Monday, April 4, 2016

Once the Fat Girl

For the first 26 years of my life, I was fat. For the second 26 years, I’ve been thin – not always through healthy means, but to the outside world, I’ve looked thin.

Even though it’s an even split and I am currently slim, I still identify myself as a fat woman. I am drawn to plus-sized models like Emme, Tess Holliday and Ashley Graham, because I think they represent me. If a magazine has a spread with larger models or a column by a plus-sized woman, that’s where I go; that’s where I identify.

Maybe it’s like my Judaism – no matter where I am spiritually, I will always be Jewish.

It’s not that I think my body is currently big; it’s more like my mind relates to the plus-sized world.

Being thin has always brought me praise and applause. As a fat girl, I faced teasing and taunting. Maybe it just stuck with me. I can still cringe, nearly 40 years later, about the cruel treatment from junior high school.

Or perhaps I am afraid to get comfortable and consider myself thin, for fear that I will let down my guard and the fat will creep back

Maybe I think that inevitably, genetically, I will end up heavy again, so I might as well learn to be okay about it.

I don’t know, but if you put a size 16 model on the cover of Sports Illustrated, I feel like my team is, finally, making progress.

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