Thursday, 21 October 2010

Date night... with Michelle Pfeiffer ;)

Again, thank you for the encouraging comments on my last post - you guys are great :)

So, Wednesday is normally date night in our house. We don't manage it every single week, but we try and set that night aside just to hang out together, at home or out somewhere. Probably it's my favourite part of the week :)

Anyway last night A and I stayed in and watched "I could never be your woman" with Michelle Pfeiffer and Paul Rudd on DVD, which neither of us had seen before. Now, how they managed to persuade such an incredible cast (cameos from Paul Mitchell and Wallace Shawn, among others) to appear in such a dire movie is beyond me, but that's not the point.

Well, I'm fairly straight, but I do like a movie with a gorgeous female lead, and Michelle happens to be one of my favourites. If I look half as good as her when I'm 48 or whatever, I'll be a happy woman. But that's by the by. This movie was - totally unexpectedly - probably the most triggering thing I've seen all year. Not only is she about 10lbs smaller than her normal tiny self, which reduces her thighs to approximately the size of my arms, but the whole movie is *full* of references to counting calories, and being little. From a scene where Michelle's character makes her discouraged daughter instantly relate to her math homework by turning the problem into "...and then you eat a 60 calorie plum, and in total you've eaten 140 calories, how many calories were in each cookie?"to a mother-daughter shopping trip in which the little girl bursts into tears at being "fat and not pretty", to the same girl's cute parody of Alanis Morissette's 'Ironic' with the chorus

"it's insane
that they lose so much weight
it's young to cope with no food on her plate
it's a fallacy barfing up a cake
they think they're so cute, stick figures

honestly, not even a "normal" person would be able to watch it without thinking about eating disorders all the way through.

(Tenuously connected sidenote: this movie could also feature in a "how to make sure your daughter grows up anorexic" guidebook; from that perspective it's kind of perverse. Speaking of which, did any UK readers come across this article in the Mail the other day? For you highbrow readers, it was also in the Telegraph, but without the obnoxious "it would be preferable for my 8-year-old daughter to develop anorexia than for her to become fat; with anorexia you just pop into therapy and get better, but obesity haunts you forever" quote. I want to find that woman and take her to an ED ward in a hospital. And then take her poor child away from her.)

Anyway, back to the movie... even A, who I think tries really hard not to make triggering statements about other women's bodies, couldn't help but mention how skinny Michelle Pfeiffer was. He said "she's like a stick!". We narrowly avoided an argument when I pointed out that she's probably the same size as his ex, but he said "Charlotte was too thin; I thought it was kind of gross". Well, I didn't know what to make of that; the biggest girl (as far as I'm aware; this is purely based on facebook photo stalking...) whom he's dated / fooled around with / had a crush on couldn't have been any bigger than a UK 8 (think that's a US 4?), and is now a topless model in Australia. So I've always assumed that his beautiful ideal was just very very tiny and physically perfect. I'm a UK 10 (US 6). And he does tell me all the time that he loves my body, that women should have curves and breasts and a bum, but secretly I've always thought that he tolerates my body because he loves me. Now I don't know what to make of anything anymore.

So, I'd really wanted to post some Michelle thinspo for you all, but A was a little upset by that, and I'm trying really hard not to make things more stressful for him right now, so you might have to google it yourself. There's a lot of it out there though :)

On a more somber note, it did scare me a little. Now that I'm starting to think about giving this up, I'm realizing that triggers are everywhere, whether you look for them or not, even when you're consciously trying not to look for them. And I wonder if, years down the line, when I haven't thought about ana for ages, and I'm not counting calories, and I've found some kind of healthy balance for all this, there'll suddenly be situations or people or comments that set me right back to where I am now.

When I was in recovery last year, there were times that I honestly felt like I was getting stronger, really leaving this behind for good. But now I see that, psychologically at least, I'm in the same place I've been for the last couple years. And I wonder if you ever really leave, even if you really, really want to. I wonder if this thing ever doesn't have a hold on your mind. If it ever stops controlling your thoughts.

I know it's not very fashionable these days to believe in things like demon possession, and I feel so foolish even broaching this, but does anyone else ever feel like there's, kind of... something else, living inside her? I insist so strongly to A that I don't have one of "those" stigmatized illnesses where you hear things that aren't there... but does anyone else ever wonder where these thoughts and compulsions come from, who's telling them to be like this, who insists that she comes here every day, who tells her she can't eat? Does anyone else ever wonder when this stopped being about control and started being about *being* controlled? Is anyone else a little frightened by how much power this thing has over her?

1 comment:

Cinnamon Brown said...

I must agree, Michelle looks hot for 52. She was 49 when she did I.C.N.B.Y.W. Hope I look that good when I get there!

The media blames her husband, David E. Kelley for her small frame. It is said she lives on apples and water to stay so thin. Apparently he likes skinny girls. He directed Ally McBeal and was also blamed for female cast being so thin. Who knows!

I think the media is partly to blame for ED's. It's everywhere. One week the celebs are all too thin, the next, Victoria Beckham has the perfect curves! WTF?!

As far as demon possession goes, I've always believed it was linked the state of the individual's mind. Much like anorexia, the person develops a form of disassociation and it can well feel like there are several entities inhabiting your mind space at any given time. Just my opinion, not professional!

I'm sorry you're having such a rotten time of late, I hope things start to look up soon. Hang in there, S. Thinking of you. X.