“Skinny bitch!”, “You're so slim!”, “There's nothing of you!”, and other such remarks are standard. Assumed I'm a school girl or student on a regular basis. Sometimes it's complimentary, other times it's not. 10+ years knocked off my age. Bonus! You may think this would be the case, but it's not. I'm being undermined by my own exterior. The public face can brush them off, but the mask slips at home. A tough critic on myself, these personal references knock my self-acceptance. Why? Because they're mirroring back what I already know. Strangers are my looking glass. I'm self-conscious for the rest of the day, or even a week. History continually repeating itself; the walking wounded. Told to toughen up, I'm being oversensitive. My question is: How do we separate truth from judgement?
Body weight and image is a personal war for a large majority. Everyone has their insecurities. A passing remark can incite all sorts of damaging thoughts and behaviour. We've all been taught to retort with the following: 'Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.' Raise above it. A fair defence, but words, flippantly said, can hurt. Vocalised, these negative thoughts can haunt your head as a ghost haunts a house. They hang there in your personal space. Dormant, awake, dormant...
Inhabiting a world where views are extreme and we campaign for human rights and, yet we're addicted to self-abuse. A craving to sabotage ourselves with alcohol, drugs or food. A personal onslaught that means, like Britain, we've individually lost our own identity. This advancement brought on by emulating the United States of America. Our island still managing to squeeze people in, while the population grows fatter. Some wallow in their expanding appetite, others die from denying it. The result is a huge public health cost. The plaintiffs battling it out between them: Eat vs. Restricted , the Naturally Flawed vs. the Perfected.
As this spirals out of control, the British Government seems to have no intention of stopping it. A major health reform agreed, but the need for a fat tax not obvious enough. How much more evident does it need to get? The government wants businesses to voluntarily pledge their support. To reduce sugar and fat and raise cost. Why would any food company offer to do that when their profits have grown as obese as their most loyal consumers? The government's attitude is what we're left with: Act like an ostrich and bury your head in the sand. Keep calm and carry on wounding yourself and each other.
The Vegetarian Society defines a vegetarian as:"Someone who lives on a diet of grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits with, or without, the use of dairy products and eggs. A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish or by-products of slaughter."