"I discovered your blog in the midst of my rekindled obsessive reading of all items I can find allowing me a view into the minds and hearts of those with eating disorders. I can't necessarily explain this obsession...I just find I have a deep need for greater understanding and an interest in people's lives...how they cope...manage...overcome and gain strength for themselves and others. So I thank you in advance for allowing me these glimpses...and an opportunity to share a bit of myself.
I want to start by stating that I can't clam a diagnosed ED...and probably just lack the will successfully overcome what I am, but I have also come to terms with it...in fact, come to love it in many ways. I think you will understand upon reading further.
And that is the reason for my writing to you. After reading 'Tears are not enough: When cruelty goes beyond the pale', I felt the need to share this piece with you, and hopefully your readers. Though I wrote this about two years ago, and have managed to get down to 220lbs, this is a view into how I have always felt and what I have always believed. I hope perhaps it will provide a bit of inspiration to girls of all shapes and sizes. We really are all beautiful just the way we are!
Please share or utilize this in any way you see fit...or not, if you choose...but thank you for reading...it just feels so much better to share with someone.
Words are just the crumbs of the mind"
BeautyJun. 21, 2008
Why do we let a small few dictate what makes a woman beautiful? Not that each individual doesn’t have his or her preferences. But why does it become taboo to admit an interest in something or someone that doesn’t fit the convention?
It seems fated that this subject should stay firmly planted in the front of my brain right now. Everywhere I turn, there are images, discussions, and portrayals of the female (and male) nude in all of her resplendent glory. And by nudes, I do not mean the stick figures with extreme modifications you find in the pages of Playboy or the fashion magazines. I mean the beauty, and comfort in the female form as it was meant to be…full, soft, and round. All of the things that I am.
It began Sunday…an arts program I was watching was chronicling the female nude as an art form and how it has changed over the years. It was strange to me that although the faces have changed, the overall form hasn’t. Today’s artists are still finding beauty in the rounded female form and that is what they are producing.
Then, there was the newest episode of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy on Tuesday night. Their project this week was a male nudist. Yes, this did indeed make for a very interesting episode, including the fact that this guy opened his door to greet the Fab 5 completely in the buff. This guy was not particularly attractive…something resembling a nude Grizzly Adams, but fortunately the guys didn’t try to take his nudist-ness away from him, they just worked to refine his means of presenting himself. This included taking him to a gallery, where classical art lessons are also given. So now, it was his turn to view the naked form (though in this case, male) from an artistic perspective. To see the lines, curves, shadows, and structure of the body.
And then, tonight…an episode of CSI which showed us (large women) as we are generally perceived…desperate, willing to do anything to have the chance to be intimate with someone…because no one would ever willingly or admittedly choose us. One piece of the story line was as follows: A man is found dead in a hotel bed. Cause of death in the beginning unknown. As the story unfolds, it is learned that the man has a (for lack of better term) fetish for obese women. The plot thickens as we learn this particular man, though having an affinity for these women; refuses to be seen or even acknowledge any of these partners. A few of the women are brought in for questioning and DNA swabs. One of them, a pretty woman, despite her size, confesses to the murder. It is later discovered that the death was an accident. She had been drinking heavily prior to their encounter and passed out while on top of this man, thus smothering him. However, she states in the end, that she would rather confess to murder and go to jail, than have this information get out, causing her “to be the punch line in every comic’s jokes.”
Now, I have felt this very same thing…many, many times in my life. I know that they say, “everything is bigger in Texas”, however, having lived here in Dallas my entire life, I can certainly attest to the fact that this is in no way supposed to apply to women. The absolute preference is 5’10, blonde hair, blue eyes, and a size 2. I have never been any of these except blonde, and I changed this as soon as I was able. And men have never approached me. Not once.
Although it took me a long time to realize, I am what I am. No matter how much weight I lose; how I shape, or tone; I will never, ever be a thin girl. And, believe it or not, I realized many years ago, that I don’t want to be a thin girl. A female friend of mine, of her own volition, told me that I am exactly what God meant a woman to be. I am the embodiment of mother earth, a nurturer, and a giver. Needless to say, I was a little more than taken aback by this thought. And coming from another woman no less. This is something that never happens, and if it does, it certainly isn’t sincere in any way, shape, or form; trust me. It was like a punch in the gut and it was genuine. It wasn’t long until I could really see myself that way. It was an amazing transformation in me. I should also note that this friend is a dominatrix and in one of her early jobs, was to perform a show at a local club. The scene she had devised was to be a sort of mother-daughter love scene. When she finally called and asked me to do the show with her, she started out by saying 'I have tried for three weeks to think of someone else to play this part and honestly, there is no one else who fits this bill. I would be honored if you would agree to play my mother’. I was honored that she had chosen me. For probably the first time in my life, I felt sexy, purposeful. The show went very well, by the way.
I will be the first to admit that I am bigger than I should be, and I am working on that. I will also say that it absolutely amazed me while watching the CSI episode this evening, watching them perform an experiment as to how much weight it would take for one human to kill another by passing out on top of the other; their result was 280 pounds. At this point, I turned to my husband, and stated as a matter of pure fact, that if that really was the case, I could easily kill him. He refused to accept that I was anywhere near that size. He actually argued with me about it! (Or maybe he was just trying to avoid what he thought might be trouble, though I was being very matter of fact in this and not setting him up) Does he not have eyes? I mean, he has seen me naked…he knows (sadly) what this looks like, and there is absolutely no way that he could think I weigh any less than I do. The last time I weighed myself, I was a ripe, plump 262, (yes I actually wrote that for everyone to see, and it is the honest truth) but that was some time ago and I know I have lost some, but not that much. I will say that, fully clothed, I don’t feel like I look as big as that, and not anything like the woman in the show, because my body has shape…a true hourglass shape to be exact (not fully round as is often the case). But there is simply no possible way any human being with even one good eye, could believe that I am not that big.
I discussed with a friend earlier this week, the fact that just the show on Sunday had convinced me that I wanted nothing more than to become a nude model for an artist. We briefly discussed how we both loved the art of Rubens and his depiction of the female form. How I long to be that woman. It was nice that he agreed, but sad that this will never be a reality.
Then, I think back to how afraid I was to actually meet my husband in person. We met through a personal ad and spoke at great length over the phone. If my past played out upon our meeting, things would have been great on the phone, but once he actually laid eyes on me, I would never see or hear from him again.
I have been completely and totally amazed when two people (other than family), at different times in my life; actually told me I was beautiful. Problem was, I have and will never really believe one of them…, and he is the one I am married to. Mainly because I know what his type is, and I am SO not it. I am not the tiny, beautiful Asian girl…sorry honey. I have also seen what he dated before me, though there were only three of those, but believe me…it was nothing like me. This isn’t to say that a man can’t have varied tastes, as I fully believe they can, they just generally don’t. As for the other person, I don’t really think he fully meant it either, but his was closer to real at least.
I guess the point of this whole diatribe is just that, I long to be able to be myself and still be seen as attractive by someone. I, overall, have learned to like the way I look. I know that I am not beautiful in the prevailing sense, but I’m not hideous either. Surely, I have something going for me. And I firmly believe, in another time and in another place, I could be a much-desired woman…or at least looked at longingly on occasion. Who knows? This may just be an assumption or a dream. But a girl has to have a dream, damnit!
I’ve decided that I don’t even really need sexual love…just someone to caress my skin once in a while. Someone who can, and does appreciate the curves of a real woman’s body. Anything else, I can take care of on my own with only a thought."
The model, Emme, echos your thoughts so well:
"She has yet to vogue in the pages of Vogue, but model Emme has no problem striking a pose to re-create for People The Large Odalisque, Ingres's masterpiece of 1814. After all, long before waifs ruled the runways, artists were inspired by lush lovelies such as Emme herself, who at 5'11" and 180 lbs. is four inches taller and 75 pounds heavier than Kate Moss. Models like Moss, she says, "represent the ideal. I represent the reality."
A size 14, Emme better reflects the majority of American women (60 percent wear size 12 or larger) than do today's skeletal sirens. Flaunting her 40-32-42 form for such clients as Givenchy and No nonsense panty hose, the Ford mannequin is one of the top stars of the burgeoning large-sized modeling industry. Says Wendy Harbart of Gitano, for whom Emme has modeled jeans and swimwear: "She sets a standard that's inspirational yet attainable."
Still, Emme, who was born Melissa Miller in Manhattan 30 years ago, admits she has had to "work hard on acceptance of my own body image." Both her late mother and stepfather were highly weight conscious; Emme and her two younger siblings were weighed weekly. "It wasn't abusive," recalls Emme, "but you felt it and knew it. You had to keep your weight down." Athletics were an antidote to this obsession (Emme won a four-year rowing scholarship to Syracuse University) as was psychotherapy, which she first sought while in college. "I want to love my body," says Emme, who segued into modeling at age 27 after stints as an NBC page and a TV reporter in Flagstaff, Ariz., "and that takes a constant process that starts way down deep inside." There's no such struggle on the part of her husband of four years, 31-year-old ad exec Phillip Aronson. "I love ever single inch of my wife," he says proudly.
Looking forward, she says, "to the day when we don't put people down because of their size," Emme sometimes lectures at high schools near her Leonia, N.J., home. Her message: "Don't kill yourself trying to change your body. Change the way you think about your body."
Holly, thanks so much for sharing "Beauty."