I want you to pretend you’re hearing me say this with one of those rich, resonant movie trailer voiceover voices: Would you give up everything you have… for everything you’ve ever wanted? Yeah, that’s a tagline from a 90s comedy that I am pretty sure I never saw, but for some reason it’s stuck with me.
I was reminded of it the other day when I read a post where a fat woman said that, given the choice, she would choose her same body.
I’m a 300 pound woman with rights, talents, aspirations, guts and an outspoken mind. If I had the choice, I would pick this body again and again. This body is resilient and soft. It is radical and political in a world that has made it that way.
And that got me to thinking: If I could be thin, would I choose to?
Sounds crazy, right? I mean, who wouldn’t want to be permanently thin if given the option? (No, I’m not going to get into a discussion about how it is possible, if fat people would just try hard enough. Trust me, I’ve tried hard enough.)
The truth is, I would choose it. If a genie popped out of a bottle right now and granted me three wishes, one of them would be to have a thin, healthy body for the rest of my life. (Can I just tell you, the idea of genie-granted wishes kind of freaks me out, because I imagine you really ought to write them down so you can include all the caveats by which the genie might try to screw up your wish – hence my including that important little bit about my thin body also being healthy.)
Do I think all of my struggles would end if I was skinny? Of course not. Do I think I’d have better clothing options, more possible-future-husband options, better healthcare, more respect? You betcha. I guess it might sound contrary to the theme of Big Fit Deal, but as I’ve told you before, I’m nothing if not contrary.
Now, if I had to give up something important – loved ones, talent, intelligence, kindness, generosity, loyalty, humor – in exchange for a permanently thin body? Then I would tell the genie to be on his way (after he granted me some money, health and happiness for my loved ones, and a loving husband, of course. Ha!). Because the fundamental ways in which I am me are more important than the size of my body any day.
Which begs the question: Would I still be who I am if I didn’t have this body?
Okay, your turn. If you could wake up tomorrow and have your ideal body, would you? What if it meant giving up something fundamental that makes you who you are? Would you still be you if you had a different body?