Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Stupid comments

When I was 16, I met a guy at a party that I really liked.

He was older than I, and had long hair, and he was in a band, so of course I was smitten. He had paid quite a bit of attention to me at the party, so I was eager to find out the next day, from one of his friends, how he felt about me.

The friend assured me that "Jack" liked me a lot, and was going to ask me out. Of course I wanted to know more. What did he say? Details, I want details!

The friend, "Rob", wasn't too good with details, but he did remember a few. Jack thought I was cute and nice. He planned to call me soon. Any negatives? Well, he did say "She'd look really great if she lost about five pounds."

I don't know why I thought of this anecdote today, but here it is, in the front of my mind, really ticking me off. It's just one of a collection of bad body memories in which the stupid, careless comments of another set me up for hating myself.

FIVE POUNDS??? Are you kidding me? Could someone even detect if I'd gained or lost five pounds?

Would I have turned into some kind of amazingly beautiful goddess if I were only five pounds lighter?

That same summer I remember riding my bike and hearing teenaged boys shout out the car window that I had a fat butt. (That same butt would be considered quite lovely by today's "J-Lo" standards.) Comments like these affected me deeply. Even though I was certainly at a normal, healthy, attractive weight, I allowed these comments to affect me that I began starving myself, dropping 29 pounds during my senior year of high school. I did this by eating one-half of an alfafa sandwich for lunch each day. It was brutal, but when I could see my ribs, and my prom dress was falling off me, I was beautiful, right?

I dated Jack for awhile, and it didn't seem to matter how thin I was. I don't remember exactly what happened. I saw him recently. He has a paunch, wears glasses and is no longer in a band. I've changed too.

I've changed to the point where I realize that five pounds, or fifty pounds, is not the issue.

I'm much, much more than a number on a scale, and the stupid comments of others don't change that. Insert fingers in ears and repeat after me: I'M NOT LISTENING!

No comments: