Monday, January 08, 2007

Thinking Out Loud

Jessica from Kerflop recently posted a piece on what she believes. It was beautiful, and it is more in line with what I want to believe.

I first heard the term “Traditional Build” on the Verymom (now Kerflop) website over a year ago, and have gone on to read the Ladies No.1 Detective Agency books with my jaw dropped. The main protagonist is an African woman named Precious Ramotswe. She is a woman who fills a size 22 dress and feels beautiful. She is treated and spoken of by others as a desirable woman. When another refers to her as "fat" it is with admiration, or a sense of covetousness. To my readers ears, the character's in Alexander McCall Smith's books pronounce the word "fat" the same way that I would say "svelte."

It makes me want to cry. Not many folks around me admire my "Traditional Build." If they did? I still wouldn't know it, because I certainly don't admire my ample traditions.

I come from a family and culture that measures a woman's success, desirability and state of emotional health by the size of her jeans. Jeans that I have never been able to
fit my butt into. They are some teeny-tiny, no-thigh-having jeans, and I hate them.

I am in the process of rejecting those stupid jeans, but they still hang in my closet. I get sick of them and throw them away, but the next morning there they are again, and they mock me. Stupid Jeans.

Anyone got a blowtorch?

*edited to add: I do not blame my messed up thinking and body attitudes
(or my messed up body for that matter) on anyone. I am an adult, I am in charge of what/who I am... it is taking time and effort to get to where I want to be, however. I am not indicting anyone in this little post, INCLUDING my stupid ex who used to call me a fat @$%&*% cow as a motivational technique. Wait... I think I did just indict him with that last sentence. Fine, I am indicting no one but him.


elizasmom said...

Oh, I LOVE the Ladies Detctive Agency books. Snap them up as soon as the next one comes out.

And I love what you've written. I so, so wish I knew how to keep from passing this jeans=self worth trap on to my kid.

Mama D said...

I can relate.

My family often comments about weight. Who's gained it, who's lost it. Etc.

When I was first pregnant, barfing my guts out and miserable an interesting thing happened. My brother told me he had been talking to my father on the phone and during their conversation my dad asked him how I was doing. My brother replied "She's great! She's thinner than before she got pregnant." Which I guess, was why I was great. Rather than terrible, which is how I felt.

We are all so messed up.

Thanks for writing this. I too am constantly striving to accept myself the way I am if for no other reason than to be a good role model for Miss A.

bon said...

Yup! The thinnest I've ever been (except for age 16 when I was running every morning), was when I was high on meth half the time. I was also married to the afore mentioned ex... life was brutal, but hey! I looked great!

Blogarita said...

I just had a conversation about this with another blogger. There are health issues to be considered with weight, but beyond that, why do we care? Why can't we ever focus on what's inside a person rather than what's on the outside?

It's all so sad when you think about it...problem is, so many people never bother to think about it.

Fantastagirl said...

I can relate as well.

I have two cousins who suffer from eating disorders, you would think that side of the family would be a little conscienceous as to what is said about who weighs what - but they are ruthless. It's all about who has gained, who has lost their baby weight, and what size your jeans are.

They make me feel (no, I allow myself to feel) that my opinion is not important because I am not a size 6.

I dislike that...and wish it could be changed.

JD said...

Those jeans are yucky! Let's just say I won't be returning to the size I was at 16.
Oh yeah i totally tagged you!

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

hey girl - it doesn't matter what other people think. The only thing that matters is what YOU think. Of course, if you're like me, you are your harshest critic. But I do like a challenge, and so it's OK.

Oh, and by the way? TAG missy, you are it!