There was a time last year when I was feeling very frustrated with my body and with gaining weight-it was before I started seeing my nutritionist again and started working on eating mindfully. I was grappling with the dilemma of wanting to lose weight, but feeling ambivalent about dieting. I was telling a woman that had just told me that she was a feminist, that society tells us that dieting is the answer to our weight "problems," but that after reading fat acceptance blogs, I knew that there must be a better way to deal with how I was feeling about my body. I told her that I didn't think that dieting was a feminist way to deal with the issue. I confessed that I felt conflicted. Radical things to say, I know. She responded, "I don't think it's bad to want to look better!"
I felt like I had been slapped in the face!
I felt betrayed.
Here was a "feminist" who was judging me based on the patriarchy's standards. Who was she to tell me that I needed to do to "look better?!"
And what exactly does looking "better" mean anyway?
Instead of it meaning being thinner or having bigger breasts, how about we instead reframe it as meaning that we have more self-confidence, peace of mind, or better boundaries? Why don't we each define what "looking better" for ourselves means independent of the impossible physical expectations put forth by the patriarchy and its diet industry?
From ANAD's (Anorexia and Associated Disorders) website:
• 95% of all dieters will regain their lost weight within 5 years.
• 35% of “normal dieters” progress to pathological dieting. Of those, 20-25% progress to partial or full-syndrome eating disorders.
• The body type portrayed in advertising as the ideal is possessed naturally by only 5% of American females.
I'm not feeling so dissatisfied with my body nowadays. Seeing my nutritionist again, practicing mindfulness and continuing to read fat acceptance blogs and taking pictures of myself when I feel good about myself has all helped-vanity isn't always a sinful thing, in my opinion. I am proud to say that I am still in recovery from ED-NOS! In that spirit, I present to you my favorite selfies from 2013: (The pictures are in no real order)
New Year's Eve
My dad made me the cross for Christmas. Isn't it beautiful?
A Christmas Party
A Glittery, Feminist Fist Ready for the New Year!
“I DARE you to see beauty. And once you do, it overwhelms you.”
But there was another holiday last week, celebrating another great civil rights leader, that went quietly unnoticed by people not in tune with disability culture. It was Ed Roberts Day.