Tuesday, June 28

There are two wolves inside of me. One is a feminist. The other wants to be slim and beautiful | Body image


There are two wolves inside of me. One is a feminist. The other wants to be slim and beautiful. I’m so tired of being trapped between them.

When I eat healthy, I feel good about my body; I can wear the clothes that I love, I feel confident and attractive. But I dream of burgers and pizza, baking muffins, whole milk, and soft white bread fresh from the oven, slathered with melted butter. And I feel guilty for being so pathetic as to deprive myself of these joys in the name of appearing acceptable to a misogynistic and superficial society.

When I allow myself these things, however, I cannot silence my inner critic who is horrified to the point of dysmorphia by what happens to my body when I eat what I want and as much as I want.

How can I reconcile these two incredibly powerful forces, or at least choose a side? I don’t feel like I can even talk about this without feeling like a terrible feminist and without being offered a topic about “intuitive eating” or “all bodies are beautiful,” concepts that I understand and believe in wholeheartedly, but that I can’t seem to. apply to myself. Can you offer any advice on how to bring a ceasefire to the war that I have been waging against my own body all my life?

Eleanor says: If you weren’t looking for a lot, it would be easy to think that we are close to figuring out how we think about bodies or the moral weight we make them bear. The preteen girls I have recently taught are proficient with the concepts of fat phobia and internalized misogyny. Makeup ads show vitiligo, acne, mono eyebrows, open teeth; Underwear ads feature bodies of all shapes, sizes, and abilities. This is the “conscience” that the “Royal Beauty Dove” generation was taught to claim as victory.

But, like you, I have often wondered how to connect all this awareness with what is really feel. I read a platitude from Holly Lewis Recently That has been ringing in my ears ever since: “You have to change it to change it.” Much of what we have done with bodies is just consciousness.

The unlearning From misogyny or from the cult of the skinny is a different step, a black box: we are supposed to enter ignorant and lacquered on the one hand and leave the other liberated and without self-awareness, but nobody can tell me how. Worse still, the lack of liberated consciousness is now being sold as its own kind of beauty. We come to recognize that there are all kinds of beauty, but not so far as to dethrone beauty as a goal.

I think the wolves might shut up a bit if you stop looking at them as proof that you have failed. You didn’t create them on your own, and you won’t be able to gag them alone either. The forces that tell you to be slim and pretty don’t respond to arguments or reasons: they are massive aggregate systems of punishments and rewards, and as long as they exist, it’s too much to ask that they never appear inside your head.

Self-loathing is not something to feel guilty about, it is just evidence that a lot of money and effort went into trying to make you feel that way. If you can see those thoughts as things that have been caused in you, rather than things that you are causing, it might be easier to let them float.

Also try to give yourself a relationship with your body that is not about how it looks. If you can’t convince yourself that “all bodies are beautiful,” try stepping away from beauty as a metric entirely. Movement, combat, stretching or dancing give you the opportunity to marvel at the sheer mechanics of your body. It’s hard to be critical when you find out what he’s capable of.

Finally, if the promise of happiness always seems to be related to food, be it its abundance or its absence, or if you feel more purpose and energy thinking about food than your relationships or your future, consider that you could have a way of understand food. or weight that it would be helpful to have professional help to take off.

I think a lot of women have those two wolves howling in their heads. You can beat them, we all can, but not thinking alone, and not thinking alone.

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