Infuriating, Meet Ineloquent

I usually associate Marie Claire with being the "thinker" of the fluffy lady magazines.  You know, they're the one that sends journalists to cover female genital mutilation, or sex trafficking in Southeast Asia, or Darfur.  (And then run the stories next to the diet pill ads, I mean.)

I do not expect this from Marie Claire.

Should "Fatties" Get a Room?  (Even on TV?)

Okay, did you read it?  If the answer is yes and your eyes didn't pop and proceed to dribble down your face, congratulations, it must not piss you off quite as much as it does me.

Let's start with last things first:  the author, Maura Kelly, added this update after she found herself in a veritable shit storm almost as soon as she hit the "publish" button:
UPDATE: I would really like to apologize for the insensitive things I've said in this post. Believe it or not, I never wanted anyone to feel bullied or ashamed after reading this, and I sorely regret that it upset people so much. A lot of what I said was unnecessary. It wasn't productive, either.
That's nice.  But here's the problem: the unnecessary and unproductive things you said?  You still said them.  But let's at least take Maura's apology, and continue to what's in the post.
 I'm not some size-ist jerk.
Hm.  Okay.  But you just said this:
To be brutally honest, even in real life, I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very fat person simply walk across a room - 
Wait for it, now it's time to justify it:
— just like I'd find it distressing if I saw a very drunk person stumbling across a bar or a heroine addict slumping in a chair.
Later in the update I quoted first, Maura points out that she feels equally uncomfortable when she sees an anorexic person as when she sees a morbidly obese person, so at least that one is diametrically opposed.... sort of....

By the by, there are plenty of "fatties" on TV.  Ever seen half the game and reality shows out there? Overweight and obese contestants are - at a minimum - semi-regularly featured on Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, Wipeout (look, I don't know where I came up with that one either), Wife Swap, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Supernanny.... shall I go on?  Is it just that "fatties" aren't allowed to have love lives?

My issue with the Marie Claire post is really the entire framing of the thing.  They tell you when you're little that there's no such thing as a stupid question, but "should we watch fat people making out on TV?" IS A STUPID QUESTION.  I am not being very eloquent here - at ALL - but, sorry, I just can't.  The question she SHOULD be asking is, "Why the HELL do I care so much about someone else's body?"  It's not really about money, although that's the trendy excuse.  (The "fat people are costing us money" trope is tired, and if anyone actually wanted to enact change around other people's behavior for their health, Prohibition would never have been repealed, and cigarettes would have followed booze.)   And it sure ain't the health of the other person total freaking stranger motivates the obsession at a mass level, or else there wouldn't be reality shows like Intervention.   And if it were actually unappealing to watch extremely drunk people do something like make out, as Maura suggests, then movies like Knocked Up wouldn't make quite so much money.  Considering its entire premise is extremely drunk people having unprotected sex.  To me that's a lot more disturbing than two people, who happen to be fat, smooching.

So really, the framing is off.  The question shouldn't be, "Should we watch fat people making out on TV?"  The question ought to be, "What is it about me that it makes me so uncomfortable watching fat people making out on TV?"  If Maura had stepped back and considered where her discomfort came from, her post could have been worth reading, I'd expect.  But this version is, sadly, only worth flaming.


Shut the Front Door

The Gates of Dawn
(Draper, of course)

Today is one of those days (this week is one of those weeks, this month is one of those months) when I'd like to shut the door, close in upon myself, and curl away from the world, both figuratively and literally.

But the month, the week, and the day, none of them are playing nice, and they keep insisting I socialize, see friends and family, eat, etc.


Oh well.  When in need of inspiration for doing things that I really don't wanna do, finding the right Draper painting to counteract whatever unhelpful tendency's keeping me whining usually helps.  So, there you are.  A visual reminder to myself to open the gates.  Let all that life crap in.

Ugh.  Where are my books?


Must Be Wednesday.

It's Wednesday.

That's me.  With my green eyes and my brown hair and my plum lipstick.

Today I'm wearing a red shirt (with a screen print of Red Riding Hood wearing the Big Bad Wolf as a wrap) and a blue skirt, and some grey ballet flats.

And that's my katana that I wish I'd bought at New York Comic Con.

And that's the bloody entrails of half of New York I'm flinging off the katana.

It's all real.  Except for the katana and the entrails.  Sadly.


Briefly: Anxiety, Depression, and Eating

Welcome to Wednesday.  This is me:

See?  I have green eyes and brown hair, and am wearing plum lipstick.  And I am freaking out with anxiety.  Social anxiety does not happen in a neural vacuum, people.

Anxiety is always tricky in eating disorders, because generally you either can't imagine ever eating again, ever, or you can't imagine not wanting to eat everything in the house and then in the deli and then in the grocery store, forever.  That's not to say that these reactions to anxiety (or depression, for that matter; flip sides of a coin) are only seen in folks with eating disorders or disordered eating behaviors (not the same thing).  Reaching to food or becoming totally disconnected from hunger cues in a bout of anxiety is a fairly common reaction to said anxiety (or said depression).

The eating disorder part kicks in when you start congratulating yourself for not being hungry, when you start berating yourself for daring to eat anything at all, let alone a little too much.  (Which, by the way: it's part of "normal eating" to occasionally eat too much or too little.  Really.  Any nutritionist east of Malibu will agree with me on this one.)  The eating disordered part of anxiety or depression tells you, "You don't want to eat every again?  You can't imagine eating more than an apple for lunch?  Well, good.  That's what you should be doing anyway, cow."  Or it tells you, "How could you possibly want to eat more?  You just had a sandwich and an apple and a yogurt.  You're disgusting.  You're going to blow up.  You're never going to stop eating and you're never going to stop gaining weight.  You're a disaster area."  And the eating disorder really moves in and gets settled with the anxiety or depression when you decide that you believe it, that it's right, that it was right all along, and if you just listen to it this time, the anxiety or depression will actually get better.

It's completely counter-intuitive, of course, and practically a bouillabaisse of cognitive distortions and magical thinking.  Always fun, always fun.


And Then My Head Exploded All Over 3rd Avenue. Again.

Where:  East 86th Street near 3rd Avenue (what is it with this corner?)

When:  About 1:00 p.m. on Sunday

Who:  A mother walking two tween daughters.  The mother is solidly built, about 5'2".  The older daughter, maybe 12, is already taller than her mother, and lanky.  The younger daughter, probably 10, looks like she has their mom's body type, being short and rounder than her sister.

What:  The younger girl is crying, her face the picture of abject woe.  Her sister is apologizing, "I didn't mean to call you the F word."  

As I listened, walking alongside them in the same direction, I got the distinct impression that the girls had been having some kind of run-of-the-mill argument, when the older sister was at a total loss for whatever reason, and pointed out that, well, her sister was fat.  The point had nothing to do with the argument, which I think was about who got to go to some event the following weekend.  The mother was silent, and looked positively queasy.  As they walked on and the younger sister kept crying, the older girl's face sunk more and more deeply into the certainty that she had really stepped in it.  

I'm not a parent.  (Except to a kitteh.)  But I wanted to throttle these girls' mother, fairly or not.  I get letting siblings work things out, but I'm just going to hope and hope and hope that this older kid didn't get that crap at home.  That "you are fat; your argument is invalid" crap.  That brand of crap only works as an Internet meme.  I hope she picked it up from her friends, not from her father or mother, and I hope her mother will have a nice, frank discussion with her focusing on the fact that someone's size has nothing to do with your disagreements with them.

I know this older girl is just a kid.  I know it.  But I really wanted to knock her and her mother's heads together and take the younger girl to the bookstore with me.

I was kind of busy, though, since my head had just exploded all over 3rd Avenue.  Again.


Shopping For Jeans. Always hilarious.

I bought new jeans yesterday evening.  It was a quintessentially eating disordered experience.

I grabbed the two sizes I thought would fit me.  Went to the fitting room.  Tried on the bigger of the two first, thinking it was probably going to fit, only to find the jeans farcically big.  The second, smaller pair I didn't have to unbutton to pull up.

Went back out, grabbed the next two sizes down.  Tried on the larger of the two and it fit fine for me, which is actually more loosely than "how skinny jeans are supposed to fit."  Tried on the smaller of the two and it fit "how skinny jeans are supposed to fit."

I stood there looking in the mirror, reasoning with myself about which pair to buy.  The larger pair would stretch out just about as soon as I sat down for longer than ten minutes, as jeans do, rendering the fit somewhat incorrect.  The smaller pair would do the same, but the jeans would still fit "properly" for skinny jeans.  At least for now.

I don't go in for expensive jeans, partially because I'll use the price as an excuse not to gain weight.

I will use the price of jeans.  In order to not gain weight.

I will elect not to put nutrients into my body, and I will use jeans as an excuse.

My comfort in my body will be more important than, say, bone mass, and the jeans will serve as a tool to reinforce that importance.

I bought the larger pair so I would eat something when I went home.

I still thought about what will happen if I size out of the new jeans.  It took a while for it occur to me that I will just buy larger jeans.