Friday, February 11, 2011

A Weighty Obsession

As I was having a Hall Chat with a friend at church on Sunday, a third woman joined our conversation. She gave birth to her first baby 10 weeks ago and has the type of body that looks as though it has never even thought about having a baby, let alone given birth to one a mere two months ago. In one of the first sentences out of her mouth she lamented that she was never going to lose all the weight from her pregnancy (two months afterward. Seriously) and then she turned to another woman in the hall and said, enviously, "You are so skinny!"

I've heard this one before: Tales From a Size Nothing.

Honestly, what is the deal with women and their body obsession? If we obsessed about our intellect half as much as we do about our dress size, think of all the fascinating discussions we could have - maybe we could talk about Henry VIII or the latest NASA mission, or the political developments in Egypt or the last book we read that didn't have anything to do with how imperfect we are.

Instead we go to Relief Society breakfasts where the menu consists of pumpkin flax and bran muffins (I am not making that up. That is honestly what we are eating at our annual RS Birthday bash in March. It sort of makes me want to kill myself).

I'm not saying we shouldn't be concerned about being healthy. We should, and personally, I am really trying to eat better and get in shape. (I suppose this is not a good time to confess I ate a Snickers bar with my breakfast...) But, it is not healthy in any way, shape or form to lift one's skin with two of one's magical fat-detecting fingers and say, "I'm sooo fat." Especially when you A) just gave birth, B) are a size 2 or C) all of the above.

Oh, I know. When a woman says, "I'm fat", what she means is, "Tell me I'm not fat." Which is why it is only the people who are decidedly not fat who sit around and moan about how huge they are. I mean, when was the last time you saw a group of plus-size women gabbing about their horrific swimsuit-buying experience? Pretty much never. No need to point out the elephants in the room. Elephants, you see, are surprisingly self-aware.

And nothing annoys an elephant more than having to tell a beanpole how skinny she is.


mathmom said...

Well said. I love it. When I am in the nursing stage, I try to bring my RS manual with me to the mother's lounge so that I can read it or maybe chat with someone about it. But, it never seems to work. Everyone wants to chat about birthing or weight and such. Not that it is bad to chat about these things, but it would be great if I ran into someone who wanted to have a gospel discussion.

Suzanne Lucas said...

I would not want to go to a RS breakfast that included bran muffins. Seriously.

MyDonkeySix said...

We do it to ourselves and let society do it to us by allowing it putting so much pressure on a woman's physical self as a symbol of worth. It's stupid and silly, but for some it is a real struggle. That's why it's so important to teach our kids that their value is not determined by body fat.

And that breakfast sounds nasty!