Monday, February 2, 2009

All women are misfits. We do not fit into this world without amputations... -- Marge Piercy

This is so true. As women we are continually expected to cut off our parts in order to fit in. In America, girls must shrink themselves down into a peanut-sized version of themselves in order to get positive attention.

One of my black male friends said he couldn't get his mind around white society, how if you were fat you were deemed unlovable, that this didn't happen with black folks. In black society you were seen as fat, but never unlovable. But in white society the fat girl is criticized and shunned.

Fat girls.

We have such an aversion to the beauty of curves, to heft, to womanliness, to abundance. We are so frightened by it. And there is nothing so sexy as a fat girl who does not apologize, a fat girl who likes her body and likes herself.

(This is one of the reasons why I love browsing on, a site that is filled with a multitude of joyously hedonistic, riotously wonderful fat girls who take photo after photo of themselves without a hint of apology. Their photographer's eye has captured their beauty, they see themselves as a work of art -- they are at once the artist and the model, the artist and the muse.)

When I was younger I felt so much pressure to be thin. But now, now that I am almost 62, that pressure has dissipated. Now my amputation is that I'm invisible.

A week ago I was waiting in line at Rite Aid when a teenaged girl cut in front of me, seemingly unaware of my presence. "Excuse me," I said to her, "but I'm in line."

She looked at me as if I'd just parachuted onto the scene. "Oh, I'm sorry," she said, "I didn't see you." The thing is, I believed her.

Amputations. I am thinking of all the diets, the uncomfortabe high heels, the foot bindings and other calls to beauty. That's why the self-loving woman is such a rare bird. She has managed her escape. She has escaped into the beauty of her simple self.

1 comment:

  1. I just wanted to tell you that this was a beautiful post. Every young woman should read this. Too often we care about what isn't important these days. Thank you!