A post or two ago, I shared a personal experience about ordering a pastry and eating it with peace and happiness.
This was significant because I did this even though the friend I was with at the time (who is much more slight and not curvy like me) wasn’t doing the same on account of feeling, well, fat.
I mean, I’ve been in recovery for well over a decade, and this certainly wasn’t the first time I’ve eaten what I wanted in the presence of someone who was having a bad body image day.
But it was the first time it felt so – effortless – AND that I noticed how effortless it felt.
That was the really cool part.
Back in April, actress Jennifer Lawrence came out with a statement about her vision for Hollywood’s body future.
In an interview with Harpers Bazaar magazine, she said she wants her city and her industry to embrace what she calls “a new normal body type.”
What she actually, precisely said was this:
“I would like us to make a new normal-body type,” she says. “Everybody says, ‘We love that there is somebody with a normal body!’ And I’m like, ‘I don’t feel like I have a normal body.’ I do Pilates every day. I eat, but I work out a lot more than a normal person. I think we’ve gotten so used to underweight that when you are a normal weight it’s like, ‘Oh, my God, she’s curvy.’ Which is crazy. The bare minimum, just for me, would be to up the ante.” That earthy laugh returns. “At least so I don’t feel like the fattest one.”
I can see her point.
In fact, this is why I normally shop at places with no mannequins (like thrift stores). The last thing I need when I’m on the hunt for something sort of stylish is teensy mannequins wearing stylish outfits that will absolutely not look the same way on me.
Perhaps in a similar way to how Hollywood has affected Lawrence’s stance on curves, my boyfriend has been a real eye-opener for me in that department.
A few months ago, I kind of had a meltdown and told him sometimes I worry that I look fat (the onset of peri-menopause can do that to you when you are an ex-anorexic trying to decide which baggy t-shirt makes you look sexier in bed).
He minced no words in letting me know he was fine – F.I.N.E. – completely and utterly fine with everything about my body.
Those evil curves. It would seem men don’t see them as evil at all. And here’s the really crazy part – it would seem the men actually LIKE them!
So – bonus. I’ve got curves and I am attracted to men and the men like curves and I’ve got them. And my boyfriend likes my curves and I like that.
And thinking about it naturally makes me more confident because when my peri-menopausal hormones start acting up and egging on my brain to go for the really baggy t-shirt tonight, I can win any argument by saying, “But he likes my curves. And I like that.”
Suffice it to say there have been fewer baggy t-shirts getting worn in my casa of late.
But back to Jennifer Lawrence – of course she got both praise and flack about her “new normal” comment. Some people just have to nit-pick everything – anything to avoid having to deal with why they are having such an insane reaction to someone else expressing their opinion.
So as usual, some people got really huffy about her comment even though (to me at least) it is crystal-clear that what she is aiming to express is simply this: ENOUGH WITH THE WEIGHT STUFF ALREADY. SERIOUSLY, PEOPLE. ENOUGH!
And I am SO down with that statement – and any statement that supports real bodies that feel really homey and comfy and livable so that real lives can be lived inside them.
Also, from this little corner of the universe, I feel it is NOT about ousting those of us who have body types that currently match the “Hollywood underweight ideal.” How fair would that be? Not at all in my opinion. It’s just about getting to a point where weight preferences or aversions, opinions and aspirations no longer get all up in every inch of our other business of simply living our lives as happily and (mostly) healthily as we can.
It is really time for that. It is time to let ourselves (and others!) off the hook already.
It is time to realize there is still money to be made and products and services to be told (listen up: Hollywood, beauty industry) even if – revolutionary thought – people actually already like what they look like! Our economy won’t crash. Everybody won’t go live off the grid and just stop shopping if one day they wake up and smile at their own reflection in the mirror.
We will still be us. Just happier.
I think that is what Lawrence means by the “new normal.” And it sounds wonderful to me.
Today’s Takeaway: What do you think of Lawrence’s statement? Or about her continual perseverance in pushing back against the body-haters and fat-shamers and critics and fashionistas and directors and modeling agencies who would love to bully her into hating her body, just because that is what they do and because they can. How do you think you would fare if you were standing in her shoes? What would you say and do?