I’ve been reading a lot lately in the blog world about people having Anorexia/Bulimia/Some-strange-condition-where-they-seems-themselves-as-fat-and-hideous. It takes a lot of courage to talk about hating your body and how much you hate that you hate it. It’s made me think about my relationship with my body. I pretty much have the opposite of Anorexia. I’m not sure what it’s called but I always think I look fantastic. I check myself out each morning and say, “self, you are looking fine!” So I’m always caught off guard when I see a picture of myself or–even worse–my reflection in a store window. “Huh??? What the heck? There’s no way I look like that!” What is it called when you think you look terrific even though there is evidence to the contrary? Like how Anorexics see nothing but fatness when they look in the mirror, but the opposite.
Those blobs of fat oozing out of the top of my jeans? Meh. It’s just how I’m sitting; it can’t possibly be because there is actual fat spilling out my clothes. No, not possible at all.
My jeans size is in the double digits? Only because they’re skinny jeans. The sizing is way off.
The reason my shirts are size large is on account of my nice chest. That’s the only reason.
According to society I should hate my body. It’s downright embarrassing to like your body if you are larger than a size 6; anyone larger than that should be ashamed. We full-figured gals are hideous monsters blah, blah, blah.
It’s not just about my weight either. I wear red lipstick and imagine how full and pouty and beautiful my lips are. Which made it all the more surprising when my son took a picture of me yesterday and my lips looked entirely average. And in that same photograph my eyes look dull and brown when they are not dull and brown at all. They are golden with flecks of green! It’s true! They are!
I’m pretty sure I can blame my disorder on my husband, who has showered me with compliments even when I’ve been post-partum with a belly like deflated bread dough. If you’ve been told you are gorgeous and sexy every day for twenty years, you start to believe it. I can also blame my mother. She has this same disorder but I think it’s even worse. Once I was sitting around reading a People magazine with my mom and a few other family members. I came across a picture of Harrison Ford emerging from the ocean. This was about fifteen years ago and he looked mighty fine for somebody his age. I held the picture up and announced what a fox Harrison still was. “Oh, I look just as good as he does,” my mother informed us. She was dead serious and didn’t notice us all rocking with silent laughter. She was quite the hottie back in the 1950’s and in her mind she still was/is. All I can say is good for her. And good for me because she has passed it on.
Does that mean I wouldn’t love to lose twenty pounds? Of course I would! I’m not mental! I would love to catch my reflection out of the corner of my eye and have it actually look like what I imagine it to look like. Which on a good day is Audrey Hepburn* and on a bad day is more like Joan from Mad Men.
Next time you see a ginormous lady in Walmart wearing high heels and miniskirt, cut her some slack. Sister is suffering from the same disease as me. We can’t help it if we think we’re gorgeous.
*Intellectually I am fully aware that I haven’t looked like Audrey Hepburn since I was 11. Not exaggerating. I went from a from a girl’s size 12 to a Juniors size 7 in one year. I have been and will forever remain hourglassy. But the mind plays tricks. And if I see Audrey in the mirror what am I supposed to do?