I was out for dinner recently with a couple of girlfriends, and we had a great time. Ate and drank and talked for 4 hours. We talked about work and money and investment planning and babies and boys and travel and career planning and writing and dreams and sex. As you do with good friends over good food with lots of drinks.
To explain the next part, I have to explain these two. The first has battled an eating disorder for a couple of years, and is finally coming out on the other side. She’s put on some weight – she’s now maybe a size 4 – and she looks healthy for the first time in years. She’s taken up hard core rock climbing and she is ripped. She’s thin and blond and muscular and pretty. The other looks like Catherine Deneuve as a young woman – gorgeous. She’s had two kids, has an amazing body, and looks 10 years younger than she really is. So, I’m sitting with a pair of stunning women, is what I’m saying. And then they start talking trash about their bodies.
Now, I’m um, not tiny, and not model-gorgeous. I look pretty in the right sort of light. I’m all tits and ass and belly. I’m the plump girl next door with great hair. If I wanted to get in to a pissing competition about who looks worse with these ladies, I could make a decent case.
But I won’t. I refuse to play this game. I will not be a part of the trash talking of self. I will say positive things – I will happily tell these women how beautiful they are – because it’s true. I will not be part of a conversation where they talk about how fat they are, or ugly, whatever. Because first of all, we’re better than that. We’re worthier than that. Because no good comes out of the whingeing. Not to mention, it’s insulting to me. If they’re “fat”, what am I at 6-10 dress sizes larger? Exactly.
It seems to be a common “female conversation trap”, and I’m sure a lot of it is just people seeking validation and comfort. But it doesn’t matter to me – I won’t play this game and I’ll do my best to shut it down when it happens around me. Because dammit, we’re better than that. Prettier, too. All of us.