It’s real. It’s fleshy and short and caramel-colored and honestly, it’s bigger and lumpier and weaker than I wish it was just now. But that’s my business. I can do some things about that or not to a certain extent. How much I care varies from day to day. You can think I’m fine or a fat slob, that’s your business, whether I like it or not. But what you cannot do, what you should never even wish you could do, is torture my body or anyone else’s in order to get rich selling an impossible fairytale about bodies on the teevee, and then pretending It’s All True and if the rest of us can’t measure up, we just don’t want it badly enough. Or, rather, I suppose you can, but you will burn in Hell for doing it. And I don’t even believe in Hell.
I’ve been sick to my stomach for weeks reading Golda Poretsky’s three-part interview with Kai Hibbard, a former finalist on NBC’s weight-loss boot camp aspirational reality show, The Biggest Loser. It’s gut-wrenching (pun intended) and I can’t urge you strongly enough to read the whole thing, but let me bottom-line it for you here: that feel-good show about fat people literally re-forming their sad bodies (and by extension, sad lives) through steely determination, exercise and a healthy diet? It’s a lie. The whole thing. Start-to-finish. A "week" isn’t a week (sometimes it’s as long as 14 days), inspiring trainers are actually terrifying dictators more concerned with tv-friendly results than the eating disorders they’re instilling, and triumphs of will are really stories about captives gritting through the torture of working out for up to 7 hours dangerously dehydrated and on serious injuries.
In other words? In order to sell us the fairytale that every body can look the same if we all just work hard enough to be healthy, NBC and the producers of this show create a completely unattainable ideal and, in the process, blithley hobble the health of the very "average Americans" we’re supposed to emulate.
And on the heels of that, this fresh dump crapped out by Dove, supposed champion of "real" women, casting for their next ad campaign, looking for only "real" women with "FLAWLESS SKIN, NO TATTOOS OR SCARS! Well groomed and clean…Nice Bodies..NATURALLY, FIT Not too Curvy Not too Athletic."
So, dear Unilever, dear NBC, dear Jillian Michaels, dear anyone else who’s ever tried to sell me fictional "health" in order to make me feel like a failure so that I’ll buy more of your crap: Eff you. You can be my fake friend all day and all night, and I’ll still see you for who you really are: the enemy of my strength. And don’t be mistaken: I’m getting stronger every day. And I’m not alone.There are legions of us who are stronger than ever, strong enough to know that any food we can swallow is better for us than your lies. We reject social acceptance if we have to be broken or controlled to get it. We know that verbal abuse isn’t love, scars don’t have to be flaws, and less weight doesn’t always equal more health. And we’re telling. We’re whispering these secrets into more ears every day. We’re shouting them from rooftops where we can.
You want to watch a number get smaller and smaller? Just count the days left you have in power.