I honestly can’t believe I’m still doing this 90 day challenge. It’s really hard, and I normally give up by now. (Let’s not focus on that.)
What I want to talk about is something else.
Because I’m sick of skinny girls being called “too skinny” and I’m sick of slightly less skinny girls being called “fat” and I’m sick of overweight girls being called “an eyesore”. And I’m just sick of thinking about my own self worth in terms of my body. I have this whole being, this whole identity that to me is alive and thriving and fascinating and nuanced and intricate. But I know, know, know, know that when I go in public, all people see is a fat girl. I’ve been overweight since I hit puberty at age 9, ahead of almost all my classmates. It’s been almost 20 years since then. This thing that I know, I know for very damn certain.
And I’m sick of telling myself I’m an idiot for looking this way. Annie, you’re so lazy for letting it get to this. You’re such a failure for eating that. God, why can’t you just push through? Why can’t I just be like all those those skinny girls who everyone likes? If only I was skinnier, I would be prettier, and then I wouldn’t have to fight so hard to prove myself.
But I would. Because no matter what I look like, I will be judged by that before anything else. As a woman, I will always have to fight so hard to prove myself because, to so many people, I am a body before I am a human.
It might be because everyone else alive is a jerk, but I really doubt that. In fact, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that everyone else is actually, oddly, like me, alive and kicking inside of a body that isn’t quite the way they think it ought to be, and wishing people would see their identity instead of just their body.
So why is it that I’ve been reduced to “fat girl” for 20 years? It’s because we practice reducing whole humans into these adjectives. We hear the comment, “Oh my God, she’s so skinny, she needs to eat a hamburger, jeez!” and we don’t question it. Or we even laugh. Or we enviously think, “I wish people would tell me to eat a hamburger, instead of telling me not to. I hate skinny girls.”
Here are two very important pieces of information about “her” body and my body:
1) Her body and my body are not under the jurisdiction of anyone but ourselves.
2) Her body and my body are not the same thing as either of our identities or our worth.
I’m going to fight to remember that, not only when I encounter people judging other women, but when I encounter them judging me. Because my body is only my jurisdiction; I’m not going to let their ideas of what I “should” look like determine anything about me. And I’m not going to try to change my body to get anyone to see my worth or my identity; I’m going to be inimitably valuable as the only creature capable of being fully me.
Instead of practicing and training myself and other to uphold the status quo, I want to practice something different. If I ever want to be in shape, I have to keep working at it consistently. And if we ever want to change the world and achieve new standards of how society operates, we have to keep working at it consistently.
I’m just going to take this one day at a time.