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An undream rant from Chris Wayan's journal 1995/8/28

I'm walking with my friend Alder through the Mission.

The Radio Valencia Cafe is still boarded up, where the fire truck drove in the front window. (Oops. But being a city employee means never having to say you're sorry.) A big repair job, they're still planning it... will the cafe go under?

All over the boarded up front and side are posters showing a fashion model with the words "Stop Starvation Imagery!" But she looks fine--fatter than me, for one! I feel a flicker of anger at this hostile charactization of anyone thin as SICK, and anyone who LIKES thin bodies as sicker. A backlash by fatties toward skinnies. Understandable, but I didn't invent my body type or my sexual preferences. Nor is there anything wrong with them.

Confess to Alder my mixed feelings about such campaigns. I feel a feminist guilt for liking thin women--when I'm built that way myself, too thin for girls who insist on American beef. I no longer believe it's just brainwashing making me see most women as unattractively fat. Americans ARE obese and unfit. That's not genetic--it's bad food and no exercise. The same genes in other countries don't create tired puffy blimps.

My dislike of most male bodies is, I think, even more complex. Male bodies mean danger to me--I was bashed too much as a kid. I also feel an anorexic discomfort with ALL material bodies--my spirit wants to be free of the flesh entirely. But there's also a simple shock at the obesity and ill health common in men. The role almost requires you to abuse your body, overindulge. And most pay terribly for it--early death. Eight years less than women! THIS is privilege? Oh, thank you mistress! Hit me again!

Alder steers it back to skinny girls. "Most of the men I've known say they prefer women fatter than the media images. But is that true?" "Yeah," I admit, "most of my male friends say so, privately. I just don't share the preference." I like skinnies, and I am one myself, and I probably can't change either fact. And should I, any more than fat people should change to please me?

Ow, that phrase: "Starvation imagery"! Starvation? But their poster child isn't starving, and neither am I. But I can see a time coming when we'll both be starved for peace and quiet and simple acceptance, if fat-hatred simply flips into thin-hatred.

Good old Americans! So binary. "This good... so that bad." Funny. Our whole political system was built around the idea of protecting individual differences, around valuing what liberty creates: variety. Yet we keep slipping back into this one-standard-for-all crap! Why, why, WHY?

LISTS AND LINKS: anorexia - weird body-image dreams - heritages - weight bias - Alder - other non-dream essays and rants - Red Diaper Babies: radical guilt - tales of the waking world

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