Fat Camp and the Fantasy of Being Thin.

First of all, I would like to say that my normal computer is in the shop right now, and I’m on my backup (yes, I know I’m lucky and I’m grateful) but my backup is old for a computer and doesn’t do all the things I like computers to do, so I’ve been cutting down computer time in all areas of my internet life. Not just here, though if I keep composing these blog posts in my head, this place will be flooded when I finally get my beloved back.

Today, I was thinking about how awesome Huge might be. The new show on ABC Family about a fat camp. See, the one thing I always wanted as a kid was to go to a fat camp. I never expressed this desire because I thought it was a shameful one, though not for the reasons I can think of now.

This is tied in with my version of the FoBT because I don’t think I’ve limited my life because of my weight. I think the only notable exceptions would be clothing (even when things do fit, there’s the idea of “flattering” and “appropriate” that further limits selection, of course) and a few dance classes that just had very unwelcoming atmospheres. I’ve never really had a strong if/when I’m thin I can/will do X idea in my head. I think this is because the focus and goals in my life have been pretty strongly based in mental feats. Or possibly because (undiagnosed) depression has kept me from doing a lot of things and I have a much stronger Fantasy of Being Happy.

I have had one form of the FoBT that has had a pretty strong hold on me. The reason I wanted to go to fat camp was because when summer was over and I went back to school, I would be thin. And then, all those classmates who made fun of me would see. I still have that goal, except without a fat camp. The goal of losing weight while I’m invisible and then coming back as this new magical thin person. I’ve always had this idea that being thin would “show them”. But I’ve never really thought about what I would be showing them until today. And that is, apparently, my ability to conform to societal beauty standards.

And to me, this is kind of a really strange revelation. I was always the kind of person who wanted to stand out rather than conform, but at the same time, this idea makes so much sense to me. It feels really good to conform. When I was eleven, people started making fun of my eyebrow a lot. A year later, with a bit of hesitation, I agreed to let my mother make me an appointment to get it waxed. I still remember the day when someone shouted in the hall “HEY UNIBROW! UNIBROW, WHY AREN’T YOU ANSWERING?”. I turned around with my two freshly waxed brows and the look on his face was just so wonderful. I still relish that memory.

But I think the most shocking revelation this whole body acceptance thing has made me face is this. The fact that I want to become thin so that I can prove to a society I dislike (and find problematic at best) that I can conform to its standards.

Of course, even after figuring this out and writing it down I still want to show ’em, but I also want to fix that.

By the way, in college, I met someone who was a vegan and studying for a health and nutrition degree. She worked at a fat camp over her summers and to hear what she had to say about the camp (especially the meals) made me realise that if I had ever gone to a fat camp (or at least that one) when I was younger I probably wouldn’t have lost weight anyway, or if I had, I would have just regained it.

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June 25, 2010. Tags: . Current, Reflection. Leave a comment.

Housekeeping

I have lots of things to say that may or may not be really worth saying, but I’m in the process of completing a lot of thoughts. The Rotund‘s latest post on her internet handle reminded me that I had actually been wanting to do one of those so here’s mine.

When I comment, I go by PG because I’m a busty gal. And PG is a nod to Power Girl. A DC super hero whose powers are pretty much her huge breasts. Okay, so not really, but that’s what she’s known for. And while I’m not a fan of misogyny in comics, Power Girl is almost a parody of that. Sometimes, well, usually, she’s just the most blatant example, but sometimes the writers and artists turn her character into something pretty great. I don’t read as many comics as I’d like ’cause they’re pricey and I’m too lazy to hunt down scans. So Power Girl in my head is kind of the potential I could reach to embrace my curves. And sure, she’s usually really thin and that does not fit with my image, but there’s something about her. I was also thinking about being Gert, another (Marvel) comic character who has an interesting body. In the bit of Runaways (the comic she’s from) she had her own body issues and was kind of the “fat girl” and I could identify with her. She was even drawn rather “thick” for a while.* And then I was reading one of the comics and in the back they had pages for all the main characters with their basic stats and Gert came in at 5’1 and 125lbs. Which means she’s not even medically overweight. I mean, I know the line for fat is placed differently for different people, but to me, that was just a slap in the face. Like I was just told I was too fat to identify with the fat kid. Considering one of the entries I’m stewing on is one about being not fat enough to be considered fat by some of the more prominent FA bloggers, I feel like I really need to revisit this point.

The other name I wanted to explain was the name of this blog. I feel like it almost doesn’t need an explanation, but I’m going for it. Basically my mother has this theory that there are “fat” mirrors and “skinny” mirrors. I think physics supports this idea. Anyway, the point is, is that dressing room mirrors especially tend to have these properties, probably because they’re so cheap. And since this is a blog where I reflect on my weight. . . well, some days I feel like I’m standing in front of a fat mirror and some days I feel like I’m standing in front of a skinny mirror and if I just keep writing about it, maybe I’ll figure out what image I should actually be seeing.

Finally, I would like to say something about the comments on this blog. Word Press insists I actually get a few people reading this thing. And every time I get a comment, I’m shocked and pleased, but I don’t think I’m going to be doing a lot of replying. I originally came up with different identifiers and this blog so I could divorce my body acceptance from any familiar audience and any conscious or unconscious pandering I may do toward them. Or any information I might want to not share. So while I do read the (few) comments I get and I appreciate them, I don’t want to start catering my writing toward a new audience when I still am trying very hard to figure out what I have to say to myself.

*I wish I could provide some links and better facts, but my Google skills are seriously lacking right now.

June 12, 2010. Tags: , . Current. Leave a comment.

Bad Day

I’m reluctant to write about today, but I keep reminding myself that the whole point of this blog is to publicly (and I use that term loosly) reconstruct my ideas about weight and body image etc.

Today was the first time I stepped on a scale in five months. It didn’t suck. Five months ago, I weighed less, but six months ago I weighed a lot more. I’m pretty much where I always am, and I’m fine with that.

The problem came when my mother was like “But you’re going to lose weight this summer right?” When I offered her a skirt that didn’t fit me and I don’t particularly like anyway. I said “No.” She said “Why not?” I said “Because I haven’t lost any the last four summers.” And then she offered to take me to an endocrinologist because clearly that means something is wrong with my thyroid*.

She also told me I had gained weight since the last time I was home (not true). To me that “No” was hugely emotionally … something. I’m still not over it and it was an hour ago and she apologised for hurting my feelings. I then did 50 crunches. I don’t know if I’m going to eat dinner tonight. I’m going to start jogging tomorrow with my mother since her apology was “I’m sorry but it isn’t like you can’t fix it with exercise.” Since I’m doing it with her, I want to get it over with ASAP. She might be thin, but she’s not in very good shape.

I’ve done this before. Being the friend someone chooses to go running with because they assume since I’m fatter than they are, I’m in worse shape. At the very least they assume I’m not in better shape. It doesn’t make people feel very good when I am. I wanted to play that time. This time I just want to get this over with. I’ll play your game, I’ll play by your rules, but don’t blame me when you quit because I’m winning.

I know I’m being irrational because I was thinking of doing this anyway (without my mother), but the way this came about does not make me happy.

I don’t know if the “No” is a small step, or a step forward accompanied by several steps back.

*Granted, thyroid problems are not unheard of in my family.

June 3, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Current. 1 comment.