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Posts Tagged ‘body image’

Wishing me ill

September 7, 2011 Leave a comment

When I look back at pictures of me when I was a child I can see that I was not fat. I was taller and bigger than the other girls in my class but I wouldn’t have considered myself to be fat. Well, not that fat. I was strong and athletic and healthy.

My mother, however, thought that I was too big for my own good. She would give me less food than she gave to my extremely skinny brother, and would say no when I asked for seconds. “Do you really need more food?” she would ask. When I was 12 she took me to the doctor to be put on a diet, which consisted of meal replacement cookies. When that didn’t work she took me to another doctor who ran all manner of tests to see if something was wrong with me. Nothing was. These days she pretty much leaves me alone because she knows how I feel about dieting and body image.

I don’t blame my mom for her behaviour at all, that’s what happens when you live in a society that views fat people as defective. But I wish she wouldn’t have wished me ill.

When we were kids one of my cousins came down with a really bad stomach virus or food poisoning. She was very sick for a couple of weeks, so of course she lost weight. My mom said to me, “You need what she has so you can lose weight too.”

That statement never sat well with me. Why would you wish someone ill? Can you think of any other circumstance that wishing someone ill would be appropriate? If you’re concerned about my “health,” why would you want me to get sick?

Why would you risk the self-esteem of a little girl by letting her know that you think she looks horrible so she should become sick if it will help her to look “better?”

I was just as appalled to see a friend’s Facebook status recently. She became ill and I believe she is having her gallbladder removed in the next few weeks. Her status was along the lines of, “One good thing about being sick is that I’ve lost 23 pounds in 2 weeks.” Really??

I had food poisoning back in January, and weight loss was the last thing on my mind. The first thing was “How did I get this,” and “I feel horrible and I wouldn’t wish this on anybody.”

I strive to not be sick. Thank goodness I no longer buy into this madness.

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Fat acceptance and breast reduction surgery

July 18, 2011 6 comments

I would like to hear from any fat acceptance advocates who have had breast reduction surgery, or anybody who has an opinion about it.

Yesterday was the 2 year anniversary of my surgery. I had wanted this surgery for many many years due to pain and discomfort, but also for aesthetic reasons, and because of reactions from other people. Women’s bodies seem to be game for any and all public comments. I had been putting up with stares and rude comments from people since I was 11.

I had the surgery and I’ve never felt better. I don’t have any more pain in my neck and shoulders, it’s easier to do my job and to exercise.  Hell, it’s even easier to sleep and breathe. People don’t stare and make rude comments anymore. I don’t pay a fortune for bras anymore. This surgery isn’t right for everybody but I don’t regret my decision in the slightest.

Now, just bear with me while I ramble to myself. I am a full believer in fat acceptance. I believe that there is too much pressure on people, women in particular, to be thin by any means necessary. I don’t believe that all fat people are going to keel over and die by their 30th birthday (yes, I do know fat senior citizens). I believe that weight-loss dieting is often counterproductive to achieving health. And I feel that acceptance is the one of the keys to health and happiness.

But what do you do if parts of you make you genuinely uncomfortable, in a physical and/or emotional way?

Are fat acceptance and breast reduction surgery compatible? I wouldn’t dream of having surgery to reduce my stomach or my legs. But my chest just felt too big, too uncomfortable. It’s not the same as weight-loss surgery in my opinion, but it’s something, I don’t know what.

Does any of this make sense?  Does anybody have any thoughts?