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The degree to which I am body dysmorphic, at least at times, sometimes shocks me. Maybe "dysmorphic" isn't the right word. I don't really dislike my body. In general I'm pretty damn happy with myself, perhaps even to the point of vanity. But I must not have a very realistic picture of myself, because everyone seems to tell me different.

Several times in the last few days a bunch of people have commented on my "tinyness." My trainer at the gym, the receptionist at the garage, my mother. I said to my brother, in regards to a sweater, "Isn't your girlfriend about my size?" and he said I was crazy.

I am a small person, a lean person. I know that, I'm not completely nuts. But I don't feel tiny. I feel... well, regular. Not fat, really, but not particularly small. I work out a lot, at least five hours a week, of either ballet or intense circuit training, and I do it because I prefer myself hard and lean. I don't really like my soft places, under my bellybutton, my upper thighs. I would have thought someone who works out as much as I do would be harder and leaner than I am, but I guess not. I confess it bugs me, if for no other reason than my perspective seems so skewed. I also don't like how broad my bottom ribs are, and they're uneven on top of everything, so my trunk looks coarse and lumpy. I'm so wide there that I'll never really have a narrow waist. If I could change anything about myself physically, that would be it.

I know you don't want to hear a skinny white model bitch about how she feels fat sometimes, or at least fatter than she actually is. It just shocks me how differently I see things about myself than what other people see. It actually makes me feel kind of insane. I know intellectually how poisonous culture is for women's body image. But since I don't really feel negative toward my body (at least not most of the time) I guess I don't always realize just how pervasive it is.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 26th, 2013 07:24 am (UTC)
I feel as though I kind of relate to some of this in my own way. It's a topic I find extremely difficult to talk about.
Dec. 27th, 2013 12:14 am (UTC)
It's a hard thing to talk about. One thing I'm experimenting with is not keeping stuff inside, especially if it's something that I think is a common feeling. This in particular I think has infiltrated a lot of our heads.
Dec. 26th, 2013 03:42 pm (UTC)
In my experience, this seems to be startlingly common among very thin women. The number of thin women who have thought that I was close to their size always surprises me. I always associated this with a combination of societal dysmorphia and an odd assumption that healthy and fit must mean thin, regardless of the person's actual size.
Dec. 26th, 2013 03:51 pm (UTC)
That last sentence sounds very true to me. If you look normal and I feel normal-- or whatever, substitute any common adjective for "normal" here --we must be the same, right? I don't feel particularly exceptional in any way, if only because society gets into my head just as much as anybody else's.
Dec. 26th, 2013 04:41 pm (UTC)
I think I can empathize. I've had similar feelings regarding my intellect.

In the abstract, I know I'm smarter than most of the population at large. But I don't feel especially smart. I feel average. And I can point out all the things I'm just not capable of doing no matter how much brainpower I spend trying, (e.g. I'm shit-awful at chess, I'm a painfully slow reader, I love strategy games but consistently lose to the likes of Brewer and Bernie...) but I'm just excusing the hits and counting the misses.

I wonder if this is true in other contexts as well.
Dec. 27th, 2013 02:16 am (UTC)
Oh, now that you mention it, I bet it applies to a lot of things. I think women are particularly encouraged to doubt themselves, to not think themselves as special as they might actually be. Thinking of it now, there's a lot of areas where I feel pressure to think that way about myself. This is just a particularly bad way for me.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

About Me

My name is Phoebe. I'm Boston area theater professional and English professor focused in writing, acting, directing, and modeling. I'm known for having lots of interests, lots of opinions about those interests, and a very high estimation of the value thereof. This blog is for talking about whatever's on my mind, from my daily life to my activities to musing on any number of abstract topics. Thanks for taking the time to read.

My productions:

Upcoming Productions:

MRS. HAWKING part 2 and 3

at the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016

presented by The Chameleon's Dish

Vivat Regina
by Phoebe Roberts

at 2PM


Base Instruments
by Phoebe Roberts

at 6PM

Saturday, May 13th 2017
at 274 Moody Street, Waltham, MA

Other Achievements:

"The Tailor at Loring's End" screenplay
Quarter Finalist in the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition 2013

"Adonis" screenplay
Top Ten Percent in the Bluecat Screenwriting Contest 2015

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April 2017


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