I have a friend named Teresa, who is newly diagnosed diabetic. (She blogs at I'm Sweet Enough.) She posted links (on Plurk, of course--where I get all my links) to some stories about new weight-loss discoveries/attitudes about weight loss, and one such link (posted in her thread, but not by her) really got me thinking. This blog post by Kate Harding I found particularly thought-provoking, because I know whereof Kate speaks, though from the other direction.
See, I'm not fat, and never have been. I know that thinness isn't the be all and end all, because I, despite my average weight and trim waist, do not have an ideal life. In particular, I find it near impossible to start a conversation (though I have few problems joining a conversation that's going, nor am I cripplingly shy when addressed). Because of this, I have almost no friends in real life, and even fewer who are around my age, though this last doesn't really bother me, since I've always preferred the company of adults. I think before I speak to a painful degree, which is why I much prefer the online existence, where I can edit my image and words as endlessly as I choose without missing many opportunities to make friends. On a college campus, though, few people stand still long enough for someone to compose the perfect introduction speech (and no doubt script the first few exchanges of words as well--I find my interior life much more entertaining than any out there).
So yeah. The Fantasy of Being Thin struck a chord, and made me realize that either I need to accept that this is how I am, or push myself consciously beyond my comfort zone, till I can actually start a conversation. Most people are nice, after all, and small talk is an essential skill. And really, probably the solution is not either/or, but both--accept that starting conversations is not something I'm naturally comfortable with, but something that nevertheless I need to do. And I can't very well learn it any younger, can I?