Monday, March 9, 2009

Fat or Thin?

When I first arrived in Arkansas the first thing I noticed is that fat doesn't matter, not here. I privately thought this a very odd thing, that girls who are obviously overweight were being openly admired and remarked upon as beautiful. Beauty is more about personality and the way you dress and the way you talk. There are people who call these girls fat, but they have always moved here from other places.
How amazing! I've fought the Battle of the Bulge and I had a mother who always abused me badly about my weight. I thought it akin to some unforgivable sin. I had a friend who was pencil thin who always thought she was fat. She had to be reassured constantly. It seems to me to be as obsession that no one can cure, a dream that people have that life would be totally different if they were only thin. I find this strange, though I myself have often dreamed this dream. There was a girl at my high school who was a cheerleader who was fat, but she kissed up shamelessly to the skinny girls. You will still be you when you are thin, but we think of it as a transformation, a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, living the perfect life. When I ask my daughter what her physical faults are she knows them by heart: nose too big, legs too long, hair too straight, and feet too big. I know that she bonds with her girlfriends this way, each of them talking about their faults. It is okay, at least it is better than my mother worrying about the saleslady at the store actually knowing what size I wore.

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