Really great piece by…

Really great piece by Kate Harding (not actually a student of mine, but was a student in the MFA program at Vermont when I was teaching there) on The Fantasy of Being Thin. Well worth a read.

I'm not certain what ideas I have tied up with the fantasy of being thin. But they're things like:

  1. When I'm thin, I'll be able to buy and wear really great dresses
  2. When I'm thin, I'll be super-athletic, able to climb mountains and hike for days with ease, to go for hours-long bike rides in the city and not need to own a car
  3. When I'm thin, I won't have to go to the effort of approaching possible romantic partners anymore -- they will all come hit on me, and I will only have to pick and choose my lovers
  4. When I'm thin, my mother will be proud of me
As Kate points out, at least for the first two, I can just go do them, y'know. I don't have to wait to be thin. I do sometimes buy great dresses for events, but I stress about it, and feel like 'oh, I should wait to spend that money until I'm thin enough that the dress looks as good as it's supposed to'. And think "I shouldn't buy something new and fantastic in my current size when Im not going to be at this size much longer.' So I either wear something old which usually doesn't fit right and feel ugly or I feel horrible about buying something new. Which is ridiculous.

For number two -- well, let's just say that I know at least a few naturally skinny people who get out of breath going up a flight of stairs. Thin is not the key to fitness.

Number three is just laziness, and I should get over it. It's not really fair to other people anyway, expecting them to do all the work. And the fourth -- well, deep down, I do know that my mom is proud of me for other reasons. Even if she would really like me to be thin.

Oh, also when I'm thin, I will be magically taller and inhumanly beautiful. I will look like a Tolkien elf and drift through my days in long, flowing chiffon gowns.

Do you have a fantasy of thinness?

2 thoughts on “Really great piece by…”

  1. Apparently we have the same fantasies. Except when I am much taller and inhumanly beautiful I will also have long flowing hair that never tangles and has the perfect amount to waviness.

  2. As someone who spent the first 25+ years of her life painfully thin (you could count my ribs without any notable effort), I always had fantasies of having more flesh on my bones. I wanted to have actual curves. But it turns out that gaining weight doesn’t give me curves, it just pads my bones more. So my fantasies tend to be things like “If I had bigger breasts, I could buy and wear really great dresses” and “If I had bigger breasts, possible romantic partners anymore will come hit on me, and I will only have to pick and choose my lovers.”


    So, be careful what sort of “thin” you wish for. A tall, willowy build may occasionally photograph well, but it sucks for wearing many types of clothing, and it’s not very comfy to cuddle with. And it is not a kind build for weight change – if you gain weight, it goes to all the wrong places.

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