For some reason, my SIL's posts sometimes elicit a quick, strong reaction from my brain and prompt me to come here and blog too (this [and the following post] was one example -- BTW, I want to go back to those posts, their repercussion is still percolating in my brain). In any case, it feels good to be "unblocked" for a little bit.
So, today my SIL wrote a really quick post that has to do with how we feel about weight and being skinny and this is a really touchy subject for me. Whenever people have discussed weight on their blogs I have this reaction that when people discuss body issues I'm overcome by this feeling that because I'm skinny (and, supposedely beautiful because of that) have no reason to complain about underweight and I get really upset about it. I've written some comments to that tune to Jo (former Leery Polyp, now at The Modernity Ward).
First, a disclaimer, I'm not going to discuss BEAUTY here. I think everyone is and can be and feel really beautiful, no matter their body type. I'm just going to vent about how I feel when people discuss weight issues. Is that understood? Thanks!
After reading SIL's post, I wrote this comment:
Hmmm... I don't know, maybe it's just a natural reaction at being "brainwashed" by so many sources about how being skinny is beautiful. I, for one, completely disagree because those who want to be skinny have never BEEN, ever since they were little children, that "sickly" kind of skinny whole legs look like starving African children's legs on any given day (I have several photos from years ago with weird angles and from which you get that impression). I have, though. So, for me, whenever I gain a tiny amount of weight I feel healthier.What I mean is... it may be "easier" being skinny because people tend to be envious or you and say flattering things about how nice you look, etc... but I think that being underweight (and people like me are not underweight by choice, but by genetic predisposition, I eat normally -- a lot even, if I'm hungry and like the food) is also problematic in terms of body issues and self-esteem.
I guess it's all, like they say in Physics, depend[ent] on one's point of reference. sigh.
First, growing up skinny is quite bad because everyone wonders if you're healthy and normal. "Look at those tiny legs (derisively called cambitos, in Portuguese)," a well meaning aunt or teacher will say, "Give this child some food," or some such thing. Unfortunately my mom worried a lot and took me to doctor after doctor, to no avail (it turns out I just have her genes, she's always been skinny too). I try to refrain from making the same comments about my older son's skinny legs, but it's hard, I understand my m om now. He took after us...
Look at what happened to me one year during graduate school after I had my annual physical -- the doctor worried about my weight, asked if I had any eating disorders (of course I said "No way!") and referred me to a nutritionist!!! I felt so insulted! I went, but of course she couldn't find anything wrong with me.
What upsets me the most about my body is my flat-chested-ness. I can't STAND even to go past a Victoria Secret store. Looking at their catalog is sheer torture for me. I am not ashamed in the least of saying the I do want a b00b job and that I will probably get one whenever I can afford it. I have the right to feel beautiful too. Two of my best friends (who are twins) did it many years ago, they were even "worse" than me in that department. The surgery simply made them look like average (or even less than average) women.
Exhibit A:Exhibit B:If these photos don't convince you, I don't know what will. I wish I could be happier with my body, but I'm not. The skinny legs, arms and sometimes sunken face (I do loose weight easily and it shows) do not bother me, but I really would feel more beautiful and, obviously sexier, if could be less flat. (Oh, and I should point out that at least I have one thing going for me, I have a nice, very Brazilian b00ty, also inherited from my mom ;-). My rational, fledgling feminist mind tells me that I shouldn't feel this way, that it's the fault of the people in the fashion industry, or even the evil p0rn industry with its blown up, absurdly disproportionately endowed women. I can't convince myself, though.
In addition, it doesn't help much that my br*easts served me very well and produced lots of milk to feed my babies for 5 years -- that long period b-feeding only made them smaller, poor things. Good thing the opposite happened with my other sister-in-law. Lucky her! (she did it only for two, years though, one at a time).
So, this is the post that I've been wanting to write for many years now. I originally wanted to title it "I'm going to have a b00b job and I don't care what the feminists say" or some such silly thing ... ;-) but I don't need that right now. And... who knows, I might never have the surgery done in the end. I may never have the $ or, perhaps, be fearful since I can't stand doctors, hospitals, and I've never ever had surgery in my life (except for removing my tonsils when I was 4). The anesthesia they gave me when I had the colonoscopy was the first one I got since the surgery at 4 years old (which I remember, incidentaly, especially right before getting the anesthesia, breathing a sweet smelling thing, and when I woke up). It was a strange feeling...
Well... you'll know it all, since I intend to keep on blogging for many years to come! Well, it feels good to have all this off my chest -- not that there was much there in a literal way to begin with! ;-)