Monday, June 04, 2007

On being big, its a small thing


Sometimes, something very very small gets me thinking about something big.

That something small was just a throwaway line at a cafe. When you ordered cake at this cafe you were asked if you wanted cream on the side. I sure did. So I ordered it. In everyone had cake and everyone had cream on the side. Of course I was the only one who finished my entire dollop of cream (it was delicious!) and thus the small thing, the small thing that made me think of the bigger thing.
The small thing that was the throwaway line.

"Somebody enjoyed their cream didn't they."

Yes, I did enjoy my cream thanks. (As if perhaps not finishing my cream would have somehow been more virtuous.) I don't know what was meant by the line, and as its a small thing. Probably nothing. But it got me thinking. Thinking about women and food and how we treat each other. How value has suddenly become related to size. How interesting a woman is has to do with how thin she is. And why do we perpetuate this towards each other?

Probably nothing was meant by this line, and that might be even worse. That something like this is said without thought. That to think less of a person because of the way they eat is some how so ingrained into our psyche now.

Of course I've had it both ways. I may have had a tuna salad for the third day in a row at work in an effort to eat more healthy, only to be asked " oh you're eating that again!?" which again is a small thing. Its a throwaway line. No doubt if I was eating hot chips for the third day in a row from the cafeteria I would also endure some snide remark.

If it seems I am being oversensitive, you're right. But these small things have got me thinking about something bigger.

Susie 64kg
Can run 3km in less than 20 minutes
Can do 10 reps of two 9kg dumbbells in a chest press.
Can lift more than my body weight in a calf raise
eats salads, cream, steamed broccoli and pizza.
Is a woman with a waist, hips, muscles, breasts and thighs.
Always trying to do better and always trying to enjoy life and sometimes that means eating all the cream.

5 comments:

Cavegirl said...

I think that the person who said the comment is someone who has had to deal with comments about what they eat their entire life, so was doing that whole 'projection' thing. Was it her, or me? I can't remember. It doesn't sound like something I'd say, so if it was, I apologise because I would have meant it in a good way. I love cream. Actually, so would she.

James said...

Of course, were you really serious you'd take extra cream along with you. Preferably clotted cream (insert drooling here).

Zee said...

I thought the cream was really nice, and didn't even notice the comment.

I didn't finish my wee pottle of cream, but only cos I held off too much in my cake-eating frenzy ;o)

Anonymous said...

I WANT CREAM NOW! AND LOTS OF IT! Down with cake! Up with cream!

cass said...

hi susie, i'm cass (nina's faraway friend).
i was really struck by what you said. i have experienced similar comments and similar self- and social analysis after the point.
i always thought that was because i am fat.
i think, as was so eloquently demonstrated in that killing us softly video, that we, as womenn, have very unhealthy attitudes towards eating. the pressure that "we are what we eat" - meaning if we eat a lot we will be fat and if we eat little we will be thin, and hence inherently more beautiful and loveable - is on us all. i do feel, however, that it is unevenly distributed. if someone is overweight, everyone notices what they are eating. for example, if someone thin eats a whole pizza that is not disgusting, that is amusing, we may even praise them on the grand effort. if someone fat does the same we will all be quietly thinking or even saying that they are being gluttonous and unhealthy.
so i used to think that i was sensitive to these comments because i was fat but recently i've been thinking different. i think we are all sensitive. as cavegirl says the commenter was probably the most weight-conscious at the table. they were possibly so concerned not to eat all of the cream that they had to (subconsciously or otherwise) bring attention to you eating all of yours as a way to brag, if you will, that they had been more restrained... a kind of subtle "look at me mum, i'm being good."
that said, it might have been nothing.
wow, rant. sorry, don't get me started.
nice to "meet" you :-)
cass