All I could think about was how thin she had looked when I saw her this summer, and how happy she was about her weight loss. It reminded me of another friend who died from colon cancer too. Her first symptom was also sudden unexpected weight loss, and her response was also joy. She was totally psyched that she was "finally" able to lose "the weight."
I'm not saying that the outcome would have been different in either of their cases had they sought medical treatment sooner, because I think that once you start losing weight like that, the cancer is probably already pretty advanced. But I just can't get it out of my brain that here were these two women who were both experiencing what should have been a massive red flag that something was wrong, yet both of them saw the weight loss as as sign that they were actually getting healthier - because our sick, sick, sick culture tells us that thinner is always better.
Now, I wouldn't be honest if I didn't admit that I have plenty of "issues" in this department. As someone who struggled with eating disorders all through high school and college, I know that my vision is not crystal clear when it comes to issues of weight and body image.
But right now, I just feel angry.
I feel angry that we live in a world where one of the worst insults you can throw at a person... especially a woman, is that they're "fat." It's just a big code word that says you're selfish and greedy and entitled and can't control your "urges."
I am angry that we live in a world where soda pop and Happy Meals are government subsidized foods, while farmers who grow organic vegetables have to pay extra to certify their crops to ensure that they are "safe."
I am angry that we live in a world where half of the corporations are making a fortune selling us fake food, chemicals and other crap that is killing us, while the other half are making billions by convincing us all that we're inadequate and need to buy their stupid thigh buster machines so we'll be socially acceptable, or selling us this or that drug that we need to stay "healthy."
I am angry that we live in a world that gives lip service to "being healthy" while simultaneously making every single healthy choice either more expensive, or more inconvenient, or making it into evidence that you are weird, or lazy, or paranoid, or some sort of a fanatical "health freak". When did getting by on 4-5 hours of sleep per night start being viewed as a heroic act rather than the self-sabotaging stupidity that it really is?
I am angry that we live in a world where what's considered beautiful is some Photo-Shopped Barbie doll fantasy with no hips or thighs, huge tits, and a perfect little anatomically impossible face. No real woman is really ever "good enough."
I am angry that society's image of beauty has gotten so far away from healthy that most of us can't even distinguish what a "normal" body size is!
I am angry that we live in a world where every woman is supposed to be "sexy," but they sure as hell aren't supposed to be sexual.
And mostly I am angry that we live in a world where we're all so totally effed up about our bodies, and our sexuality, and our diets and our health, that on some level we really can't even distinguish living from dying.