Saturday, March 1, 2008


I went into the local coffee-chain store the other morning and saw two of them. Anas. Anorexics. My age, or maybe a little younger.

They scare me.

The two I saw wore yoga-style clingy black capri pants and zip-up sweatshirts. Their shrunken behinds and stick legs were anchored to the floor by sneakers that look gigantic below their spindly little ankles. They moved carefully, clearly afraid if they get knocked down they'll shatter. So, maybe it's not that they scare me -- I probably scare them. The sweatshirts they wore were remarkable because it was 72 degrees and sunny -- one of those rare February days when Summer steals a day from Winter. The rest of the caffeine-addicts in line wore short sleeves; some even wore shorts and flip-flops.

Not the Anas, though -- by the way they cradled their hot paper cups of coffee with their fingers laced tight around them, I could see they were cold.
And hairy.

Their faces were fuzzy, and, from seeing other Anas who wore short sleeves, I know their arms were hairy as well.

I saw one of those "Behind the Scene" segments on an entertainment news show a couple of years back; it showed the filming of a Chanel Number 5 ad, starring Nicole Kidman. She was front-lit and the camera caught her being fussed over by a wardrobe person. She was wearing an open-backed dress and stood poised, ready to run across a rooftop or some damn thing. Anyway, my thought was, "Wow! I can see every single bone of her spinal chord!"

As though reading my thoughts, the editor for the segment immediately changed shots after that, replaced it with one of her looking radiant, gorgeous, and slim, as opposed to fleshless.

I later saw a trailer for the Stepford Wives movie. The screen in the movie theatre was filled with an extreme close-up of her face, twenty feet tall, and I saw it -- she was hairy. And it made me sad. Here she is, an Academy Award-winning actress, beautiful and at the top of her game -- with the Anas hairy thing going on. HD format must be a bitch for the makeup people.

Skinny I understand. I'm skinny. Both naturally so, and also because I decided to drop about thirty pounds so that I wouldn't turn into an old person whose joints ached from the extra weight.

So yeah, skinny I get. So skinny that you get hairy and skeletal, that's just sick.

And it is -- sick. I've read enough PSA's to know this is an aggression and hostility in women turned on themselves; control issues, body-image framed by the media -- I get that, I really do.

Still. Isn't there a moment when Anas look down at their arms and wonder when they started looking hirsute? And don't they wonder why their makeup gets caught in all that fur on their jawlines?

Anas have a quality of desperation in their countenance. It's there, if you can get past the hollowed-out eye sockets, the papery-looking complexion, the pronounced lines framing their mouths -- is it the fear someone will make them eat? Or that their husbands will leave them for another younger, prettier (not hard to imagine; whatever prettiness Anas once had is a shallow facade in their bony faces) or, most damnable of all, a skinnier woman?

As if that were at all possible.


Yankee Doodle said...

Well my dear I about blew coke (the drink not the powder, after all I'm from Michigan) out my nose when I read your blog title. Kim and I just laughed.

Sawyer's Mommy said...

Love the blog! Yes, the anas are sad. They just had a news story on this on NBC this week. Sad, sad. I'm surprised they were even in a coffee line. I'd think that would be too many calories.

Rebecca said...

Love your blog!

Yes, so sad about the anas. I've dealt with that before, with a very close friend. Took her years to stop abusing and destroying her body. Thankfully she got help, and was able to be educated on healthier options.

Belle-ah said...

Love the blog...BTW, I constantly fear the slumpadinkas that I run it contagious? As much as the AA would frighten me...slumpadinkas even more.