The Thin Fantasy
I have pretty much always been fat. When I was a child, I was both fat and tall – a nightmare for a shy girl who just wanted to blend in. I came to accept my fat self and am much happier for it, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t sometimes have those fleeting “What if?” thoughts.
Kate Harding at Shapely Prose calls it the “the fantasy of being thin” . You promise yourself when you get “skinny” you’ll wear that dress, you’ll show your legs, you’ll go swimming, you’ll start asking out people you’re attracted to.
While it is very rare for me nowadays to have those thoughts, they crop up from time to time. Sometimes, the situation I find myself in has nothing to do with it and other times, it has everything to do with it. If I’m with a set of (lovely) friends, who are all much smaller than I am. At the beach. Sitting on a seat on a crowded train or bus.
They creep in. I usually can push them right the hell out and challenge them – “What’s to stop you from going to the beach?” “What’s to stop you from asking out that person?” “Nothing”. “So do it”.
Sometimes, my depression and anxiety gang up on me and I can’t block these thoughts out, even with the challenges I put to myself. When that happens, I try and ride through it. I mostly try and remind myself of all the good things, but sometimes I’ll let myself wallow.
She is so right:
“the Fantasy of Being Thin is not just about becoming small enough to be perceived as more acceptable. It is about becoming an entirely different person – one with far more courage, confidence, and luck than the fat you has.”
Like somehow, this magical, confident outspoken thin person will burst forth from this shy, reclusive introverted fat person. I will always be the way that I am. I’m not going to become a person who is comfortable in jeans, who can walk in stilettos, who is good at public speaking. I wouldn’t be them at a size 6 and I’m definitely not them at a 16. Accepting myself as MYSELF and living the only life I’ve been given to live, not making up excuses and not thinking “Well, what’s the point?” is something that is damned hard. But you know what? It’s worth it. I’m happier now than I was then. It’s my life and I want to live it.