Monday, August 4, 2008

A note on triggers

I want to clarify a bit on my last post. Anthony Bourdain has every right to say what he wants about obesity. Free speech is a freedom I'm very glad to have. So I don't want anyone to think that he "shouldn't be allowed" to say those things, because of course he should.

That said, I was definitely affected by that rant: I've been disgusted by my (fat, "depraved") body for most of the day. It's happened before - I'll see something, hear something, and it creeps under my skin and into my head. Sometimes it happens because I am stupid. For example, when my Women and Health Communications class covered pro-ana websites, I thought I'd check them out - I was so much better, they wouldn't get to me. Cue two weeks of hating food and myself.

Just because I vehemently disagree with what Mr. Bourdain and Mr. Nugent said doesn't mean their comments don't have an impact. For me, being thin was a way to be "good," to be a better person when I lost control of other ways to measure my self-worth. Eating too much or gaining weight was a sign of personal failure, a sign that I wasn't good enough. Hearing those two demonize obese people echoed the very darkest thoughts I used to have.

I can't ask those two to please shut up - even if I could, someone/something else would crop up with the same message. Much of American society is fat-phobic, and that's something I have to deal with. Thankfully I have other voices to counteract those messages - my family, the boy, my friends, and some really amazing bloggers and writers. I'm hoping soon I'll be able to flip past the celebrity weight-loss tips without issue.

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