It's as if we all hate each other, no matter how much the inverse is true. It's as if we're all searching for that secret roll, that extra dimple, that unfortunate rub. It's the way we look each other up and down while someone is talking, averting our eyes with a quick hip glance, a chin peek, a stomach judge. It's a way of having something to sneer about -- no matter what said sneer says about our own imperfections and projections. It's the way we bond and assess and contend with our own misperceptions. It's how we walk down the street. It's how we wear belts on the cinchiest parts of our waists, skirts that hike up the smallest stick of our legs, t-shirts that hug the gauntest protrusion of our arms. There is always something to prove and something to size.
Everyone has had the conversation. You're talking to someone and someone else comes up. There's nothing to say, really, but you find commonality in the insult: Have you seen So And So? Man o man has she/he/whomever gained weight. Man o man I feel bad for her/him/whomever. Man o man she/he/whomever used to be so hot. If only she/he/whomever would just lose a little weight. And there it is. The nothing. The everything. The thing we all fear that someone else is saying. And, no matter what the scale and the tape measure and the size of your jeans tell you, someone has said something awful about you.
And then it happens. You're the asshole at the party who won't have another cocktail 'cause your dress is too tight and you don't want the booze bloat. I mean, okay, whatever keeps you off the fat wagon, right? No matter how momentarily delusional and destructive it is, right? Wrong. Still, you pose with your seltzer for a few more hours, 'til it's four in the morning and you're starving and eating clever-named, euphemism-loaded preservatives at a bodega or shitty pizza at a twenty-four hour parlor or hormone-injected burgers at McDonald's. If only you shrugged off stigma with a calculated callousness in the first damn place you wouldn't be so quick to succumb to a ravenous whim.
Or maybe you're the jerk to make the first comment about your burgeoning double chin -- just so you're ahead of the name-calling curve -- assuming if you say it out loud no one will say it behind your back. But they still do, whether or not to the double-chinned you. You could be so cute, they say. Or maybe you were so cute, they say. Whatever. Doesn't matter. You called yourself out and there's no going back. If only you let your spunk reign supreme in the first damn place you wouldn't mind-fuck the folds of your face and anything that anyone could say would be as menial as your profile.
But what of the other content with their faulted frame -- of the girl who doesn't notice her chaffing thighs in the summer heat, of the dude with the gut who will go back for seconds, of the couple who eats Taco Bell with mild sauce in bed whilst streaming Netflix and sharing Dairy Queen? Sure, we can scoff and scold 'til we're gaunt in the face, but it doesn't really matter if the subject of our dissatisfaction is unaffected. Confidence transcends flaws and hate and cake every day of the week. This is not to say that we should forgo ego and health and attraction in the name of gluttony. Not at all. Gross. But, maybe, if we stopped caring about the temporary body-squish of consuming freshly-baked bread with perfectly-melted butter and some black sea salt then, maybe, we'd all be a little happier, albeit a little rounder -- but definitely more sated. Then, maybe, we'd find more time to focus on things that really matter, like, I dunno, everything else in the whole goddamn world. Haters are gonna hate and people are gonna talk because, quite frankly, they've got nothing better to do. And they're jealous. Beyond jealous. The apathy these chubs have honed is enough to send any kale-eating, smoothie-drinking, hipbone-protruding motherfucker into a tale-spin as they cling to an artifice perpetuated by the construct of mass-marketed desire. (Full disclosure: there's nothing wrong with kale-eating, smoothie-drinking, hipbone-protruding motherfuckers as I am, indeed, one of said motherfuckers. I do, however, have enough interest in the culinary world to forgive these leanings when something with flavor and deliberation is plated in front of me.)
Bottom line: allow yourself some indulgences and BMI fluctuations and sinister whispers because, at the end of the day (end of your life), what does it really matter if you're five pounds (ten pounds?) heavier than the ideal version of yourself? Moderation is definitely key, but that doesn't mean it opens every door to everything. Isn't it better to be left with something sweet (or savory) in your mouth than the sour aftertaste of discontent (or vomit)? After all, bodies are gonna change and people are gonna talk, but who cares? Really, who fucking cares? We're all hungry for something. Starvation is simply a metaphor for all the ways we choose to ignore what we want, when we want it, how we want it (medium rare, please).