I Hope You Know You Were Always Beautiful

A friend of mine is posting photos of herself after her tremendous weight loss. She’s very proud. A hundred pounds, shed.

I can’t see a difference.

Oh, I mean, I can see a difference, I’m not blind; a smaller ass, less curvy hips, a thinner face. But she’s still beautiful to me in both sets of photos. She’s so happy that I’ve gone back and looked over her old pictures, just to ensure there’s something I’m not missing:

Nope. Still lovely as ever. In both incarnations.

And I don’t want to say anything because it’s her body, and she has the right to do with it as she pleases. If this slimmer self makes her feel sexier, then I support that. Anything that raises the happiness level and hurts no one is something I support.

But still.

I hope you feel sexier because this new body is what you saw yourself as all along, and not something you were pushed into because idiots were mean to you when you were fatter. I hope you know that there are some very thin people who aren’t pretty at all, just sort of lanky and mean-faced because they are mean. I hope you know that sexiness and prettiness and all of that other rot is something that comes from within, a beauty that rises to the surface because you’re something special, not an external thing that gets erased when you gain twenty pounds.

And yeah, I know society has a “Be a jerk for free” card that’s quietly handed out to everyone around a fat person. It’s not easy, being fat in America, because some doctors will blame every symptom on your weight and some people will assume you’re slovenly and poor and the commercials tell you that you have no worth until you’ve thrown off those couple of pounds.

The real weight you’re carrying is not the fat. It’s the expectations.

So I’m glad you’re proud because you lost weight and are bathing in the adulation of all the folks saying, “You look good!” I get that. After my heart surgery I lost forty pounds, and some people were all complimentary, as if this near-fatal incident was an awesome thing. It’s nice to have those mean people stop being mean.

Still. I hope you know that you were always pretty, at least to me.

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