On a recent post, TwistedBarbie Weighs In discusses having an ED and being a feminist. can they live side-by-side.
ED Deception says, "Living a fulfilling life is not about my body's appearance."
I've always struggled with these concepts and still don't know where to put wanting freedom and equality and strength for women, while skipping breakfast every day until i'm too weak to put on eyeliner, let alone contribute to world peace.
it's always been this way. in my brain, i want a full rich life where i'm productive and smart and helpful. in reality, i've spent most of my life starving or over a toilet, staying home to avoid food or to purge.
i've never had many interests --- for years i only read books about eating disorders. i didn't like anything else -- theatre, ballet, ball games, sometimes i didn't even want to go to movies. I had many beliefs, but never did anything about them. i just wanted to stay home and have an eating disorder.
as a 200 pound teenager with braces, frizzy-hair and bad skin, i clung to feminist literature, hoping that if i believed i was more than my appearance, it would come true. all the time, i longed to be really thin and beautiful. i don't know that much has changed.
getting small and staying that way held a lot of importance. So many successful women are very small/thin-- i'm throwing out names here -- NBCs Andrea Mitchell, ABCS Leslie Stahl, Kelly Ripa, Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric most of the women on the Today show, etc. these are tiny, powerful women making millions of dollars. their male counterparts do not have huge heads with scrawny bodies. do strong women have to get very small not to threaten men?
today at work, one of the kids who worked for my brother while in high school, came back to work here on a college break. Marie is terrific and very accomplished -- she's smart, a serious leader in school and she works with needy children in foreign countries every summer. Yet, the first thing i said after not seeing her for a year -- "you look great. did you lose weight?"
the dream to be "beautiful" is oppressive and expensive. i've spent way too much time and money on my looks. since childhood, i've believed i'm naturally ugly. the other kids teased me mercilessly about my looks, my mother kept me on diets and dragged me to dermatologists and hair dressers and bought me colorful clothes. i wanted to be beautiful like the cool kids-- to wear old grungy clothes and look like a gorgeous hippy. instead, i looked like a homeless person. or so i felt. who knows?
my sister-in-law found a photo from when i was 14. she kept it out specially so she could show me and say, "i can't believe you were ever that fat." ouch.
i still think i'm pretty ugly. my therapist didn't realize i really meant it when i said i didn't want to go to rehab, because they'd take my razor away. i don't want ANYONE, including me to see me without a tweezer. i most certainly would risk my health for my looks.
i've spent A LOT of money on my appearance and convinced myself fairly comfortably that it's a necessary expense. i get my hair straightened every three months (VERY expensive), i highlight my hair very often, i get my hair blown out a lot, spend excessive amounts on make-up, get manicures and pedicures. i shave everything every day, pluck extensively, and don't go anywhere without full make-up. otherwise, i don't want to be seen.
who has time or money for anything else? in fact, i dip into my inheritance from my mom to pay for some of these expensives. and i'm okay with it, because it keeps me calm for now. with all that work, i don't think i'm pretty, but i know i'm acceptable.
yet, I DON'T BELIEVE IN ANY OF THIS. i tell my darling thirteen year old niece to go to the library, go out without make-up, wear here curls naturally and forgo manicures. i want her to live life, and i know with that all she is, she'll have a full, satisfying life. and she'll have boyfriends.
i'm interested in this topic. i dream of being a natural woman who's not breaking the bank for her looks. is it possible?