"She’s just not thin"

There are so many quotable lines in the blog post, "Fantasy of Being Thin" that I have given up trying. You just have to read it. Suffice it to say that ALMOST EVERY WOMAN I KNOW needs to read this Shapely Prose post.

If you're struggling with your weight, if you're pissed off that I keep telling you to stop struggling with your weight, if you are delaying or avoiding ANYTHING "until I lose weight," read this to understand that accepting the body you have isn't enough, it is accepting the loss of the fantasy of who you'd be and what you'd do "once I lose the weight."

"She’s just not thin."

**Irishup, I could kiss you, again, for the link wisdom.


  1. THANK YOU so much for sharing Kate's blog. And your intro is straight out of my brain --how'd you do that? ;-)

    Thanks, Laura, for all your work in this world. Here's to your inherently-beautiful-body...it is a given you are beautiful, because you are alive! ~Kathleen

  2. Interestingly, as an individual with a history of longstanding anorexia nervosa (AN), I have never considered thinness as an asset. Neither have I ever desired to be thin. I was thin before I developed AN, and very much thinner after I had developed it. I always viewed thinness as a 'side-effect' and unwanted consequence of a set of obsessive-compulsive behaviours which involved food restriction and over-exercise to regulate anxiety and mood.

    I have been doing some research on non-fat-phobic-AN recently. It's not a topic that is well-researched, because the dominant presentation of AN in the 21st Century is one of fat phobia. The data are interesting in that they suggest that most people with this non-fat-phobic presentation were not overweight before they developed AN, and neither did they consider themselves to be. They are also unlikely to develop BN, BED or purging AN. The meanings that people with non-fat-phobic AN attach to their ED are quite different to those of people who show an 'over-evaluation of weight and/or shape'.

    Whether engaging in 'fat-talk' is dangerous; I don't really know. But it's something that many women do. It does make me wonder whether it's a sort of female bonding behaviour, just as discussing football seems to be a common male bonding behaviour (at least in the UK....).

    1. "Whether engaging in 'fat-talk' is dangerous; I don't really know. But it's something that many women do. It does make me wonder whether it's a sort of female bonding behaviour ... "

      I think there is VERY little doubt that women *are* socialized to bond by commenting on each other's appearance, and commiserating on diets, and to use "you've lost weight" as a universal compliment.

      But *why* we are socialized to use those things in this manner deserves to be unpacked. And the people who have thought and written at length about these things, have shown that there are some very ugly primary assumptions about people generally, and women particularly, that underlie this behavior.

      I do encourage you to read around the Shapely Prose archives; Kate Harding et al are great writers and smart women. Marianne Kirby at theRotund and Melissa McEwan at Shakesville are other great sources.

  3. ELT

    It is a discussion I refuse to enter into. My mother rang me up, having just got back from her cruise, to tell me she did not put on any weight whilst she was away. I wanted to respond "What a waste of all that money, not to eat anything." but then realised she was obscurely trying to tell me she had been very seasick.

    It drives me INSANE that all my girlfriends can talk about is their weight shape and size. They are wasting their lives, IMHO and buying into (here comes the conspiracy theory!) the multibillion pound PR campaign of the multinational food companies, who also happen to own diet companies, making them win:win and my friends lose:lose. Sigh.

    Female bonding? More a sign of discontent and petulance (Wow that was harsh but I have had just about enough of the "I'm on this amazing new diet" recently!).



Post a Comment

Popular Posts