Thursday, February 15, 2007

and you're my obsession...

"Imagine pageant
In my head the flesh seems thicker
Sandpaper tears corrode the filth

And I need you now somehow"
-Ana's Song (Open Fire) by Silverchair

When I embarked on my weight loss adventure, my brother Gus was living in England. During the time that I was dieting I saw him once in the very beginning. I didn't see him again until I was past my goal weight. For him it was very dramatic to see the sister that he always knew to be be fat as someone who was thinner than average. After that, when he saw that I continued to lose weight (I lost about 20 more pounds since then) he was convinced that I had an eating disorder.

I've never had an eating disorder; however, I'll be the first to admit that I'm pretty obsessive about my eating and exercising and as a result it hasn't taken more than a cold to bring me to a weight that could lead people to believe that there is something physically wrong with me having at my absolute thinnest weighed a mere 97 pounds.

But like I said, I have always eaten plenty and I am the first to say that it is important to eat and to eat well and because I know that people around me worry a lot about my health I keep myself in check.

At work there is a girl I see almost every day. She is French and has a cool French name and an adorable French accent. More often than not she'll speak Frenglish and has that sense of style that in my experience, only comes innately to French women. The fact of the matter is that she is someone most women would die to be like. Everytime you hear her say "Can I have that s'il vous plait?" you totally think that she is the embodyment of the stereotype and it's hard not to wish you were her, if only for one second.

Anyway, French girl has lost an enormous amount of weight since she came to Miami. Well, maybe not enormous, but the fact of the matter is that after having taken a few days off work, on our normal interaction yesterday I saw her and there was nothing other than a bunch of bones and a trace of what was once a gorgeous head of blonde hair.

Needless to say, I was taken aback by this and because she is someone I am partly responsible for, I had to say something.

Apparently she is under the belief that to be a "Miami Beach babe" you have to weigh 60 pounds. In her mind, because she is neither tall, tanned, or big boobed she has to compensate by being small enough that she when sideways she could go unnoticed.

It breaks my heart.

She sees beauty in everything outside of her and is so consummed by all the fake beauty she saw prior to coming here that she doesn't realize how beautiful she was before she decided that she wasn't enough. For her, food is the enemy and she doesn't realize that the enemy is within her.

As a psych major, I know that anorexia usually comes as a way to gain control; however, it's hard to explain to someone who can't fully understand you and with whom you have a limited ability to make yourself understood that she has lost control. And it makes you think about what we, as a society, are putting out there for the world to see as an ideal when in reality is a hypocritical ideal in a land when a huge percentage of the population is overweight.

I used to think that New York (especifically Manhattan) was bad in terms of the incredible amount of unhealthily tiny women walking around. But it takes a change in perspective to change your mind because after having been here for a month I realize that Miami (especifically Miami Beach) is bad in terms of the incredible amount of Barbie types (albeit silicone filled, bleached Barbie types) who are walking around.


Gabemaster said...

Let me ask you, what is your take on the banning of models that were deemed "too skinny" by the government of Spain? Do you agree, disagree, don't care either way?
Would that kind of action help people like your friend in the long run? or not?

Just curious.

annush said...

My take is that those models who are unhealthily skinnyshould be banned. They should be banned everywhere.

Don't get me wrong, I believe that models should be thin but not 80 pounds thin. If I had my way, they would all be thin athletic types.

That might help promote good health and that's what we should all be after, right?

Gabemaster said...

Yeap, I agree.