All About…

I thought that I was ready to ‘move on’, to transition from Eating Art Work’s previous focus to other elements of my life, our lives. I thought that I was going to spend the NaBloPoMo (Remember? National Blog Post Month) exploring friendship, a topic I have written and thought about sporadically for almost 40 years. And I may still do that, for part of the month, but I find myself back on familiar ground, today: the personal, political and sociological story of body size. That is: growing up in 1950’s and 60’s America as a chubby girl and surviving (occasionally thriving) as an XL woman for the last four decades.

There is a music video that I saw for the first time yesterday, although this song has apparently been quite popular for some time now. Once again, late to the party, but as ever, I feel some elation at connecting with something positive in our late 2014 culture. There is so much that is oppressive and depressing. But this song and video by a young woman named Meghan Trainor is definitely upbeat. Her song is All About That Bass and here is a link to the youtube video.

The tune is catchy and the video is fun and endearing (probably not the adjectives the producers were aiming for, but hey, I’m a 62-year-old admirer, outside of their target demographic!) However, being the wordsmith that I am, it is the lyrics that really landed the punch for me. That is to say, tapped my heart, brought tears to my eyes and brought me both sadness and in-your-face joy. You see, there is defiance in this piece; rejection of the size two, Barbie doll, Photo-shopped image that is lauded as the ideal in our times. Needless to say, I love that ‘f.you’ attitude. Makes my heart sing and my body move to the beat (of the bass…)

This is the line that got me: “My mama she told me don’t worry about your size…”

Where did those words take me? ‘Dear god, I wish that my mother had told me that.’

Full stop.

How might my life have unfolded differently? Impossible to tell and of course, there is very little I would ask to change about my life today. I love my life, today. What I would change is the years of agonizing shame and self-loathing. Maybe it’s obvious, if you know me or have read any of my earlier posts on this site, but I was told just the opposite.

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