This I Believe

Molly - Norfolk, Virginia
Entered on October 11, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Anorexia? I Think Not.

I walked through the aisles looking for a cute pattern in my favorite store. Just my luck, they had the cutest shorts, but they only carried sizes 0, 1, 3, 7, and 9. I am a size 13 in this particular brand. Annoyed and devastated I walked out of the store thinking I’m just too fat.

The next week I was at my grandmother’s house for the traditional spaghetti dinner when my aunt got a call from her oldest son, Jake, that he and his girlfriend, Ivy, were on their way and to set a place for them, that they were going to be late. We set a place for them and had a delicious dinner.

Afterwards, all of the women (and Jake) sat around talking about dieting and their weight and whatnot. My aunt had been complementing Ivy about how skinny she looked for being 120 lbs. My aunt also said that she needed to go on a diet because she was almost 140 lbs. This comment kind of hurt me because I am almost 160 lbs, so I said “I probably need to go on a diet too ‘cause I’m almost 160 now”, but I said this somewhat softly so that they hopefully wouldn’t hear me.

However, Ivy was sitting right next to me and heard my comment, so she asked me to come into the other room with her. She told Jake that she would be right back and I followed her into my grandmother’s back bedroom.

We sat down on the bed and she said, “When I was in my senior year at Granby, I had reached over 140 lbs. I felt so insecure. I couldn’t imagine that any guys would want to be with me because of how fat I was, I kept doubting myself and all this stuff. I tried eating less, dieting, exercise, and everything else, but nothing seemed to work. That was when I realized that no body is perfect. No anorexically skinny girl will ever be skinny or anorexic enough for society to say that her body is ‘perfect’, because if she is, then she will be considered ‘unhealthy’.”

I thought about this nonstop over the next few days until I realized that no one has ever called me “fat”. Well, except for when my mom was joking with me, but other than that everyone has always said that I was normal. So why was I so caught up with how much I weighed? Why was I so consumed by this number that does nothing but mock you all day long? This number that labels you and classifies you and tells you “You can’t fit into those jeans because you’re 160 lbs. You can’t go out with him because you’re 160 lbs. No one will want to hang out with you because you’re 160 lbs” over and over again in your head.

At this thought I decided that I wasn’t going to let that number rule my life. I wasn’t going to let it decide what I should and should not wear because of how much I weighed or felt like I looked. At that thought I believed that I wasn’t as fat as I felt, but as “fat” as I looked. At that point in my life I decided that I, too, believed that no body is perfect. That no girl can be skinny enough, and that all those people who tell you that the “anorexic look” is in are all probably so uncomfortable with their own weight that they have to make millions of other people uncomfortable and self-conscious to make themselves feel better.

So anytime I feel self-conscious about how I look in something, I think to myself, “Anorexia? I think not”.