Thursday, December 29, 2016

Why Skinny?

I was in Manhattan yesterday and everywhere I looked, I saw a super-skinny, exquisitely dressed, incredibly chic woman.  And when I say “super-skinny”, I mean pretty literally toothpicky.

Now I’m sure there are exceptions, but REALLY – is anyone that thin naturally?

So the question becomes – why do a large group of women want to be that skinny? These women on the Upper Eastside, where I was visiting,  have the means and often, time, to look anyway they like, and this is what so many choose.

I’m an average weight now, but once I weighed 40 pounds less, and I was STARVING all the time.  I thought that was somehow virtuous. I called myself “good” if I didn’t eat.  I called myself “fat fucking pig”, 
The thinner I got, the better I thought I looked and I would do anything to stay skinny.
 For breakfast, I ate the paper wrapping of a muffin. I’d head to Dunkin Donuts, order my black coffee then stand for a few minutes, pondering which flavor of muffin to order – kind of silly, considering I really did just eat the paper it came in. Lunch was iceberg lettuce and raw veggies with balsamic vinegar.  For dinner, perhaps a coffee yogurt, preferably frozen so it would last longer, more veggies, and then my big reward – one oreo cookie.

I was dizzy and weak all the time but even more, I was angry. I hated everything and everyone, particularly anyone who seemed comfortable eating. If you offered me food not on my “plan”, I resented you even more. How dare you!

Finally, I couldn’t live that way anymore and I began to binge constantly. Terrified of weight gain, I discovered bulimia and purged as often and as violently as possible.

It was a horrible, miserable, sick existence, but I did it for years. To stay thin.

Desperate not to eat, I turned to alcohol, hoping I would drink and not eat. And stay thin. Finally, I discovered crack cocaine, which killed my desire for food and got be back to skinny . But  then it wasn’t just weight that I lost.

I lost everything.

Of course, all those women I saw yesterday most likely do not struggle as  I did or perhaps not even at all, but I still want to know why skinny is their ideal.

Or anyone’s.

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