Friday, February 25, 2011

Secrets Shared

Library books 2011

Last night I went to my improv group's weekly open shortform jam. I haven't been in a while. I had a good time--even though I was a tad rusty. I met Gie, a young woman who has been doing improv in St. Louis for years and years but who now has a busy life and thus, only comes around from time to time.

So we chat, chat, chat, and something we chat, chat is body beauty womanhood. That conversation. She's trying to lose weight, how do you lose weight? What works? Isn't that annoying! Not eating fried food! What about exercise? Oh, yeah? What kind? Chat chat. It's really hard when you grow up and get a job isn't it? Metabolism chat.

And then she casually mentions, "And then I had my bout with anorexia--" and this statement is not shocking or awkward at all. And that makes me very sad. The anti-shock is inherent because if you're a girl who has ever seen TV, a magazine, or been in a mall, you've probably considered anorexia. It's impossible not to. It's like, "Here's the standard. DIE TRYING TO REACH IT! JUMP, GIRLS! JUMP!"

And seriously, what is anorexia anyway?
"Not eating?" Hmm. What does that mean?
-Last night when I didn't eat the M&Ms in my purse...was that anorexia? No, because I wasn't hungry.
-But what if I were hungry? Then? Just one time not eating M&Ms?
-Is there a some kind of bottom line to anorexia? How many times can you not eat before it's a problem?
-How hungry must you be for it to count as starvation?
-I can almost never tell when I am actually hungry. So, how do we expect little girls to always get it?

I really don't mean to rant about unfair standards of beauty because that's a dead horse. Never mind the fact that at last week's debate tournament I had to give my own 1A construction speech about how unfairly we judge our bodies to two girls who had written "NOTE TO SELF: DON'T EAT" on their hands.

Never mind, never mind!


It's good to be open and honest about our problems. It makes us real and reminds others that having problems is okay. In fact, it's just life. HOWEVER, isn't talking about some problems just, like, making it worse? Instead of tossing our seeds of past secrets like grains over soil, can't we toss out love for ourselves, our bodies, women in general? And then won't that other problem, like, go away?

I really don't know.

I DO know that in high school someone asked me to buy a ribbon to wear to support "Eating Disorder Awareness." And I DO know that I said, "Are you crazy? I don't want to support that!"
And this very busy, highly motivated, award winning student said, "Well, of course you don't support eating disorders. This is about promoting awareness."
And I said, "Gotcha girlfriend. I think it's a bad idea."
And she darn near chucked her bucket of change into the air and throttled me. But, instead, class started.

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