.
Okay, no, seriously. Listen up. You know the dieting was whack.
And we hated it.
I know.
It wasn't like we enjoyed that body very much. It wasn't worth it. Everything about dieting, and stopping dieting, and going out to eat, and trying to eat in public SUCKED.
We wore that bikini, though.
AND WE HATED IT. We HATED wearing it. We worried the whole freakin' time. Stephen took a picture and we freaked out and he had to joke us out of a near nervous breakdown in our favorite vacation town.
That joke involved a reference to a beached whale.
Shut it, you know it was hilarious and absolutely the right thing to say at the time.
Do you realize how awesomely emotionally healthy it has been for us to just EAT without fear these past few years?
Do you know how many women LOATHE food and LOATHE their bodies?
Yes, but-
They hunger, they hurt, they don't eat, they feel guilty when they do eat- Like, GOD. How nice has it been not to think about that crap?
But we're fat now. What would happen if we just tried to diet, like, a little bit? Eat less, move more, practice moderation...?
Dude. Hi. This is me. You. Whoever. We would end up compulsively pulling on our eyebrows and weighing ourselves on "What's your Weight and Lucky Number? scales at rest stops on I-95. We do not do things halfway, like, ever. Case in point, how long is this entry?
Touche....Can we please talk about the Happy Pills now?
I suppose we can. But we are not going off of them.
You know we aren't ever going to lose any real weight while they're increasing our appetite and pulverizing our metabolism.
The Happy Pills increase our ENDORPHINS. Without them, we are one Hot Wheels away from "REDRUM."
Alright. Geez.
Look, we're healthy. We had all those tests and everything to prove it. We are so far from diabetes. We have the cholesterol levels of a Buddhist monk. We have a nice person who loves us and takes the dog and the trash out in the rain. Why can't we leave well enough alone?
We're fat.
You're mean. Look how our career has excelled, what with us focusing on good stuff and having enough energy to carry a heavy camera bag around. Look at what has happened now that we're not wasting all our creative energy hating food. Our body does everything we ask it to. It's strong. And smart! And nice! And full of feminist principles that HATE having this conversation with you! GAH!
You must breathe occasionally, you know.
I know....Okay, look, I know the same drive and ambition we put forth could be lethal if we start applying it to dieting again. I'm proud of who we are, mostly. I know all the logical reasons why dieting is a terrible idea for us. I know beauty is as beauty does. I read "The Beauty Myth" the same time you did.... If we started losing weight, there would be the terrible anxiety over the compliments. And the fear! The fear of gaining it all back! Can't you just accept that this is how we are now?
That's just it.... I don't know if I can.
I know. Me neither.
You know what you need?
Stomach stapling?
A hug?
That, too. I was going to say- You need a 24,000-year-old prehistoric fertility statue carved from an oolitic limestone.
Ah. Why thank you.


Alissa said...

Back when we were supposed to be going to Prague and Vienna for vacation, one of the things on my to-do list was seeing the Venus of's in a museum in Vienna. Oh well.

You're good and funny and it doesn't matter what you (or anyone) looks like. Mwah.

shannon said...

I think you look wonderful and you are wonderful. (and I second that it doesn't matter what anyone looks like)
I hope when Gabs turns 13 and needs someone other than her "crazy mom" to have that sort of inner (but not really) conversation, you will show her that statue and remind her of all the things you are reminding yourself.

Chunky Photojournalist Barbie said...

Gaby is going to be a kickass "tween." Heh. I've seen the Venus of Willendorf, actually, in 1998. She's really small, actually, only a few inches tall. You could totally steal her if she wasn't in a plexiglass display cube. Maybe she was the original Polly Pocket.

Alissa said...

yeah, I remember learning about her in one of my college art history classes. I always pictured her as being like...I don't know...2 feet tall. Cabbage Patch Kid sized. When I found out she was only a couple of inches, I was like "wha?" I think the Mona Lisa is like that, too...much smaller than you picture it.

becky said...

you know what we art historians say? "remember thine rubens." you're beautiful, chiquita.

gwen said...

I love you. You are funny and great and would be eminantly lovable even if you were at the hairy ankle/Richard Simmons stage. Which you obviously are not. But if you were, we would all be right there.

cindy w said...

Girl, please. You're gorgeous. Accept it. :-)

Marmite Breath said...

This post has won me over. Very raw and honest. I love your writing!