Hi. I’m Amber.
I’m a recovering Skinny Bitch. And by recovering, I mean, I live shakily in a tipsy world choosing whether to be a kind, open human being or a bite-your-head-off, snarky asshole.
I’m 5’1”. I weigh 135 pounds. I’m a size 6, unless it’s winter and my workouts have taken a hit, then I slide into a size 8 for comfort. I’m not your typically proportioned Skinny Bitch, but I manage to slide under their fat girl radar. (And by fat, I mean anyone over a size 4)
I’m little by everyone else’s standards. I’m considered athletic and confident too. But, to me, I’m self-conscious, comparably lesser, and, in tough times, self-loathing. Those ingredients combine in my flesh and you’ve got one deranged bitch on your hands. So messed up, I turn on other girls who are bigger, smaller, shorter (very rarely), and taller than me in attempts to feel better about my uncomfortable self.
The Skinny Bitch Syndrome I’ve got does most of its damage to me. Not immediately just like those six chocolate cookies I am inhaling. It all feels good, until I’m alone. Then, I wish I had more self-control over what goes in and what comes out of my mouth. The bitchiness exits my mouth pretending to be witty snark and it’s effects are far more devastating than the empty calories I consume. All those childhood sayings that having nothing good to say means I shouldn’t say anything at all, went unheeded.
I’ve attended many a social event. Doing so involves hours spent getting ready, trying on a dozen outfits, hating my thick, wavy hair, and redoing my make-up until my raw eyes are unmistakable. All this fuss to show up and fall short. Everyone else looks adorable, comfortable, and to be enjoying the evening. I feel awkward, frumpy, chunky, and lacking confidence. So I do what all Skinny Bitches do: I launch my attack. It begins with the “big” girls moves onto the “anorexic” ones and I usually close my night with a fair dose of Haterade on the rest who didn’t fit into a category of my weight-based binary.
I’ve called girls fat. I’ve reduced them to a number (that was far higher than their actual weight). I’ve pointed fingers at cheap clothes. I’ve rolled my own two eyes at bad jokes, uneducated thoughts, and bad manicures. I went so far once, to hate on a girl for her poorly maintained brows. (If only she could see mine now)
My Skinny Bitch split-brain managed without guilt until a few weeks ago. After realizing the venomous quality of my words, I gave up talking shit for a month. At the same time, Brittany wrote about equating body image to new shoes. And I thought, “I love shoes and so does she. Maybe she’s got something going here.”
Shortly after her post I attended a birthday party for a friend I’ve known as long as I can remember. She’s one of four (skinny and beautiful) sisters. I am younger than their youngest by mere months. We sat and talked and giggled like old times. The iPhones came out -time for Instagram documentation-, I looked chubby in all of the pictures. We talked summer diets and bikini bodies which left me feeling ugly and unmotivated. Don’t even mention dinner portions. The Skinny Bitch in me reared her ugly head as I scanned the local vicinity for fodder.
“Look girl, there’s a 300-pounder.”
“Easy target: the THICK one.”
“Curves, girl please, those are rolls. And not of the buttery biscuit kind.”
Oh, that Skinny Bitch screamed inside of me. But, I’d taken a fast. Brittany spoke to me in that moment, she said, “Go get that new pair of shoes, girl. They’ll be far more comfortable than those four rigid pairs you’re pretending to love right now.” I heard her.
I chose to deny the Skinny Bitch in turning over a new, more friendly leaf. I excused myself from the beautiful, skinny girl group and stopped by the ladies’ room. As I stared at myself in the mirror, I realized my mission: befriend women instead of berate them.
Rosie, as I’ll so lovingly call her, was beautiful. And completely self-conscious. And so used to being victimized by skinny bitches that she lived with a chip on her shoulder and a scowl on her face. Underneath that tough exterior was a woman whose deep-seated faith had her worried daily about serving others in new and unique ways. She longed to blend in, but knew the work she was doing begged her not to –a challenge she’s learning to embrace.
Her friend, and social life raft, was Jill. Also gorgeous, filled with a heart for adventure and service. She left a career she knew inside and out to seek something new and different and more interesting to her. Her heart is in Africa where she once spent months embracing little village children, a place she longs to return. She wants a marriage and a love story, but can’t imagine giving up her missionary work, so she waits until she meets her life’s passion reflected in one fleshy, hunk of a man.
Sure, she isn’t a size 2, but who is these days?
In my humble opinion, these women do have more to love. Not because of their size, but because of who they are. They aren’t getting by just on looks –like I try to; they’ve also got amazing, well-intentioned, inspirational personality.
I am a recovering skinny bitch. With enough social discomfort, those skinny bitch thoughts surface. Lately, I’ve transformed them. I turn them into something positive by pursing that girl I so deeply want to criticize out of my own lame-ass self-esteem. Though it’s socially challenging and, sometimes, awkward, these overwhelmingly beautiful women make my life all the richer.
At the end of the day, Brittany was right. The shoes were a hell of a lot more comfortable.