I looked at me through your eyes and I didn’t like what I saw. I realized I didn’t fit your ideal. That’s not a reflection of me, that’s a reflection of you.
At one point, when I turned 30, I had lost a lot of weight. I had a flatish stomach, thigh gap, a round butt and a tiny waist. I was utterly disgusted with the way I was treated. It was already being a smart, independent, competent woman in the world, dealing with the small minded misogynists.
When I became their physical ideal, their attitudes became even worse. I was treated as if I needed to be taken care of, as if I was an object to be played with, as if I didn’t have a thought or could take part in an actual conversation so I was talked AT even more than before.
People, men I had known all along even treated me differently. Softer, they didn’t yell or let their fragile little egos show when I was able to accomplish things, but even more than before, they dismissed me and what I did, as if I was a fragile doll that didn’t do anything. Some folks didn’t even realize I was the same person.
I remember having a conversation with a woman I knew a little bit who told me of another girl she knew with the same name, but hadn’t seen for a while. It was me, and it wasn’t a philosophical statement.
I do often feel like I’ve lost a bit of that person, and while I adored fitting into size 4 jeans, I don’t like how the world treated her. I felt like such an outsider watching the world around me, not being considered even, to be allowed to take part. The whole experience made me feel good about myself at first, but made me angry at people even more.
After I lost weight, I began to see others through my new perspective, through thin eyes. And they, for the most part, did not measure up. Their personalities were as gaunt as I was. I realized that it was up to me to change. So I did. I had some ice cream.