Whitney Thore is a dancer who, in her late teens, inexplicably gained a lot of weight. By the time she received a medical explanation, the emotional damage had been done. She did overcome it, though. Still obese, she puts videos of herself on You Tube and does street dancing to promote positive body image. In this interview, she said she didn’t know loving oneself could be so subversive for a fat person.
I postulate that society considers self love subversive for all of us.
I thought myself clever, giving up self doubt for Lent, even concluded in my last post that it made me a better person. As the Lent Prohibition progresses, however, shame speak-easies crop up all over my psyche, remind me of how many times I fell flat on my face. It’s actually shocking, the negative messages contained in one human skull, and how few come from actual Bad Things I Have Done.
After a party we gave, a guest apologised for not spending more time with me. I smiled that sweet smile Appalachians give when someone says something stupid. Although he’d spent most of the party in another room, he’d managed to criticise my weight three times.
His rude comments, exhaled breath that I inhaled.
|Speak not of Tuilleries|
I run into a friend after spending my birthday in Paris. She pushes my trip aside so she can talk about her life. Not particularly interesting aspects of her life. The same old, same old. Whether she considers me a bore or is a crap friend, her message is clear.
Shut up, Lora.
I am silenced. I am erased.
Then there’s the mother of three special needs children that folk around here say mollycoddles her kids. They also call a man weak because his mentally ill ex-wife keeps taking him to court. This mother and ex-husband, victims of circumstance yet unable to evoke sympathy from their neighbours.
We’re not weak. We don’t molly coddle. Who cares if you went to Paris when I had a nice ramble across the moors?
The unfortunate consequence is that some people stop talking because we can’t be bothered to listen. Other people won’t be in family photos because they’ve been told too many times how fatolduglyskinny they are. Folk in dire circumstances stop asking for help because they’ve come to realise it was their fault anyway.
This has been one of my most difficult Lents, trying to fight the demon Self Doubt. I’m not able to say what is true about myself and what is protective salt thrown over someone’s shoulder to land in my open wound. For the moment, I feel displaced from my life, from my Self.