Tuesday, March 9, 2010
About the time that I was ten years old, I decided that I was fat. Shuffling in the dining hall line, I proudly announced to the older girls, "I am on a diet! A diet of bread." They looked at me oddly, and one said, "You mean all you're going to eat is bread?" I felt confused and strange, and said, "No, bread is the thing I am not eating any more, since I need to lose weight." They mocked me a little, telling me that I had no idea what I was talking about, and that if I was going on a "diet of bread", then bread would be the only thing I was eating. (I know, they were right. My wording was not correct, but seeing as I was only ten, who could blame me?)
So I dug up this photo of me when I was ten, (I'm the one on the left, wearing the blue and yellow, our school colors, the combination of which I can't stand to this day) and LOOK AT ME! There is no fat whatsoever on that little body! Did I have some sort of fun-house mirror that shrunk and fattened the image of me? Did someone tell me that I was fat?
How in the world did my self-view become so warped? I have an idea of the reason, and I'm sure that a psychologist could give a million reasons for it. But then again, what does the reason matter at all?
I see my five-year-old daughter, who sometimes squeezes her thighs and mutters something about them being fat, and I just die inside. She is perfect. I want her to know that. I want her to know that no matter how she sees herself, and no matter how others see her, she is PERFECT. But words are just words, and as I know from experience, words will not change a view of self. It has to come from growing older and having new eyes.
Some days I still look at myself and think, "Ugh, look at those thighs! That butt! The smushy belly... " And I have to realize that I am what I am, and this is me, this is my body and I should embrace it and love it because it is ME.