Content note for discussion of eating disorders and associated behaviors.
By eleven I’d learned to be disgusted by foods I perceived as too high calorie. Vanilla ice cream was just bleached lard to my mind, and it was easy to not want bleached lard.
If I’d never been surrounded by a culture that shames and mocks fat bodies, fear of fatness would not have consumed me. I wonder what might have instead. Would I have engaged more in my studies, exercised for the joy of movement, or simply been more attentive to the rest of my life?
I think of the wasted potential of my eleven year old self, squandered on worry over weight and never feeling safe enough to simply relax and be in my body. And I think of the all the other people who waste time and energy and self-respect on this cultural obsession with thinness.
I’ve never been fat, never been overweight. But I have feared fatness for more than two-thirds of my life because I could tell how fatness and fat people were regarded.