Sunday, June 15, 2008
If fat isn't a feminist issue, there are many other contenders
One should probably be of lucid mind and had plenty of rest before one sits down and writes about some serious issues. Well, to hell with that.
I admitted to a friend this evening that I will do everything to avoid seeing my body naked now that I've gained so much weight. If I need to take a shower I will, as quickly as possible, put on a bathrobe. There's no way in hell that I'm going to walk the distance from the bedroom to the bathroom naked.
I wait until the water is hot enough to get into the shower before I take off my bathrobe. I hang it in grabbing distance of the shower stall. While in the shower, I do not look at my body. This sounds like it might be a hard thing to do, but it is surprisingly easy. I either keep my eyes closed or I look at my feet, but, if I look at my feet I run the risk of thinking that I used to be able to see them more clearly before I developed a belly.
The minute I am done showering, I grab the towel, dry myself off and then hurriedly get that bathrobe on before I have any opportunity to catch myself in the mirror.
This past Christmas I had the horrible experience of taking a shower at a relative's house who had installed a clear glass shower with a gigantic mirror facing it. They had also put in new, outrageously bright lights in there. It was like being in hell, a beautiful hell, but hell nonetheless. Next time I visit, I will just wash my face and spray some perfume on.
Or, better yet, perhaps, just perhaps, I will develop a new attitude.
Do I need a gastric bypass? No. Am I morbidly obese? No. Am I overweight? Yes. Should this make me feel like I"m a disgusting creature upon whom no eyes should fall, lest they keel over in horror? Of course! At least that's what the plastic surgeons and magazines are telling me, aren't they?
I should have or had the followiing: A chin job. A neck resurfacing. Liposuction. A tummy tuck. A butt lift (they do those, don't they?) If I was still a child, I should have had my legs broken and had pins inserted in order to make me at least three inches taller, 5'4", instead of the "abnormal" barely over five feet. Oh, there's more. I need a breast lift. Perhaps move the fat from my stomach into my cheekbones. Tooth veneers. Plumped lips. Dye my hair more regularly so no gray ever shows. Remove every bit of body hair. Do my nails. Get my eyelashes extended or thickened. Botox my forehead and the smile lines around my mouth.
Have I left anything out? Probably.
Oh, and I must not be a real woman. I have never had a pedicure or even painted my toenails myself.
So, my dear friend Lisa, whom I want to thank for, well, everything, said to me tonight that perhaps we've forgotten about our being feminists. I said, "What do mean? Like, fat is a feminist issue?"
Okay, I'm cutting myself off right here and now. I'm too tired. And I feel gross and fat and am thinking I'm going to go sleep in my clothes.
Painting note: Peter Paul Rubens "Young Woman in a Fur Wrap" (after Titian) c.1629–30
Every time I bring up all the negativity surrounding issues of being fat, or just feeling fat (well, almost every time) I will counter it with an image of "Art" (with a capital A). Fashion photographers, fashion designers, and rich white men may like skinny women with big fake boobs, but the great painters did not (okay, they didn't have silicon implants in the 17th century, but they weren't applying leeches to cellulite, either).
Check out the Life in Italy website for this short article "Big is Beautiful".