Love My Body
I step on the scale, glance at the digital 135 and sigh silently.
“Hi, listen,” my boyfriend’s words ring in my mind, “I want you to lose weight. Immediately!”
I know I am a bit bigger than most Asian girls, but I never thought I was “fat.” I do want to lose weight to “look good,” but it is just so hard. Now, this stupid man, who is 5’10 and 110 pounds, who thinks of himself as “fit and charming,” sees me as “overweight.”
And my mind wanders back to a girl who smiles sweetly and says, “If you were thin, you would be very pretty.” My lips smile back but my mind glares. I’d already thought I was beautiful.
Mother wants me to lose weight, too. She claims I haven’t because I’m not insistent.
Although I love my body, although I am a feminist, although I try to ignore the thin girls around me, I am shaped by my society. Sometimes I feel upset when I see my round belly. And I feel guilty when I eat too much.
But I worry about dieting. Courtney Martin, who wrote Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters, says that 25% of dieters develop eating disorders. One of those disorders is especially dangerous: 7.4% of anorexics die. Then she tells us about Janet who says, “Even after my friend had a ministroke from taking Ephedra, I sometimes wonder if I can search the Internet and find some on the black market.”
Why risk death to lose weight?
We watch TV and see slim heroines, we pick up magazines and see skinny models, and we learn that thin is hot. We accept what society wants, and deny ourselves.
We accept superficiality over the inner beauty of independence, wisdom, and achievement.
Men don’t face such strict standards or such close scrutiny. My father is a bit overweight, but no one judges him by his body. Yet men feel free to judge us.
Martin suggests a solution:
If a women of any size is able to stop her negative self-talk and accept herself, she may experience the world with a little peace of mind.
I see my body in the mirror. It is so perfect. I face my boyfriend and stare at him, “If I wanna lose weight, I would. But I just think it is so stupid to lose weight because my boyfriend thinks I’m fat.”
I say to him, “If you don’t like my body, then don’t even touch me!”
He stands there shocked, saying “sorry” with his eyes.
This was written by one of my students (who is perfect weight and perfectly beautiful) and posted with permission.