When I hear that line ‘Do I look fat?’ in a movie, I wish someone would actually say yes. Women are very critical of themselves. We are never satisfied and every time a woman passes her reflection, just like a house of mirrors, she sees something different. The ‘I-See-Fat’ disease is contagious to every female regardless the body size. Unfortunately, I have also been infected in the recent years.
The first symptoms of the I-see-fat disease started after I failed to keep up my 3-4 times weekly workout. A year later the weirdest thing happened; I could not zip up my favourite size 4 pair of jeans that I bought in college. I was in great denial to the point of wearing them unzipped halfway with a long shirt. I finally conceded and declared myself fat! Keep in mind that I am 5’4″ and the most I have weighed in my life is 120 lbs. I was officially a 120 lb fattie.
My mirror reflected large thighs (20 inches circumference). I thought “I had let myself go.” I saw bat wings (that barely jiggled unless I was waving my arms like a lunatic). I saw back fat (that you could barely squeeze unless I hunched a certain way). The biggest travesty was my muffin top (in which I had to bend over an inch forward to see my underwear). I had my first beer belly (actually it was more like a small nail polish bottle belly).
Encountering this new unknown disease, I had to immediately do something to cure it. So I started to diet which consisted of me eating salads and cutting back on portion size. The reality hit that I could not eat anything I wanted anymore without consequence. I was definitely living in a house of mirrors created by me and the society.
If women do not believe how society influences body image, then think about this for a minute. While I was living in the islands, I remembered being told by a random stranger during my teens that I looked good but I would look better if I gained weight. I also remembered being ashamed of my “big breasts” (which were only 34B) and I could not wait for the chance to get breast reduction. Now in the US, skinny and large breast (compared to other women, I had mosquito bites for breasts) were the hit thing and suddenly I did not have to gain weight or hide the chest area. The ideal mirror of beauty changed in the matter of hours flying from one country to the next.
As I said before, I have been infected by the I-See-Fat disease because of years of being subjected to ridiculously skinny/near anorexic women being shoved down my throat as the ideal image of beauty. As a single, this is especially brutal because we are still on the dating scene and first physical impression says quite a lot.
The I-See-Fat disease, just like herpes, is not curable but it does go into remission on occasion. When I have a flare up, I will be on the scale daily checking to make sure the number stays between 110-115. If I get too lazy to exercise during the week, I think I am missing something, and salad has become a regular staple.
In conclusion, a fat woman knows she is fat; but the ‘do I look fat’ questions are from women who have no need to ask. So, I do hope the next time you ask anyone that question , he/she should really say yes just for the hell of it 🙂
PS. I am back into my college jeans and I can wear them comfortably but they fit tighter than they did in college.