Loving the Taste of Life

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by Angela Hedges

Model Kate Moss at the Vh1 Fashion Awards by Dave Allocca; Photo of www.AllPosters.com

Have heard this? I hate this.

“Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.”

Kate Moss said it in 2009 and the pro-ana community (yes, there is a pro-anorexia community) really latched onto it. I see pop up with alarming regularity on Pinterest and Tumblr and other sites that collect and spread ideas, usually paired with a photo of an underweight model. Often they are part of thinspo galleries, photo collections of below-weight waifs meant to serve as “thinspiration” for those similarly starving themselves.

One thing I notice among all these collections: The sickly-thin girls are almost never smiling. They are smug, they are proud, but not happy. Because when the rush of seeing their thin frames disappears, they are still not loved. And that’s what they are after. They starve themselves to reach a place they have decided will make them perfect, where they able to be loved and to love themselves. They are trying to get rid of themselves so they can find what they lack. It’s a race to nowhere. No matter how thin they get, they are still the person they are.

The visible measure these girls have chosen is false. Because the truth is fat people find love all the time. And average-sized people, and skinny people, and people with crooked teeth, and people missing an eye. Love is not about how you look. It’s about loving who you are.

To the worthless notion that nothing tastes as good as skinny feels, I offer this quote from the movie Spanglish:

American women, I believe, actually feel the same as Hispanic women about weight: A desire for the comfort of fullness. And when that desire is suppressed for style and deprivation allowed to rule, then dieting, exercising American women become afraid of everything associated with being curvaceous, such as wantonness, lustfulness, sex, food, motherhood. All that is best in life.

A life locked in pursuit of an empty ideal is a tortured life. The things we can love about ourselves are countless. To live a full life we must look beyond our appearance and feed the longings of our soul. That starts with forgiving, with healing. It can never come from what we do or don’t eat.

To counter the damaging message proposed by the thinspo icons check out the moving video montage by Karen Walrond that showcases the beauty of real women.

Or take a good long look at the amazing plus-sized model Yanderis Lodos. (Great examples here and here) She radiates happiness and is smoking hot in any size. That feeling stays with you anytime, everywhere you go. No one body type is perfect. Not every size is healthy. But happiness are has absolutely nothing to do with size. It’s starts with loving the person you are.

Angela Hedges put aside a successful career in social media to pursue her passions: family and writing. Since earning her Communications/Journalism degree from Santa Clara University, she has found the written word to be central in both professional and personal expression. As a mother she is inspired to explore the struggles and joys found in the ever-changing landscape of modern parenting. Her blog With Fail chronicles her journey as a writer. Angela is currently working on novel based on the remarkable life of her grandmother.