Being an X-Large person continues to be a damning label in current societal views of body awareness. There is a trend that has begun to make ripples of valuing health over size but the grip of judgment surrounding a person’s body size is far from loosening. Why is it okay to have extra large televisions, cars, houses, and yet it is not okay to be that in your physical body? Bigger is better when it comes to objects and is a sign of success (or debt depending on how you look at it!) but when it comes to extra large in bodies and clothing, it’s regarded as a sign of failure—a lack of control.
Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D. , a Clinical Professor of Family and Community Medicine at UCSF School of Medicine and Founder and Director of the Institute for the Study of Health and Illness at Commonweal, and author of Kitchen Table Wisdom and My Grandfather’s Blessings, was on an episode of “Lunch with Bokara” on rituals and she said, “We have edited life in such a way that none of us can belong to life anymore because we have wrinkles or we have illnesses. We don’t fit and so our love doesn’t matter because we’re not good enough. We’re all not good enough in some way. We are all ashamed of something in [ourselves] that really isn’t worth the shame.”
Media perpetuates this feeling of shame regarding how we look and continues to dictate how we should look. No one ever condemns the neighbor who just bought the large flat-screen TV, or upgraded his or her home theater. As a matter of fact, they are applauded and looked at as being successful. But if that same neighbor suddenly gained weight, then damnation and judgment begins of being regarded as a failure [in self-control of eating] or questions that something might be physically wrong for them to have “let themselves go.”
I just loved that quote from Dr. Remen and it struck a deep chord with me on how we are indeed editing life in a way that none of us could truly feel a sense of belonging unless we play by rules that some other people created. I am asking each of us to stop the judgment and to stop the editing. X-Large, or x-small, so what? As long as you’re a good person, I don’t care what size you are.
Taking it deeper.