Saturday, October 03, 2009

Messed Up

Hello! I arise to tell you a story that really crystallized for me how messed up we are in the US about thinking about how women's bodies should look.

Last night I was at a party for R's department, talking to a student who knew the part of the world I do research in. She was asking about my research and if I was "tough" because of having to live in harsh field conditions. I told her the only harsh condition was the food, which resulted in me quickly losing a lot of weight. But when I returned everyone kept saying how good I looked like 20 pounds lighter. And I had to reply -- I don't look good, I look starved! This is not healthy! The other woman has a similar experience where she was really sick for awhile and lost a lot of weight and everyone complimented her on how good she looked. Both of us were amazed at the experience of being malnourished and sickly and yet receiving more compliments on our looks than ever. Dude, that ain't right.


Albatross said...

Is there ever the opposite concern when you are there? People wondering/being concerned about your health as you lose weight?

I'm catching up--- Congrats on the position this year!

Laurie said...

Oooh... good question. The local people do worry about me, and always think I am too skinny. But the other Americans do not generally. I am not sure they notice it, seeing me all day and also in most cases not knowing what I look like at home.