When I was younger, my fat was a wonderful shield that protected me from prowling men, giving me the space to enjoy doing my own thing. I didn't have to deal with having a boyfriend, because I had no interest pursuing one and none of the males in my high school or college (or even post-college, by and large) would deign to notice a fat chick. I hung out with my friends and read and did homework. I got to be me. How many other teenage girls get to enjoy that? How many adult women? Heck, these days even superheroes have to devote their spare time to pleasing some man!
The thing about being thin and sexy is that you have to give up so much. You have to wear shoes that make your feet hurt. You have to turn down pie and pizza and toast. You have to put down the novel and go out for a run. And if the only thing motivating you is your appearance--and you're me--well, there's really no point. Someplace along the line, it hit me that I didn't give a fuck if people thought I was sexy or not. (Don't get me wrong--I love dressing up and wearing makeup and looking pretty. But it's for me. It's play.) I am a writer, a goofball, a beer drinker, a good friend, a cultivator of trivia. If that wasn't enough for other people, then I honestly didn't need to attract them to me in the first place.
And really, that's what being a feminist is about for me. It's about saying that it's okay for women to PEOPLE. We're not just portable vaginas. We don't exist to be sex toys. We are PEOPLE.
I know I could be healthier. And that motivates me to get out and go for a long walk and try to limit the baked goods to one serving a week and avoid saturated fats. After all, I don't want to invite disease into my life.
But I don't want to be thin and sexy, either.