This is the line from Meghan Trainor’s All About The Bass that got to me: “My mama she told me don’t worry about your size…” 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.
I was told, in no uncertain terms and in every possible phrasing and manner imaginable:
“Worry about your size.”
“Worry about your size more than anything else in the world.”
“Your size is all that matters.”
This message was/is culturally ubiquitous, of course, but the saddest part for me is that the primary carriers and promoters of this credo were my progenitors, my parents. From the age of my first consciousness until they each departed this earth, that was what they kept telling me: in every possible phrasing and manner imaginable: “Worry about your size.” “Worry about your size more than anything else in the world. Your size is all that matters.” Yes, I have repeated myself. On purpose, it is not an editing error.
As I have stated before in these posts, I don’t seek to blame my parents. I fully acknowledge and understand that their own backstories and the prevailing opinions and norms of their world supported this behavior. But you can’t blame me for wondering: ”What if…?”
There are (at least) two lines of thought that I have followed here. One is the emotional impact it might have had, to be told that I was okay, loveable, worthy, acceptable, even beautiful, by my family. It would have been contrary to the chanting of the outside world, but I might have been able to face that negative onslaught with inner fortitude, rather than ‘knowing’ that the ugly assessment of my non-value was ‘correct’. What might I have chosen to do with my time and energy if I felt sustained, rather than drained by the daily battles of shame? We’ll never know, of course and I will reiterate that I am grateful for the hindsight that shows me the richness of the life I have lived so far, despite this emotional handicapping.