Jul 26, 2006

Taking the Bait (Second Post Today)

I did it, LauraJ... sent some pictures to be posted at The Shape of a Mother. It is a wonderful blog and her goals are laudable. It was disheartening to read though; so many of the pictures there were from people who were beautifully slender and still fretting about how they looked. So, rather than just sigh and wish that someone my size would post pictures so I could feel better, I sent pictures in. Maybe I can inspire another larger woman to do that to.

I have to wonder why those slender women felt so poorly about themselves. Is it that they were so perfect before the baby that the least imperfection seems to skyrocket impossibly high on the parabolic curve? Are only those who know, at least subconsciously, that their bodies once conformed to our culture's notion of physical perfection brave enough to put their bodies on display (even on such a supportive site as this)?

I also have to wonder why so many slender women posted and so few larger women. Are the slender women less comfortable with their bodies? Common sense would seem to say no. Are they looking for reassurance that their bodies are still beautiful? That makes me so sad. I can see their beauty easily. I doubt they would say the same.

I will fully admit that I have a hard time listening to/reading about slim women fretting over their baby pooch. I would venture to say that many heavier women do. This is, perhaps, a result of too many sideways glances from too many catty yet "perfect" skinny girls followed by whispered comments. If you are a slender woman, please do not be offended by my comments; I do realize that any change in one's body can be disheartening no matter your size. It just reminds me of another story... I was facing potential thyroid surgery (I didn't wind up having a thyroid problem) and was discussing specialists with another member of the chorus I sang in. She had nothing but praise for her surgeon and said something along the lines of, "and my range is still just as large as it was... oh, but you're an alto so it doesn't matter."

Because my voice was lower than hers, she discounted the importance of keeping my singing voice intact. Likewise, I often feel discounted by slender women saying, in essence "well, you were big anyway; it can't be as hard for you." If anything, it's more demoralizing. The voices of self-doubt and self-recrimination shriek more loudly than ever. Most of us larger women start with a much lower threshhold of self-esteem, leaving us far lower yet after gaining yet more weight.

At any rate, I feel for these poor girls, that they can't appreciate their nearly flat bellies, their elegantly slim arms, their impossibly long and slender legs, even as part of me wishes they could know, just for a day or two, what being heavy is like. I feel for the heavy women who don't dare post their pictures, the ones that dread the mirror even as their psyche draws them to it to pick at their flaws.

But, mostly, I feel tired. And that the fight against my body's shape is futile.

Oh, and I hate that fucking weight routine. (You'll understand that comment if she posts my pictures and comments on the site.)

Update: You can go and read my "story" and see the pictures. They're posted now.


Blogger graymama said...

Thank you so much for posting this! Your story and pics would be a great addition to the site!

Not to delve too much into my life here and take up all of your comment space, but I have been at both ends of the spectrum, "the fat girl" and "the sickly skinny girl." I have been "the fat girl" more than anything else. What I think most people, especially women are afraid of is the idea that if you are "fat" than you are obviously the lazy person who sits on the couch all day eating McD's, right?! I actually know more women with high-metabolisms and skinny bodies that sit around eating full containers of brownies than women who would be deemed "fat." What I have found with my own body is that I have a plateau. I can eat as healthy as I can, but if I hit the plateau then I need to step up the workouts to become a healthier weight. My girlie transformation has been really helping me. I am realizing that I have nice T/A, so why should I hide them behind baggy clothes. (Hubby is digging this, of course!) I feel more confident in my bigger body than I ever have before.

I have recently found this zine, and I love it! :-)

12:30 PM  
Blogger Willow said...

You impress me with your courage and openness in submitting photos to that site. I also could go on and on about my thoughts on weight/society/etc. Perhaps I should post this on my own site since I sometimes can't control the length of my babble.... Here I will just say that this post was really helpful to me - thank you :)

1:16 PM  
Blogger LauraJ said...

I could be all gushy and say oh how brave, oh how beautiful oh how.... you know what I mean.
My friend is the same size as you and she's constantly telling me LJ you are so itty bitty STOP berating your size. You can shop in the misses section for crying out loud, I have to shop in the XXL section. Her point is that I must be happy with what I have. Many women would be gladly give thier eyeteeth to be 125lbs. Basically what I'm trying to say is your message is ringing loud and clear to me, as is my friends. Appreciate what I do have and not what I don't.I imagine since I shared my photos with you, that you sat there thinking well I must be grateful I have a straight back. We all have to find the little things to be happy for within ourselves.
Self loathing gets us knowwhere. Start now loving yourself so that when you itty bitty wee girl grows up she doens't have a complex. These things are taught. (I thank the gods that chose the sex of Aaron for giving me a boy for this very reason!)
Anyway.. I'm rambling as usual and probably make no sense and probably said something inconsiderate which is my usual self.
I like you. All of you. Bravo for you for taking the plunge. Now here's something you can do... take pics often of yourself and just look at them, tell yourself how beautiful you are!! Cuz well you know you are deep down inside cuz you are married right? And I'm sure your hubby, if he has any taste in women, doesn't marry ogres.

3:46 PM  
Blogger graymama said...

I just saw your pics and story.


8:12 PM  
Blogger Willow said...

The ab muscles are impressive :)
I was so happy to see all of the positive and thankful feedback your post got on that site. Look at you - improving the world! :)

You are curve-liscious!

8:18 PM  
Blogger Jade said...

I started to write a big giant response, but I realize it would take up a huge amount of space and is in and of itself a blog entry, so I'm going to work on it & post it in my blog next week (when the visitors have vanished!) I also want to time it for when I sent my pics/story in to Shape of a Mother, because I'm planning on doing it to.

Way to go on posting! And keep up the routines...
"Place in a spot that is easy to see
the three little letters "T.T.T."
When we feel how incredibly slowly we climb
It does well to remember that Things Take Time"

8:44 PM  
Blogger LauraJ said...

Oh Jade! that sounds like a great tattoo!!

9:30 AM  
Blogger JerseyTjej said...

I coldn't see the article or the photos...is this a private grop or something? I am so computer illiterate!
I did read some of the letters. They were very nicely written...I loved the photos, also!

12:17 PM  
Blogger peppypilotgirl said...

I got such a wonderful response from so many people; I am so grateful that I posted them.

Thank you all for your support in this and particularly many thanks to LauraJ who brought The Shape of a Mother to our attention. This is helping me confront and work on overcoming some body issues that I've struggled with since puberty.

You are so right, Graymama - the perception is that if you are overweight you must be chowing down entire packages of chips while drinking gallons of soda and watching TV for hours and hours every night. I have a friend with a killer figure -- if I ate the way she does, I'd be twice the size I am now.

Part of the reason I'm willing to take this on again is for my daughter, LauraJ - you're right - I don't want her to grow up with my neuroses. (Better that she develop her own set! ;-) ) I should try to be more grateful for what I do have, as you pointed out, a straight back, for example. Actually, you know, there is one part of my weight I like. As long as I'm wearing a bra, I am definitely curvy!

Curve-liscious - woohoo!! That works for me, Willow! Thanks too for the positive reinforcement for those wretched ab exercises!!

You're right, Jade, things take time and that's a great memory device. (and "TTT" would make a good tattoo done right). I'm looking forward to reading your blog on the subject and on The Shape of a Mother.

I think the article was a link, JerseyTjej - if it's the one I'm thinking of. I don't know why the pictures wouldn't show but my photos are also in my photobucket account and I can send you a link if you'd like.

Your comments are all so insightful. Willow's blog on this is very helpful to see the perspective of another size person. In closing, I feel very lucky to be surrounded with such smart, sassy, supportive friends and Willow's got it right on her blog: "Flaunt whatever 'it' you've got!" (That'd make a great Cafe Press t-shirt!)

1:35 PM  
Anonymous harriet said...

K, you're an inspiration. Your pictures and story were beautiful. And thanks for turning me onto the site.

6:09 PM  
Blogger LauraJ said...

I have a shirt that I have to show you. It came at a great time too! The same day that I did my shape of me post. I found this shirt at the thrift shop I went to, in the boys section of all places. It's a woman's shirt and it says "What can I say I'm perfect?"
You are most welcome by the way! all you folks just humble me so much!!

7:45 PM  

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