Fake feminist or mirrored self hatred?
I must be this fake feminist. I struggle with my body image. As much as I’d like to believe in the middle finger I give to society, I still cringe at myself in the mirror. I judge other women who are thinner and fatter than myself, saying in my head, "I could be that thin.", "I’ll never be that thin.", "At least I’m not that fat.", and “How does one let themselves go so far as to be that disgusting?” I can be so cruel and heartless on the inside, and mostly because I hear myself thinking those hateful thoughts about me.
I have promised myself, that now, in my 39th year, I will lose 30 pounds. I will never return to the wafer thin 120-lbs self that I was at 18. However, I do want to be somewhat closer to a shape that I don’t hate every morning, a shape that I think my husband will like better, a shape that will “be more beautiful” as my mother keeps reminding me. “If only you lost some weight, you’d be so much prettier. But here, have another chocolate. They are so good."
My husband and I discussed at one point, early in our relationship, what fat is. That’s when your stomach sticks out further than your boobs, and while I’ve never ventured past that point, outside of pregnancy, I’m dangerously close to crossing that line. And so, I promise myself, that upon losing that 30 pounds, I will go see a plastic surgeon. I will remove the pooch that hangs in front, my apron, bearing the stretch marks of having carried two children. I will reduce the size of my endowed chest, and make it one that I want to be within normal range. What is normal, anyway?
When I was 13, and puberty descended upon me like a fairy godmother’s magical wand, I almost immediately had a C cup from a flat chested abyss. As the weight has come and gone, the DDD tag on my bra leaves marks around my 34-inch rib cage. Now, I’m thankful, I no longer have the H cup I did at the full blossom of pregnancy and breastfeeding; no longer do I remind myself of Venus of Willendorf. When pregnancy photos were posted by a photographer, I cried at how much I hated myself and that as soon as my body was finished with it’s intended purpose, I would cut away the parts that I despise so much.
And what will I tell my children?
Mommy decided to cut away at herself so that she can fit a mold of society because she’s acquiesced to the opinion that if she’s not thin and somehow desirable by some manufactured standard of an industry-complex that feels impossible for 97% of women to meet. Don’t pay attention to what Mommy did, pay attention to her words, because your beauty is something within you, it’s the person you are and how you act; it has nothing to do with how you appear, your size, your skin, your hair, or how fashionable you make yourself.
And if I go through surgery, will I be satisfied with the result? Will I be okay with the scars that will never be gone from my body? Will I like the result? Will my husband begin to pay compliments or tell me that I’m sexy? Probably not, because he never did in the first place, at least not very often. So why would I do this? Why would I risk going under the knife? So that I can somehow escape the critical self judgment? So that I can hate on myself for forsaking my feminist ideals of being happy with who I am, as I am? So I can hate something different about myself later? Will I actually be happy with myself?
Margaret is a working-mom, busy IT consultant, and loves being married to her husband. She considers herself a geek at heart, likes to write in a professional setting and is beginning to explore writing in a creative manner for her own outlet. Anything she's involved in usually comes with a great deal of passion. Laid back type A, if that's possible.