A Lifetime Pursuit
It’s almost so radical it’s preposterous, unbelievable.
But it’s true.
We’ll start “small” when we’re young (although doesn’t the fact that we’re young make this HUGE?)— maybe when we’re 9 or 10— as we notice the abundance of “skinny” girls presented in our TV shows, on magazine covers while we wait in line at the grocery store with mom, and all those mannequins in stores.
We’ll begin the often never-ending game and start to critique our pre-adolescent bodies in the mirror as we undress before bath time or when we go to swim birthday parties, suddenly aware of how we look in a two-piece.
We’ll grow up and hear the women in our lives talk about how “fat” they are, and at first we’ll think this is absolutely ridiculous— they must be crazy— because we see them as total idols: our teachers, our moms, our aunts, our older sister’s friends. Why would they even be thinking about this?!
By middle school, we know what calories + carbs are, and the idea that these make us “fat” is beginning to make its way into our brains.
We will also begin to gather unfounded assumptions like:
salads are “good” for you + cheese is “bad” for you:
being small = being healthy;
and we should always be striving to eat less.
Even as we mature + gain knowledge through high school & college, these ideas and assumptions will remain.
We will still look at our cellulite & stretch marks before we get in the shower.
We will still obsessively compare our thighs and stomachs at pool parties (& now continue to compare on instagram even after the party is over.)
We will BECOME those teachers, moms, aunts, friends who talk about how “fat” they are, and just like that— 40+ years have gone by & we’ve been body-shaming & beating up the shell we live in the.entire.time.
It breaks my heart.💔
And not because I’m on the sideline of this game.
I’m totally an active participant, a player in this game, too.
And I don’t want to stop playing. I want to destroy the game.
I don’t know how we do it, but I do know admitting we’re playing it is the first step.