A friend gave me a video from ballet class a year ago. One year and 15lbs ago…I thought I was fat then even though everyone told me a I looked sick.
It is obvious I am much thinner than I am now. I look hollow, concave in the middle but not thin enough. I can seek sunken cheeks and collar bones but it is not enough. I knew this even then. I see my pants hanging off my hip bones but I know that I can be thinner still. I can see I am pale and there are a few places in the video when I catch glimpses of myself shaking from a lack of nutrition. I remember how dizzy I was that day. I am surprised I made it through class but I can see my stash of coffee, electrolyte powder and water in the corner of the studio by my ballet shoes.
What disturbs me most about the video is how uncomfortable I am in my own skin. I have always been aware of it but the video shows how constant it is. My focus is distracted by my reflection. I can see my eyes always darting sideways to see what I look like. I know I am not looking to correct my technique or placement or lines. I am looking at how fat I am. This class goes on for two hours. I tug incessantly at my many layers of clothes: leg warmers, tights, leotard, plastic pants, cut out t-shirt, sweat shirt, extra socks, scarf…I am trying to drown the body I do not want to accept as mine.