It is not pretty to be skinny, and it is not healthy to be skinny, and I Am Not Kidding.
This is not a politically correct, self-acceptance, let’s all-feel-good post. This is a post written out of raw anger and heartache.
You know what they say–it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.
Well, trying having a couple of friends with anorexia, and then see you feel about the whole adjective “skinny”. What I feel is potent fury and impotent ability to do anything about it.
Anorexia kills people. Anorexia devastates bodies, digesting one’s own bones in a desperate attempt to keep functioning, hidden damage that is so easy to be in denial about.
Do you know what “healthy” is? Do you even know? It’s 20% body fat. It is one-fifth of a woman’s body being pure, straight-up FAT. That’s healthy. That’s good and right and true and beautiful and attractive and comfortable and guilt-free and perfect and exactly where it needs to be and what it is supposed to be. That’s if you’re fit: that’s if you exercise regularly and take good care of your body.
And if you’re average? If you aren’t a fitness-freak? 25%. One quarter of your body should be fat.
We’re not talking about “ideas of beauty”. We’re talking about biological functions. We’re talking about a body being able to sustain itself. A woman is not “fat” if her body is composed of 1/4 of fat tissue: a woman is healthy and normal.
How many women do you know who believe that? How many women do you know believe that their bodies need to be between 1/5 and 1/4 fat? How many women do you know who understand that they aren’t healthy if they don’t have enough fat?
I am angry when I see pictures of desperately underweight women on Facebook, being sent around in “health memes”–it is dangerous misinformation, a public health hazard. To me, it is also now a very personal issue–I see these faulty “health” messages as full of malicious intent. I want to chase people down and hold them accountable for the lies they’re spreading. I want to pound some sense into people until they abandon this physiologically disastrous impression of body composition.
I want to fix it.
And I can’t.
I can just sit and watch while my friends literally starve themselves in the name of “health”.