May 19th, 2006

What does being thin mean to you?

Last week, I was whistled at my a man driving past as I walked along the road. While I was telling my husband about it, I realised that instead of feeling flattered by it, I felt ashamed, afraid and panicky. The thought that someone found me sexually attractive made me feel unsafe. I felt afraid, because the idea that someone found me sexually attractive meant that I was at risk of being attacked and raped. This is a new experience for me. I've never had wolf-whistles before - only random shouted abuse for being fat. And as I thought about it, I realised that this goes deeper into my self-image and what being fat or thin is all about. I'm not losing weight in order to look good or be attractive, because if I was, getting a wolf-whistle would have made me feel accomplished rather than ashamed. I'm trying to become thin because to me, becoming thin is wrapped up in the idea of becoming invisible, of taking up less space. I don't want to become beautiful. I want to become invisible.

What does becoming thin (or being thin, if you already are) mean to you? I know that eating disorders are about more than losing weight, but what does the idea of losing weight mean to you? Why are you putting yourself through all this? What payoff is there for you in becoming thin?