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Sick & Skinny

10 Mar

Alright folks, it’s about to get real up in here.

About two months ago, I caught some kind of sucky stomach bug.  Not the worst stomach upset I’ve ever had (that honor still belongs to Valentine’s Day 2013), but nasty.  I was sent home from rehearsal to moan and groan in peace.  I blew a tire on the way home, and had to wait for a gallant friend to come and rescue me, but that’s a story for another day.

Anyway.  I went to bed and woke up right as rain…except….not.  Ever since that little bug, my normally healthy digestive system (I’m fond of saying my stomach could shred a tin can) has been completely out of whack.

For a few weeks, I figured my body would probably just right itself as time went on.  But when a month passed and I was still battling upset and nausea (and other things I’ll spare you the details of), I decided drastic measures were necessary.  I completely re-hauled my diet.  I took out EVERYTHING that could possibly be causing the problem, and planned on slowly re-introducing things like meat, dairy, starch, etc.  I figured that 1) a few weeks of clean eating would reset my janky system or 2) I’d be able to pinpoint what exactly was triggering my tummy upset.

So I did.  And folks, as an almost-lifelong dieter, let me tell you that it is way easier to limit your eating when you’re doing it to not feel sick rather than to lose weight. So I was doing ok.  I was taking great care with my food, much more than I ever have before.  And I was feeling better.  Not 100%, but better.  My one concern was that after about the first week, I wasn’t eating very much.  Not so little to cause major concern, but I was definitely only eating two small-ish meals per day.

Then the last two weeks happened.  I have been a mess of business, exhaustion and anxiety due to all kinds of stressors.  The stress and lack of sleep caused my sick stomach came back with a vengeance, and I found myself basically unable to eat.

Now.

With the healthy eating over the first two weeks, and the barely eating over the most recent two weeks, it’s no shocker that I’ve lost weight.  I can’t be sure how much, because I rarely weigh myself, but it’s at least eight pounds and possibly as much as twelve.  And my-oh-my, the compliments they are a-flyin’!

“You look amazing!  Did you lose weight?  How did you do it?”

I try to explain that I’ve been sick, that it’s not a new weight loss plan or a newfound love of Zumba (fat fucking chance on that one).  And while some people seem genuinely concerned that I’ve been unwell, most people’s eyes glaze over once it’s clear I’m not going to reveal some amazing new weight loss trick.

But you know who the worst offender is?

Me.

Because here’s the honest truth:  I think I look fantastic.  I was okay with my body where it was about 85% of the time, and that was a huge victory.  After years of self loathing and yo-yo dieting, I finally said fuck it and decided to just deal with liking where I was, chub and all.  But I’m not immune to our culture. Like all women, I’m getting the message that skinny = hot at all times and from all sides.  To be considered a hot woman in America, you must be thin and you must be young.  AND NONE OF US ARE GETTING ANY YOUNGER.  Choosing to love my body even though I wasn’t skinny fueled me because it was an act of defiance.  Fuck you, world!  I’m gonna be a little chunky, and I’m gonna think I’m pretty anyway, and you’re going to have to fucking LIVE with it!

But now I feel like my defiance is draining away along with the weight.  And once again, my sense of self is getting locked into how thin my body looks on a given day.  I feel triumphant when the dress that was a little-too-snug slides on with room to spare, or when my skinny jeans that haven’t seen the light of day since I visited Prague 4 years ago zip up effortlessly.

And my disordered eating is re-appearing with a vengeance. I want to eat, but I’m scared to–and I’m scared both because I might get sick and also because I don’t want to gain weight.  Two very tiny meals has become the norm for me, and I freak out if I eat more than that.  I drink coffee instead of eating.  I also know that disordered eating for me has always  meant “binge eating,” and I’m scared for the day when my inner diet rebel declares enough is enough and pulls me to the corner market to drown myself in candy.  I’m afraid that my metabolism will slow because I know I’m not eating enough.  Now that I’m losing weight I want to keep losing it, even if it’s painful or scary.  Which is why I’m sitting here, shaking after just involuntarily vomiting up my breakfast, and feeling glad.

I know this is fucked up.

I want to feel better.  Even if (especially if?) it means I eat nothing but healthy food for the rest of forever.

I also want to be thin.  And I want to not want to be thin.

 

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Oh, don’t mind me. I’m just betraying all my principles.

21 Nov

I’m on a diet.

I know, right?  I hate dieting.  And yet here I am, dutifully chomping down on cucumbers and carrot sticks and even (gasp!) weighing myself once a week.  How did this happen?

So this summer I was in great health.  I was visiting the gym regularly, spinning and taking yoga, and I was also going for long walks every day, not to mention dance rehearsals.  I was also eating healthy, delicious food–most of which I prepared myself and carried around in a little cooler.  I was eating well, sleeping well, and feeling great.

And then the fall happened.  I got busy, I got tired, and it got cold outside.  My gym attendance slackened and then fell apart.  I stopped preparing my own food and started eating garbage (no, not literal garbage.  Don’t be obtuse).  My walks faded into TV watching binges.  My sleep got restless.  I started gaining weight.

My typical weight gain/weight loss track is pretty straightforward.  I tend to lose weight in the summer (duh), and I’m usually at my slimmest around August or September.  I tend to gain some weight in the winter, and I’m usually at my heaviest around February.  That’s how my body tends to change over the year.  Not surprising–I’m up and active in the summer and holed up and lazy in the winter.  But this year something weird happened.  Something strange and unusual.

My winter clothes were tight.

I’m usually at my smallest in September.  So when I do my closet turnover in October, my winter clothes are usually a bit big.  But this year I realized, to  my discomfort, that  my winter clothes felt on the small side.  And if they were tight in October, how the hell were they going to fit in February?

And so here I am.  On a diet.

I’m not going to go into details of the plan I’m working on (you can look it up–it’s the Game On! diet).  But it’s pretty relaxed–there’s no calorie counting or punishing workouts–and the weight loss is slow and easy.  I’m not looking to totally change my body or fix my lifestyle–I just want to highlight the healthy aspects of my lifestyle (eating food I prepare myself, being active, sleeping, drinking water) and downplay the less healthy (my love of candy and cheeseburgers) without getting rid of them completely.

And….I feel good.  I’m preparing my own food again, and back into spinning and doing yoga (the walks are hit and miss–it’s freaking cold out there).  I don’t feel deprived or like I’m missing out.  I just feel good.

Except I also feel bad.

Because I hate dieting and I hate the dieting industry.  I hate our stupid social constructs that value thin bodies above fat ones.  I hate that there is so much politicization of our bodies–especially women’s bodies–that practically no one feels ok with how they look all the time.

And I’m afraid, because my acceptance of my own body (belly and all!) was a long, hard battle.  I realized how far I’d come when I had to watch videos of myself a few days ago.  I didn’t realize until then how I had actively avoided being videoed for the past years, because I didn’t want to see what I looked like.  When I finally did see myself on video…I was ok with it.  For the first time ever, I was ok with seeing myself.  I looked how I expected to look, and was even able to see past my own body and start watching what I was doing.  It may not seem like much, but it was HUGE.  What if I backslide?  I don’t want to become body obsessed again. I don’t want to start hating myself or feeling like I’m never thin/fit/whatever enough.

I’m trying to do what’s best for me.  And as long as I keep feeling good and having fun, I’ll keep at it.  If it becomes a source of pain, shame or self-hatred, then Peace Out.  But for now…I feel good.

Fat Lite

11 Nov

The Fat Acceptance Movement helped me.

Fat positive writers like the divine Lesley Kinzel taught me so much about body acceptance and love and being sexy and being yourself and it’s amazing.  “Fat” used to be a word that terrified me.  Now I kind of own it.

But is that ok?

Because when it comes to weight, I live in a perma-awkward phase.

Am I fat?  It’s the strangest thing in the world, but I don’t actually know.  There isn’t an actual line, after all, is there?  No universally-acknowledged by-the-book line-in-the-sand that once you cross you have left THIN and entered FAT.  That’s not a thing.

When I go shopping, I can go into any clothing store I want and know that I will find things there that fit me.  I am therefore defined as “regular sized” (whatever the H that means) and not “plus sized.”  Ok…so…not fat?  But then I know that the definition of fat is “having excess flesh.”  I definitely have excess flesh.  So….fat?

Let me get to the point.

My real question is about the label and do I have the right to use it.  I like the word fat.  It’s a descriptive word, and I think it applies to me. I do not say “I am fat” in order to con others into saying “you’re not fat!”  Fat is not a bad word to me.  I am not offended.  But am I being offensive?  Do I have the right to use the word fat?  Or am I taking a word (and through it, an experience) that doesn’t belong to me and therefore being dismissive or those who do own the word?  Am I fat enough to use the fat label?  Or just thin enough that it’s lost to me?

I have not had to face some of the obstacles and treatment that very fat women have to face.  I can find clothes that fit me almost anywhere.  I am not stared at when I’m eating ice cream or pizza in public.  Rude dickwads don’t scream “fatty!” at me when I’m on the street (although one particularly helpful young gentleman in New York once told me I’d be “choice” if I only bothered to do some sit-ups.  Thanks, pal).  Can I still use the word fat?

Because I’m still super far from skinny.  And I have experienced askance looks and not-quite-quiet enough whispers about how I’m wearing something I “really shouldn’t.”  And I have had a personal trainer tell me that there is no reason in the world why someone with my body type should weigh as much as I do–and that I must not “try hard enough.”  And I’ve had well-meaning friends and family members recommend various programs or send me weight-loss articles without my asking them.  So don’t I get to use the word fat?

As I navigate the tricky waters of in-between-dom, I am, for now, sticking to labels that I call Fat Lite.  Maybe I can’t own “fat.”  But I can own “chunky,” and “curvy” and “bodacious.”  (Never “chubby.”  Only toddlers are “chubby.”).  But these Fat Lite terms aren’t perfect either.  During my brief stint on OK Cupid years and years ago, I had a dude tell me I shouldn’t classify my body as “curvy” on my profile because that was “code” (his word!) for “fat.”  I asked him what he thought I should call my body.  He looked totally lost before mumbling “um…normal, I guess?”  Normal?  Right.  Thanks for your input on what “normal” is.  Needless to say, we never went out again.  And I kept “curvy” on my profile.

But I want to hear what you think.  Fat friends, how do you feel about in-betweeners using the fat label?  Fellow in-betweeners, how do you describe your body?  Inquiring chunky redheads want to know!

I can be Kate.

22 Jul

Grumble.  I woke up this morning to news that Kate Middleton is in labor.  Despite the unfortunate timing of the title of this post, this essay is not about Princesses, Commoners-Turned-Princesses, Royal Babies or babies of any kind.  Although, duh, I totally wish her a safe and easy labor and I’m totally psyched about it.  I now return to your regularly scheduled programming.–Sarahphina

When I was home for the summer after my freshman year of college, I joined a gym.  Because, duh, I was horrible and fat and disgusting and I had two months to “fix” myself before going back to school.  Anyway.  There was a woman who worked at the gym.  I can’t remember her name, but I remember her.  I’ll call her Kate, due to her UNCANNY resemblance to Kate Winslet.

Kate Winslet.

Kate Winslet.

Kate worked the front desk, taught kickboxing and Tae Bo (remember Tae Bo??!!), and subbed for other classes.  I’ve seen a lot of beautiful women in my time.  A lot of women who made me think, “God, I would give anything to look like that.” There have been so many of them that my brain would explode if I tried to remember them all.

But I remember Kate.

I remember her because she was the first woman I found beautiful who wasn’t skinny.

She was fit as shit (I mean, her JOB was to work people out), but she wasn’t thin.  She was tall and big-boned, and her butt was big and her tummy wasn’t flat.  At 18, I was struck dumb by her.  I surreptitiously stared at her all.the.time.  I even took some of her regular classes, which is saying something because I fucking hate kickboxing.  Not only was I mesmerized by her, but I was mesmerized by my own attraction to her.  How could she be beautiful when she wasn’t thin?  How was that even possible?  I was obsessed with being thin, and my life was a binge-and-diet cycle of self-loathing hell.  Kate was stunning and seemed happy and relaxed and–could it be?–comfortable in her non-skinny body.  And she was a babe.  I didn’t understand it, but I couldn’t deny it.

Kate started something, although it didn’t hit me for years.  I found her so beautiful, even though the diet industry/our culture at large didn’t want me to.  I started looking at all non-skinny women–from slightly fleshy women to very fat women–and considered whether they could be beautiful.  And yes, they could be.  This amazed me.  Just walking down the street became a revelation.  I felt like I was seeing people for the first time.

I hadn’t thought about Kate in years.  I mean, duh, I totally forgot her name.  But a few days ago in rehearsal, something happened that pulled my brain back to that summer.  I was casually chatting with a cast member to whom I’d not spoken before.  About shoes.  And she said to me, “I just have to tell you, I look at you all the time.  I find you unbelievably beautiful.  You look like you come from a different century.”

Record scratch–what?

Because here’s the thing.  I think I’m very beautiful.  I know it’s all “not cool” and whatever to say so, but I do.  Sue me.  But I’m always surprised whenever anyone else thinks so.  I’m very aware of all the ways I don’t fit into what society has decreed “beautiful” to be–I’m too pale, my face is too round, my hair is too wild.  And, of course,  I’m not thin. And while I can–and do–find tons of women who don’t fit into the Pretty Package to be gorgeous, I don’t ever think anyone would think it of me.  I always assume that people are attracted to me in spite of my looks, not because of them.  That because I’m smart and clever and wear interesting clothes it outweighs (pun intended and achieved) my not-skinniness.

Society and its bullshit beauty standards have done a real injustice to us all.  By insisting that beauty can only fall within certain parameters, we deny the complexity that governs the laws of attraction.  I would really love it–would really, really love it–if TV and magazines and movies and everything else would start to reflect beauty and attraction the way it exists in the real world–diverse.  Lots of colors, lots of shapes, lots of sizes.  Can’t we do that for ourselves?  Art and pop culture are supposed to reflect who we are.  Why can’t pop culture reflect what we look like?  Why can’t art reflect what we’re really attracted to, which is, really, everything?  Why must fashion and beauty be aspirational when we’re so much more interesting just the way we are?

So, thanks, Kate.  Wherever you are.  For opening my eyes, even though it took some years for me to realize what I’d seen.

Another day, same me.

Another day, same me.

 

 

 

Rethinking Dress Codes

5 Jun

Hey all!

So, if you follow the Feminist Blogosphere (Capital Letters!), you may have heard of Brittany Minder, who was not allowed into her prom for showing “too much” cleavage” (she was later allowed in with a shawl covering the Offending Bosoms)(More Capitals).  Fun fact–the high school in question, Central Kitsap High, is the Alma Mater of Yours Truly.  Inspired by two of my badass lady friends, also former CK students, I sent the principal an email.  And because I have no secrets from all y’all, here it is!

Good afternoon.I’m writing today regarding the incident with Brittany Minder at her prom, and dress codes in general.

I’m a CK alum, and since graduating in 2000, I have lived all over the country, received a graduate degree, and begun a fulfilling career as an actor, teacher and feminist writer.  The remarkable education I received as a CKHS student is one of the reasons I have been able to accomplish as much as I have.  The teaching staff and administrative support were truly exceptional during my time there, and I’m so grateful I was able to attend such an excellent public school.  I know there are many others who were not as lucky as I was.

I know firsthand that the staff and teachers at CKHS are kind and caring people.  I know that, ultimately, Brittany Minder was allowed into prom with a shawl because the staff cares about her and wanted a solution that would allow her to attend.  There are no “bad guys” here.

That said, I feel compelled to write about what happened to Brittany at her prom because I believe it’s time to move past modesty-based dress codes, and I encourage you to use this incident as an opportunity to evaluate the school dress code at CK.  Dress codes as a rule tend to disproportionately affect young women over young men, and are particularly difficult, and sometimes unfair, to young women who are particularly busty, heavy, or tall.  Shorts become “too short” when a tall young woman with long legs wears them.  Tops show “too much” cleavage when the young woman wearing them has larger than average breasts.  Pants are “too tight” if the young woman wearing them has a larger butt and hips.

As far as we’ve come for women’s equality in this country, there are still leaps and bounds to go.  Women are both overly sexualized from a young age and also shamed by words and actions for their sexuality.  I believe that modesty-based dress codes are outdated and sexist.  Young women feel enough confusion and shame about their bodies and their sexuality as it is–without school administrations taking an undue interest in their adult bodies and the sexuality it represents.  Please understand that it’s very difficult to find clothing that fits, supports and compliments some figures.  Young women are doing the best they can.

Regards,

Sarahphina

(duh, I gave my real name)

The Ways Weight Weighs

29 Apr

I’m in a foul mood today.

I just went to put on a pair of shorts from last summer, and they don’t fit.  I can barely fasten them.

What. the actual. fuck.

If I’m honest with myself, though, I knew it was happening.  The last month at my old job left me so anxious and freaked out that I was stress eating, not sleeping, and never exercising.  I’ve been more on track with eating well and exercising since going out on my own, but not enough to undo the damage.

And if I’m even more honest with myself, I’ll have to admit that in the past few months, my demand feeding has gotten completely cocked up.  I’ve become anxious about what I should and shouldn’t eat and deprivation has led to binging and blah blah story of my frakking life blah.  Since quitting my job especially, I’ve been eating for convenience and “well, this is my chance to eat”-ness and NOT eating because I was hungry.  My food would be gone and I’d realize I’d barely tasted it but it didn’t matter because I had fifteen minutes to get to my next gig and I had to GO!

I’m so ashamed.  Not only for having gained so much weight, but for feeling bad about it.  I mean, my whole deal is about body acceptance and self-love.  I think the body shame women (everyone, really, but especially women) are subjected to by our culture is total bullshit.  And it SUCKS having to recognize that no matter how much I criticize our body-shaming culture, I’m still a part of it and affected by it.  I know better, but I still feel shame about it.

On top of that, I don’t actually mind how I look.  I can see that my body is a little different than it has been for the past few years…but I don’t think I look bad in this slightly bigger body.  So then I feel stupid for not hating  myself like I’m clearly supposed to.  So then I do hate myself just like I’m supposed to, but then I look in the mirror and I still think I look ok but I know that no one else thinks I look ok, but do I really care what they think anyway and I don’t except I kind of do and spiral spiral spiral.

I don’t even know what to do with these feelings.

So. Where to I go from here?  Do I go on a diet?  Recommit to demand eating and try to more mindful?  Say fuck it and accept that this is where my body is going to be now?

I logged on to Weight Watchers–a program I lost a ton of weight with once before–and almost re-joined.  But while WW definitely works in terms of weight loss, I still don’t feel like it’s what is right for me just now.  I’m not interested in seeing numbers on a scale go down.  I just want my clothes to fit me.  But I’m not willing to make food the enemy again, and I’m not willing to pride myself every day on how little I’ve eaten (this isn’t true of everyone on WW, but it was true for me).  My goal is to become more in tune with my body in all things–including eating.  I want to strive to eat when I’m hungry, eat exactly what I want, and stop when I’m done.  It sounds so easy!  Why is it so hard?

Anyway.

I’ve decided to be kind to myself.  I joined a Community Center last week and I’ve been going to yoga and pilates as well as using the elliptical, treadmills and weight machines.  Exercise isn’t the enemy it used to be–now I actuallyalmost  like it.  It’s become an almost pleasure to exercise because I know that exercising is how I can best be kind to my body.  I get enough sleep, because I need sleep to best be kind to my body.  I get out in the sunshine, because I need sunshine to best be kind to my body.  Now it’s time to add my food into that.  Preparing my own food rather than buying stuff to take on the go.  Taking time to eat when I’m hungry, rather than forcing myself to eat when it’s convenient.  It’ll be hard, but it’ll be worth it.  I will do these things as best I can.  I don’t know what my body will look like.  But hopefully I can find that place where I am fit and comfortable and happy.

Still me, even when my weight gets wacky.

Still me, even when my weight gets wacky.

The Feedback I Get: Thoughts on Patrick Wilson & Lena Dunham from a Chick who Dates Up.

13 Feb
WARNING:  sometimes not-skinny people get naked.

WARNING: sometimes not-skinny people get naked.

It was the fling heard ’round the world.

Destined to have a place in the stars besides Liz & Dick, Bogie & Bacall and the beast known as Bennifer are Lena and Patrick.  Star-crossed lovers (on TV).  She’s normal.  He’s pretty.  OH MY GOD!!!! WHAT!!!??? HOW CAN SUCH A THING BE!?!?  Wait.  Shhhh.  No, seriously.  Do you hear that?  It must be the Four Horsemen putting saddles on their apocolypic steeds.

Give me a fucking break.

In case you missed the most recent Girls (WARNING: beaucoup spoilers!) here’s the sitch: Conspicuously absent were Jessa, Shoshanna and Marnie.  Instead, the episode revolved around Hannah (Lena Dunham, obvi) and her sexual interlude (i.e. three day bangfest) with foxy-as-hell doctor Joshua (Patrick Wilson).  Joshua appears at the Grumpy Cafe to speak with the manager about cafe trash winding up in his trashcan.  And, because the manager is Ray, it quickly spirals into a shouting match between the two men–after which, Hannah ducks next door to confess that it was actually her who’d been dumping the garbage.  He’s charmed by her.  She’s charmed by him.  Next thing, they’re doing it.  And they KEEP doing it for an idyllic three-day vacation from their jobs, problems and lives.  For three days they eat steak, bone, play naked ping-pong and just hang out.  But eventually the spell is broken, and Hannah leaves his perfect brownstone, garbage in tow.

Cue internet freakstorm.

See, in case you missed it, Hannah is fat.  FAT!  OH MY GOD!  And Joshua is not fat.  And therefore, it’s COMPLETELY unbelievable–nay, downright OFFENSIVE–that Joshua would ever be sexually interested in Hannah.  AND HOW DARE LENA DUNHAM WRITE AN EPISODE IN WHICH IT’S EVEN SUGGESTED THAT SUCH A THING COULD HAPPEN!  I MEAN, SHE MUST BE DELUSIONAL!!!!  Unless the episode is MEANT to be a fantasy!  HAHAHAHAHAHA!

“Oh please, there is no way that he would get with her!”

Hollywood.com

“Why are these people having sex, when they are so clearly mismatched—in style, in looks, in manners, in age, in everything? Why is he kissing her and begging her to stay over? Seriously, Dave—why?”

Slate “Guys on Girls”

Remember the episode of The Cosby Show in which Cliff, Theo, Elvin, and Martin were all pregnant? Martin fathered a sailboat, Theo a sports car, Cliff a hoagie and soda, and Elvin, well, nobody ever cared that much about Elvin. He probably had another rattail. At the end, Cliff woke up from his dream.

This week’s Girls was a lot like that Cosby Show, except Hannah never woke up from the fantastical, implausible story she found herself in.

Esquire

So, do you think Hannah and Joshua’s tryst was real?

Of course nothing in the series thus far would support the “fantasy” reading of the episode — everything we’ve seen has always been rooted in reality.

Entertainment Weekly

Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think the episode was meant to be an oh-my-god-it-was-all-in-her-head-fantasy.  Because, frankly, the circumstances just aren’t that bizarre.  Two people in very different places in their lives come together for a brief time because they need something the other provides.  A time to try on a grown-up life.  A rest.  A reminder of what it was to have your whole life ahead of you.  A million reasons.  Such encounters may or may not involve boning.  This one did.

Because here’s the thing.  For all the well-reasoned, intelligent discussion on why this episode had to be a fantasy, we would not be having this conversation had the three day bangfest with a sexy, rich doctor involved Marnie (Allison Williams) or Jessa (Jemima Kirke).  In fact, JESSA MARRIED A RICH INVESTMENT BANKER WHO SHE BARELY KNEW AND NO ONE FREAKED OUT!  It’s Hannah’s body that makes her sexual relationship with a foxy rich dude so improbable to people.

Fatty.

Fatty.

But they’re wrong.  Hot guys get with average looking chicks all the time.  I know. I’m an average looking chick.  It’s cool.  I’m fine with how I look. I think I’m pretty.  But I know that to the outside world I’m a pretty unremarkable looking lady.  And we won’t even TALK about how I’d match up to Hollywood’s bullshit body standards.  I’m 5’6” and I weigh between 155 and 160 pounds.  More than I’d like, but I don’t really freak out about it.  I’m a size 10.  My stomach is not flat, and my butt jiggles (adorably) when I walk.

And yet, despite my utter unremarkable-ness and (gasp!) audacity to subject innocent passers-by to my Unskinny Body, I get hit on all the time.  Waiters have written their phone numbers on my check.  I’ve been called out on Craigslist’s “missed connections.”  One time, sitting on a park bench after a post-breakup cry, a dude came up to me and asked me out.  I got asked out on a date with salty rage-tears still wet on my face!

And some of these guys have been really hot.  Now that I think about it, many of them have been.  What can I say?  I tend to date up.  And while my body issues and insecurites have had their role to play in these interludes and relationships, my body itself has never been a problem.  I’ve been with sexy musician types, athletes, and rich dudes.  Many of whom were being actively pursued by skinnier, prettier women.  But they picked me, for whatever reason, just as I picked them.

This one time, a guy saw me naked and DIDN'T THROW UP FROM DISGUST!  It was awesome.

This one time, a guy saw me naked and DIDN’T THROW UP FROM DISGUST! It was awesome.

Sexy doesn’t mean pretty, although it can.  Sexy doesn’t mean skinny, although it can.  Sexy doesn’t even mean confident, although it can.  The fucking fact is, sexy means different things to different people at different times.  I can absolutely see what Wilson’s Joshua saw in Dunham’s Hannah.  She’s smart.  She’s quirky.  She’s funny and unexpected.  She’s CUTE, sloppy backside and all.  And when the illusion finally is broken, it’s not because he all of a sudden woke up and saw that he’d spent the last several days boning a “blobbie” (thanks again, NY Post!).  No.  It’s because she broke the solemnity of their “vacation” by being honest–and by giving him a good look at her special Hannah-brand of narcissism.

And I’m not even going to START on the tubby guy/hot girl trope being played out everywhere you look.

So for all the critics going off about the “fantasy” that an Adonis-y Patrick Wilson could ever be sexually interested in a “blobby” Lena Dunham–stop.  Just stop.  The only fantasy here is the one pretending that all men–hell, that all PEOPLE–are attracted to one thing and that one thing must look a certain way or else it’s not “believable.”  Men are attracted to Lena.  Men are attracted to me.  Deal with it.  Pull your heads out of your asses and shut up about fantasy.  Because you are insulting me and embarrassing yourselves.

Joshua: You’re beautiful.

Hannah: You really think so?

Joshua: You don’t?

Hannah: I do. It’s just not always the feedback that I’ve been given.

Tits up, Lena.  Come over and I’ll make you some steak.

No peeking

For further reading, please check out the excellent responses to the hubub from Emily McCombs on xojane.com and Tracie Egan Morissey on Jezebel.    UPDATE (2/13/2013 9:57am):  Also, this excellent piece on HuffPo from Maureen Ryan!