Currently Reading: Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Suzuki Roshi
Currently Listening: Minor Threat’s Complete Discography
Along with people being surprised that I used to have an eating disorder (“Really? You?”), I also get surprised reactions when I tell people I don’t drink.
Nope. When I was 15, some of my friends started experimenting with drugs and sneaking downtown to parties to drink with older friends. I didn’t share their intrinsic interest in trying these things, but eventually went along and participated a few times because I was starting to feel left out. My lack of interest in substance use often translated into not being invited to hang out, because people knew I didn’t want to be around it.
After a few times giving it a shot, I decided I really had no desire to ever partake in any of it. I didn’t like not feeling like myself, and I didn’t like the way people acted when they were intoxicated. For a little while, this made me feel like an outcast. I think some of my friends felt judged by my decision, which wasn’t intentional but was sort of unavoidable.
“Although eating disorders…are not caused by visual images alone, these pathologies thrive in an environment in which so many “normal” people work so hard (and spend so much money) in pursuit of the perfect body.”
Even though it came out almost fifteen years ago, a lot of people I’ve spoken to about this book hadn’t heard of it. So, it seemed appropriate to do a write-up for it and encourage more people to read it, because it’s excellent!
With The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls, author and historian Joan Brumberg has pieced together a unique and invaluable historical account of how women and their bodies have been regarded in our country over the last 150 years using a combination of personal journals, medical textbooks, and other historical records.
Imagine being in the market for new clothing or undergarments and not having any standard sizes to reference. Prior to the sexual revolution of the 1920s, there wasn’t really any such thing as we think of it today. Undergarments were usually made by hand at home, and were far more about function than any fashion. As large companies began mass producing both undergarments and clothes, though, industry size standards cropped up to accommodate the emerging market, changing the way we thought about bodies and providing another form of measurement to scrutinize them by.
Currently Reading: The Body Project by Joan Jacobs Brumberg
Currently Listening: On The Impossible Past by The Menzingers
We don’t always reach our goals. Sometimes that’s because they weren’t realistic to begin with (I swear some day I’m going to keep my eyes open while sneezing) and sometimes it’s because things just didn’t work out.
Following my successful half marathon last November, I planned on running the spectacle that is Richmond’s Monument 10k. If you’re from RVA, you know the race well whether you run it or not, because if you aren’t participating in it, the 10k probably ruins any and every attempt to navigate the city until well into the afternoon. Continue reading