"A culture fixated on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty, [it is] an obsession about female obedience."
Standing in the faculty lounge waiting for the photocopier, a colleague says, “You look so thin.”
I say, “I don’t think so.”
A second teacher says, “No, you really do.”
“I’m not sure that that’s true, but I’ll take it,” I say, grinning, knowing that I’m wearing my post-holiday ‘fat pants’ because my ‘skinny pants’ are too snug for work. The ‘fat pants,’ ironically, hang a little loose on me, making me look thinner.
Chinny Chin Chin
I was deep in thought, stroking my chin, when I felt a protuberance. I flipped down the visor in the car while I was driving to examine it. I found not one long, thick whisker on my chinny chin chin, but two! So is that what we’re doing now? Not only do I have to pluck the hairs from my brow and lip and areoles, but now my chin too?
Taller and Wider
Walking with a few of my eighth grade students, students I have taught since the fifth grade, one turned to me and said, “You won’t believe it, but I’m taller than Piper now…and much wider.”
I didn’t respond immediately, so she stopped Piper in her tracks and stood back to back with her, “See! I’m taller, but I’m also wider.”
And here’s where I falter. I give Skyler a come-on-now look and say “you look great.” My stomach flips. I stammer. I’ve fucked up.
Piper chimes in with, “It’s because I’m a dancer.” Piper is about as much of a dancer, as I am squid. I want to say, “No, it’s because you’re mom’s Twiggy-thin,” but instead I try to cover with something like, “we all have different bodies,” but judgment has already been passed.