Monday, November 13, 2006

Fat Bashing

So Kirstie Alley gained a bunch of weight and then lost a bunch of weight and then put on a bikini and then went on national tv wearing it and apparently this annoyed A LOT of people. Well, I don't know if it annoyed them, so much as everyone then thought it was ok to say rude shit about her and about how she wasn't bikini ready, whatever the hell that means, and about how big her thighs were and how she shouldn't have gone on tv with those thighs wearing a bikini and how she cheated by wearing nylons and blah blah blah.

First of all let me just say I don't really care about Kirstie Alley one way or the other. I don't have an opinion on her personality. I enjoyed her on Cheers just as I enjoyed every person on Cheers so I guess I give her the Cheers Free Pass even though she is a Scientologist which freaks me out, but overall I don't wake up in the morning and think "Hmmm, do I or do I not like Kirstie Alley today?" But regardless of how I feel about her, don't blog that you think she has monster sized thighs and then when you get called on it say "oh, no no no no no, NO, I'm not fat bashing, I have big thighs too!" Uh, guess what? The size of your own thighs has nothing to do with it. Insulting someone because you think they have big thighs IS fat bashing. Period.

So the fat bashing was the first thing. The second thing was the bikini thing. Because really? Aside from those of us who are either fourteen or supremely genetically gifted, dude, none of us is "bikini ready", whatever the hell that even means. Luckily, that doesn't mean we don't get to wear bikinis. We get to wear whatever the hell we want, whenever we want, no matter what size we are, no matter what other people think. That's just how it works. And whether or not you have big thighs, and no matter what other people think, if you feel hot in a bikini, well, damn. You might just have found the secret of life, so don't cover it up with a damn sarong, flaunt it on Oprah and more power to you.

And so all this blather got me thinking. Obviously my weight loss issues and efforts have been derailed by the demon spawn I am currently gestating but last year when I was a size 4 and the smallest I have been for a long time and running 30 miles a week, I was also having a crisis of self confidence. Much of the time I felt not good enough and I felt very self conscious and I had way too many fat days. I've put that all on the back burner because now that I'm pregnant I need to just not care how I look, since if I think too much about it I will be freaked out at how fat I feel and it's not something I can do something about so I just choose not to think about it. But all this bikini talk. Well.

Well, it's just that I have worn a bikini many many many times in my life, and very few (ie none) of those times did I have a Sports Illustrated swimsuit body but I didn't give a shit. I love wearing a bikini and lying on the beach and I thought I looked hot and I felt confident and I rocked it. And it was only later on that I would see pictures of myself or I would become obsessed with how I once looked or I would wonder what other people thought of my stomach and then I would start to feel foolish and think back on when I wore a bikini to the beach when I was larger and I would think "Holy crap, I can't believe I wore that, I really shouldn't have been wearing that" or sometimes I would tear the pictures up into tiny pieces and I would feel shame. Shame that I let my fat thighs out in public, in a bikini no less, shame that I had no better judgement than to cover my fat self up. I do have lack of self esteem, but for some reason it works in reverse. With rare exceptions I've never had a problem putting the bikini on but I find it impossible not to castigate myself for it afterwards.

And so I am going to try to give that bad habit up. I have come to the conclusion that if you feel good in something when you put it on, that moment is really hard to come by and it needs to be all that matters. If you put on a bikini and go on Oprah and you feel good about you, fuck everyone else. When I put on a bikini and lie on the beach I feel like I look good and I feel happy and that's a powerful thing, not everyone has that. Taking it away from myself afterwards by telling myself I didn't deserve to have that self confidence in the first place is unfair to me, and it's really soul killing, in a way. I am lucky I can have that Oprah bikini moment even if it is only in my own mind and I need to tell the crictic in my own head who tunes in afterwards with the doubt and insults to quit with the fat bashing and shut the hell up.

1 comment:

LME said...

A most excellent rant, PN!