What I’m reading: Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay


“It makes perfect sense that many of us obsess over our bodies. There is nothing more inescapable. Our bodies move us through our lives. They bring pleasure and pain. Sometimes our bodies serve us well, and other times our bodies become terribly inconvenient. There are times when our bodies betray us or our bodies are betrayed by others. I think about my body all the time–how it looks, how it feels, how I can make it smaller, what I should put into it, what I am putting into it, what has been done to it, what I do to it, what I let other do to it. This bodily preoccupation is exhausting. There is no one more self-absorbed than a fat person, and Skinny exposes just how obsessive people are when they are unhappy with their bodies. This is not to say all fat people are unhappy with their bodies, but many are. Most of my friends are equally obsessive even though they are thin–hating themselves or specific parts of themselves: their arms, their thighs, their chins, their ankles. They do crazy diets and starve themselves and run themselves ragged trying to maintain some semblance of control over things that are somewhat out of our control. I don’t think I know any woman who doesn’t hate herself and her body at least a little bit. Bodily obsession is, perhaps, a human condition because of its inescapability.

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