Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Bad Reputation's A Lot Better Than Fat.

In high school, I was the hottie. Thin and developed. Aware of my sexuality and the effect it could have. Eighteen years later, this is no longer the case. As a facebook reconnection, who I’ve yet to actually see in person, has told me, I’ve “put on a lot of weight since I last saw you.” As much as I’d love it not to be true, there’s just no denying it. There are plenty of reasons, of course. Years of illness and treatments that only seemed to add huge amounts of weight, years of depression and lack of motivation, a very sedentary job, a hysterectomy, general laziness that just seems to sort of seep in and take over life. The worst part is, as much as it bothers me, you’d think I’d have done something about it. I’ve been trying to reclaim some sense of “healthy” for about the last six months. Exercise, eating well. To be fair, there’s been some results, but my God, are they ever slow. I want things to happen now, I want results to be instantaneous. They are not.
I’m seeing an old friend for the first time in fourteen years soon. And another, someone I haven’t seen since I was a junior in high school, I keep putting off, but I won’t indefinitely. This fills me with a great deal of trepidation. They’re very judgmental by nature. They won’t mean for their thoughts to be evident, but it will be there on their face. I’ve no doubts about this. A person’s fa├žade doesn’t determine who they are. I realize this. I know that my friends could care less what size I am or what number the scale reads. I know too, that your appearance is the impression that you offer of yourself. I don’t like that mine says I don’t seem to give a shit about myself.
Women and men age differently. Things that don’t matter for men matter a lot for women. Lines around the eyes, graying hair, extra weight, even lost hair. For men, those things just seem to go with the territory, and most people even find such things attractive. If a person doesn’t scrutinize too closely, I could easily pass for late twenties. No gray hair, no hideous aging. I look like a 28 year old. In my eyes, however, it’s marred by the fact that I look like a fat 28 year old. It’s as if there’s a challenge in life, to be the best possible person you can be, and to present this person to the world. There’s nothing enticing about someone who’s fat. They’re boring. The message is that life offered challenges and rather than meet them, they just succumbed. People don’t see beauty, they don’t see intelligence, they don’t see humor. They just see something unsightly.
The funny thing is, I don’t think this about other people. I’ve not ever been one to think about a person’s physicality first. I like them based on their mind, on their sense of humor, on their spirit. I usually can’t even make a determination as to whether I find someone attractive until I’ve known them awhile because their personality is what decides beauty for me. Maybe other people are the same way, but I’ll never buy it. Until the rest of this weight comes off, I shall remain totally self-conscious and apprehensive, waiting for harsh judgments. When I finally arrive at a weight I’m happy with again, then I can begin to obsess about something new. Then I can decide that everyone sees “old” when they meet me, or develop a drinking problem so that I can be scrutinized for sobriety instead. And the sad part? I’ll be a lot happier that way. Let them find me a bitch, a whore, an idiot, a drunken loser. So long as it isn’t prefaced with “fat” I don’t think I’ll really care.

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