Some people are always looking for their next pedestal. That perfect opportunity to get up high and look down on you. The funny thing about weight is the pivotal point of perfection is obsolete. For most of my teenage life girls were always saying: Urgh, you’re so skinny, you’re like a twig.
I could snap you.
This was before I knew what metabolism was. Don’t snigger, this was the nineties, supermodels still had tits and curves. We’re talking Claudia Schiffer and Elle Macpherson. Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford. Size zero didn’t exist. Well, really it did but under the labelling: girls age 9-10. Kate Moss and her heroin chic may have been just around the corner, but forever and always doctors tell me I’m pale, they ask if I’m eating properly.
Fast forward to mid-twenties and perfect strangers in bars ask if I’m anorexic.
As though it’s a perfectly acceptable question, they say; do you even eat?
Almost always it’s women who ask, masking their off-kilter looks of disappointment when I tell them the truth. I’m that girl. With this kind of high metabolism all you can do is maintain weight. I couldn’t put on more if I tried. Wide toothpaste smiles that don’t reach their eyes; could be they don’t believe me. Could be they hate me. Go figure.
You hear something often enough it becomes second nature.
Still I look in the mirror and my ankles look too thin. The branches of limbs taper into twigs. The xylophone of ribs and a dinosaur bump spine.
I look in the mirror and see the worst.
When I wrote Some Kind of Beautiful I knew I’d be feeding the flames. For the record I’m not anorexic. For the record I’ve never had any kind of eating disorder.
Truth is these days my metabolism’s slowing down.
Look close enough and I’m still sticks and stones thin, only now my ass is getting fat.
Life’s that kind of ironic bitch.