Today’s exercise in change: self-examination of why I can’t stand to be in the same room with myself.
I’ve already done a brief sketch of my mother and her “helpful” suggestions. My ex referred to her as the Diet Nazi. And he only knew her for the 16 years we were together. I had a whole 26 years of experience with her before I ever met him. I have never been what one would refer to as “skinny.” Even to call me “thin” might be stretching it, but I am 5’11” for Pete’s sake. Since I refuse to give up food entirely or stick my finger down my throat after every meal I’m never going to be supermodel skinny, but I digress.
Once upon a time when I was much thinner than I am now, (read that as before children!) I had a few dates. One or two might have actually qualified as boyfriends. It was hard to tell between all the backhanded compliments that were thrown my way. Here’s a random sampling for your consideration:
“You are going to be so beautiful when you are done losing weight.”
“You would be so beautiful if you would just lose some weight.”
“If you and I stay together you will lose some weight because we will start hiking.”
“Well, I like you, but my buddy and I think that [insert name of my best friend here] is better looking.”
Are you seeing a trend here? There are more, but that would just be overkill. Yes, apparently I attract asshats like manure attracts flies.
According to at least one person, the only reason any man would ever go out with me would be because I would have sex with them. (Believe me I wasn’t getting *that* lucky) It certainly wouldn’t be for my beauty, charming wit or sparkling personality because I lacked those in abundance. Yes, another asshat.
I just want to give a big shout-out to the asshats of the world. I want to thank you for reducing me down to what I truly am– an imperfect human in a world that values perfection of body over all other characteristics. It doesn’t matter that none of you were Mr. America– at least 2 of you were chubby with thinning hair– that didn’t matter to me. I liked you. It only matters that you made me feel inferior. It doesn’t matter that I am intelligent, witty and occasionally fun to be around. It only matters that I wasn’t a size 6.
And so asshats, I bid adieu to all of the horrible things that you made me feel about myself. I will no longer fall into a pit of self-loathing when I remember what you said to me because I know now that I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and doggone it, people like me.