Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Hollywood Moment

I was having dinner a few nights ago with some friends. One of them, a successful set designer, started on a rant: “I am a fat blob. I hate what I have done to myself! No one told me how huge I got since I quit smoking. I stepped on a scale and I freaked out. So I bought one of those running machines. I've been sweating my ass off on it for three weeks and I only lost three pounds. I am disgustingly fat.”

"Honey, this can't just be about the weight," I said, trying to dig a little deeper. It turns out that my friend is nominated for an award and might have to get on stage to give an acceptance speech in front of colleagues and other power players in the industry. Forget feeling proud of that accomplishment (or the other major achievement of staying smoke free for a year). No, all attention was focused on the f-a-t.

Sound like a typical dinner among girlfriends? Well, the set designer I am talking about? He's a guy--a man with an impressive body of work, a very talented professional held in the highest esteem by many people in the business. Unfortunately, he doesn't see himself in that positive light.

It continues to amaze me how our cultural obsession with weight can take these moments when we (both women and men) should feel happily full of ourselves and turn them into moments full of miserable self-loathing. Have you ever let weight or body insecurities overshadow a moment when you should have felt deliriously ecstatic and/or proud of yourself?

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