The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating Your Body | | AlterNet
Our bodies have very painful stories to tell.
“We get into good colleges but are angry if we don’t get into every college we applied to. We are the captains of the basketball teams, the soccer stars, the swimming state champs with boxes full of blue ribbons. We win scholarships galore, science fairs and knowledge bowls, spelling bees and mock trial debates. We are the girls with anxiety disorders, filled appointment books, five-year plans.
We take ourselves very, very seriously. We are the peacemakers, the do-gooders, the givers, the savers. We are on time, overly prepared, well read and witty, intellectually curious, always moving.
We are living contradictions. We are socially conscious, multiculti, and anticorporate, but we still shop at Gap and Banana Republic. We listen to hip-hop, indie rock, and country on our iPods. We are the girls in hooker boots, wife beaters, and big earrings. We make documentary films, knit sweaters, and DJ. We are “social smokers,” secretly happy that the cigarettes might speed up our metabolisms, hoping they won’t kill us in the process.
We pride ourselves on getting as little sleep as possible and thrive on self-deprivation. We drink coffee, a lot of it. We are on birth control, Prozac and multivitamins. We do strip aerobics, hot yoga, go five more minutes than the limit on any exercise machine at the gym.
We are relentless, judgmental with ourselves, and forgiving to others. We never want to be as passive-aggressive as our mothers, never want to marry men as uninspired as our fathers. We carry the world of guilt — center of families, keeper of relationships, caretaker of friends — with a new world of control/ambition — rich, independent, powerful. We are the daughters of feminists who said, “You can be anything” and we heard “You have to be everything.”
We must get A’s. We must make money. We must save the world. We must be thin. We must be unflappable. We must be beautiful. We are the anorectics, the bulimics, the overexercisers, the overeaters. We must be perfect. We must make it look effortless.”
We grow hungrier and hungrier with no clue what we are hungry for. The holes inside of us grow bigger and bigger.