Me and Angelina Jolie….


I watched “The Tourist” with Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp last night.  I watched this film because…. well, come on, people…. It’s Johnny Depp!!   Anyway, I’ve never been an Angelina Jolie fan.  And this film pretty much sucked, but there were pretty people to watch.  And as I watched Angelina Jolie, I found it hard to believe that she and I are in the same species.

 I think she’s kind of weird (like Billy Bob Thornton weird), and if I stumble across some “news” item about her and Brad Pitt and their baseball team of children, I have to fight the urge to vomit.  But there were scenes in this film where she was poised, beautiful, and very feminine.  Of course, filming in Paris and Venice may have added to that romantic illusion a little.  But the way she carried herself was ethereally graceful, like a gazelle.  She didn’t walk; she was gliding.

 If Angelina Jolie’s a gazelle, I’m a rhinoceros.   And I don’t mean that negatively.  Rhinos are pretty freakin COOL.

Her teeny little waist is probably about the size of my calf.  I just can’t imagine how small her bone structure is in comparison to mine.  She even has a teeny little head.  No one notices because of those lips, but next time you see her standing next to a person with a normal sized head, – look.  Teeny little bird head.  And I suppose if you only weigh 86 pounds, you can glide on designer heels through Paris.  I, on the other hand, am clutzy.  I stumble over my own feet and am not normally very gazelle-like.  I’m built more like a linebacker.  Broad, solid shoulders, muscular legs, normal sized head.  It’s just WEIRD to me that human beings can be so different.

 Angelina Jolie can look drop dead gorgeous with the right makeup and lighting.  Or, she can look like hammered shit.  I submit to you that this is true of every single woman on the planet.  We all have moments of beauty- some of us even have consecutive days of it.  Personally I think it has more to do with an inner glow, confidence and radiating love than good cheekbones.  What that thin, pretty woman has on the outside is what I have on the inside; my packaging is just different.

 I truly don’t envy this freakishly small headed but gorgeous woman. I think I’ve broken out of what the media tells me I need to look like.  I don’t wish I were prettier, taller, had better hair (well, I do wish that some days), younger, thinner.  I just want to be comfortable in my own skin.  I would like to lose some weight as a measure of self care and to feel better- but not to look better.  I’ve never really been all that hung up on what I look like on the outside.  This drives Goodwife Bitchface and Chet CRAZY.  They want me to look like Angelina Jolie.  That’s never gonna happen.  My head’s wayyyyy too big.

 I went through a time in adolescence where I judged my appearance harshly.  By age 13,  Rosie the Fat Girl had been sneaking extra food, raiding mom’s chocolate stash and stealing cookies for years.  Because Rosie thought so, I felt like the fattest pig that ever lived.  I look at photos of me at age 13 now, and I see that girl in a different light.  I went from wearing an undershirt in 6th grade to *BOOM* huge boobs in like 2 weeks.  I was built like a brick shithouse at 13.  I had no idea how to handle the wolf whistles from construction workers when I was walking to MIDDLE SCHOOL.  I looked older than I was.  Because of my history of sexual abuse, I had no desire to be attractive; attractive wasn’t safe.  So any efforts made by family members to clean me up and make me look like a girl were met with resistance.  I didn’t WANT prettier hair.  I didn’t WANT to show off my legs. All that attention freaked me out, and I was certain that men would leave me alone if I got fat.  So I did.  You see, fat was the worst thing you could be.  Everyone always told me not to eat so much or I’d get fat.  Fat people were ridiculed, called pigs, and absolutely considered slovenly, weak, and lazy by the people around me when I was growing up.  I hated myself for being fat, but being fat was the only defense I felt I had.  I hated that I wanted to be something different but didn’t know how to handle being a beautiful young teenager.  So, I dressed in sloppy T shirts that my mother hated.  I hid my figure, because I thought I was a cow.  I slouched and slinked around, feeling repugnant.  It was like I was DARING my family and friends to still love me, no matter how big I got.  I gained more and more weight in adolescence and early adulthood.

 And I discovered that my inner selfness shone out through the fat.  Believe it or not, some boys still found me attractive.  That baffled me.  Some men like hefty chicks.  So, I still got attention.  And I tried to hide behind a bigger and bigger wall of weight.  Relatives would mail me cookie recipes and articles about weight loss in the same envelope.  What the fuck was I supposed to think of THAT?!?  Talk about a mixed message.  I spent a number of years disowning my body and hating myself.

 I can’t tell you exactly when the tide really shifted for me, because learning to love myself is still an ongoing struggle- a peeling back of layers upon layers of self loathing.  Some days are better than others.  But I can tell you where the first major shift outside of therapy occurred.  I had that one lover.  You know, the guy that didn’t stick around long but gave me a huge gift and  taught me to let go sexually and be comfortable in my body naked.  To “rock what I got,” as he used to put it.  I had been sexually active before I met this man, but it had never really been that big of a thrill.  I couldn’t understand what the big deal about sex was until I had it with this man.  Holy crap.  The earth shifted.  It absolutely changed the way I feel about myself.  And if you can be confident with another person when you’re naked, you can be confident anywhere.  Seriously. 

 So I’m still trying to learn to make better choices out of self care.  Trying to eat healthier.  Find some way to move and get some exercise.  This is a challenge, because most of my activities are sedentary.  It’s hard to work up a sweat reading a book.  And I hate to sweat.  I live inTexas.  I sweat enough just going about my day.  Why would I want to sweat more?  Well, to drop some pounds, move better, have less pain, and maybe live longer.  So, I try to shift the way I look at things.  When I put down that 35 pound bucket of cat litter, I tell myself “This is how good it will feel to let go of 35 pounds.” 

 I’m trying to talk Rosie into letting go of food a little.  It scares her to think about it.  So, I spent some time trying to calm her down and to get her to look at things outside her comfort zone.  It’s a challenge.  She’s pretty willful for a little kid.  But we’re developing a relationship.  I take time during meditation to talk to her.  Most of all, I listen to her. I let her be scared.  I acknowledge it and own it.  The only way out of the darkness is through it.  I hold her hand and tell her I will take care of her no matter what.  That she’s safe. That I understand how she feels and I will never turn my back on her again.  I embrace that inner fat girl.  I feel empathy and sadness for her.  I feel her rage.  I give it a voice, and all of a sudden I don’t want to eat an entire pizza because I’m trying to avoid my feelings.  Great changes are coming, Rosie.  It’s going to be incredible.  I can’t wait to show you how different life can be!

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~ by dancingwiththeshadow on April 28, 2011.

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