why is it when you get a room of 3 or more women the discussion almost invariably turns to food, dieting, body shaming? It drives me insane. If I were a man and I saw this vapid, shallow conversation women often participate in I would conclude that one half of my species does not have a lot to offer in the brains department.
In fact, now that Ive opted out of diet talk and body shaming language there are times when I feel like an outcast of my gender. I no longer commiserate with or enter in conversations about good food vs bad, restricting, joining fucking weight watchers; I no longer nod in approval at these hopeless attempts nor do I praise for “successes”. In most groups of women I feel that my withholding from joining this womanly team building experiences and pipe up my own body and food issues means that I am somehow less of a woman; less feminine that I don’t join in what is now sadly, quintessentially a female diversion, we don’t talk about the weather anymore, we talk about what we shouldn’t be eating…. how. fucking. sad.
I wonder what these women think about me, when I am silent. I am no longer a good girl, no longer partaking in self loathing and hate no longer making food and eating a main component of my conversation (unless its couched in positive terms). When I opt out of conversations and sit or stand there silently while the women all chime in, I wonder how they perceive me; is it the knee jerk reaction of viewing me as a hopeless fatty? lazy? a loser? A woman who has “given up and let herself go?”
Sometimes I get enraged I want to just shake these women and tell them, “Do you know how shallow and ridiculous you sound? Do you think men sit around talking about this stupid shit? Cant you find something more interesting to talk about (oh I don’t know, global warming, stock options)I don’t know ANYTHING else to bond with your fellow women other than the size and shape of your bodies?”
Its so infuriating to know what I know now but feel completely impotent with questions about what to do what to say or how to share how harmful this is and how incredibly harmful it is to them…. and to me. Talk like this (and in this instance it was in a classroom that is filled with only women a graduate level course for chrissakes so I am in effect an unwilling witness to this weekly conversation) how can I tell them in what ways this talk triggers me in such bad ways. It is like I am in a permanent post traumatic stress syndrome running from a life of somehow failing to be what the world wants women to be, what this culture “values”.
And after the talk I started to think thoughts which were rolling downhill fast. I am “getting up there” in age and in fact am at this point where the talk from others about “when am I going to settle down and get married” have pretty much stopped. It is something I am working through and a strange place to find myself suddenly the last person I know who is reasonably not crazy or antisocial yet never married. It makes me wonder at times what is wrong with ME……so anyway after these conversations above and we begin the lecture I notice on every woman’s hand… all the ones near my age I see big wedding bands, engagement bands, children talk and I wonder (caught myself actually) is it because I am fat that I don’t have someone and they do? Am I an unloveable person, a rejection, a blight upon society? In the past these thoughts would have fired at will but today I caught this line of thinking in time to stop it. So I guess in this way, there is a small victory.
I wish these women really really knew -how these words hurt them and others around them. Every sentence is a knife cutting one more line on this poor body already full of scars. Most of the time I come off very competent and sure in my speech and actions laughing off the pain, which person who grew up fat hasn’t an array of defenses of self preservation? On the exterior we laugh it off with a quip and continue on our way but the interior winces at another sprung leak and finds a way to keep the boat from capsizing. Some days…. sigh…some days its just like that.
And after I wrote this feeling very very… bereft. I went to www.postsecret and this was one of the “secrets” , it gave me joy, and restored me.