Entry Two; thinner

A gentle disclaimer before continuing, if you feel like you have an eating disorder or some sort (I will try my best to tell my experience explicitly, but you should consider this as a caution), you may stop right here and read my other entry instead

Beautiful — is such a funny word. The only adjective that doesn’t need to be sounded or visualized and eventually translated via the mouth, but it’s there, sits flawlessly right in your mind like what you imagine. You could picture it vaguely inside your head: a blooming daisy, or a tall blonde girl, and your mind still tells you they were beautiful.

But here’s the thing about Beautiful, the adjective. It’s built ambiguously in such a way that it’s becoming a mythical deity and holds the most privilege out of all adjectives. I have a theory (well, more like a playful imagination), that if Beautiful was a living person, she’d be a prideful one. Not in a mean way, but maybe a little intimidating.

I see her like she is the Miranda Presley (of The Devil Wears Prada), she’d have walked past everyone, flaunting her ankle boots’ footfalls and put Anna Wintour (by no means to disrespect the Vogue Magazine editor in chief) to shame. She’d scan whoever worthy thoroughly, demands of perfection. Perfection. It’s all about it. Screw those *cough* social justice warriors who tried to entice (most of the time coerce) you with their body positivity campaign while forgetting the fact that it’s a battle to live in a country where its people called girls in size 4 a two bodied water tanks. If that’s already a hard pill to swallow then wait until you hear what kind of crazy shit people — myself included — have done to impress this Miranda Presley. In other simple words, to be beautiful.

Over the years, I have heard the term ‘Beauty is pain’, but not until a few years back I learned what it really meant, and living with it. That summer of 2020, after watching a couple of episodes of The Crown season 2 (Was an amazing show, by the way), my mind began to wander, in the little corner of my brain (dedicated to anxiety), there’s only one question that echoes:
What have I done to myself all these times?

Diana Spencer (in the series played by Emma Corrin) was only 20 something years old, married to the Prince of Wales, she immediately became the epitome of beauty: a princess’ beauty, the royal’s beauty, the living, walking beauty. No one knew, behind the closed curtain, the prices she had to pay for those titles that the media branded on her skin. None knows, she’s secretly sneaking out of her grand royal bedroom in the middle of the night, feasting on sugars only to puke it out in the toilet an hour after, deliberately.
That scene hit me like a train wreck. It awakens something I locked in the safest vault and I buried in my deepest subconscious in the name of beauty. I remember my earliest year of high school where I would starve myself, then eat like a maniac, and the next thing I know, I’d gripped the edge of the sink, eyes bawling, stomach empty. Back then, I blamed how overly sensitive I was to critiques and that it would soon no longer trigger me because I’d be more mature in the future. And it passed for some period of time, I didn’t do it anymore (and to this day I wonder, how couldn’t I stop myself the way I do before) I thought I’ve healed. After several years of free episodes. But I have yet not.

Last year, I fell in love with someone (for the record, I am not trying to blame him through this entry), and the way our relationship went manifests a lot in my mental state (I prefer not to explain it furthermore out of privacy matter). I was so afraid of losing someone I dearly cared about so much that I wanted him to see me as he would never see anyone else. That kicked the long-lost monster I thought I had killed a long time ago. I began to lessen my eating, lesser every day that it eventually drowse me up. A lot of things going on in my relationship that I didn’t think I had energy left and I needed to eat something to feed my frustration. So I ate, a lot, a lot of lot. Then I would be panicking, frantically regretting what I’ve done. Running to the toilet one night, emptying my stomach, whilst condemning myself.
It was the whole year of self-convincing (or denying): that if I was not doing it regularly, perhaps, I was not that sick. I was just trying to maintain my weight. Like other people — girls — do. The most hurting part of this lying is that I eat normally only for my loved ones to see, to keep them away from their suspiciousness. I did not want them to see me losing weight so drastically.
Not so long ago, I told a friend about this. I asked whether or not it was called bulimic If I had the thought of throwing up all of the meals after eating them in the fear of gaining weight. Of course, I had already known the answer. But then this friend asked again if I had manifested those thoughts. I lied. What else could I say? It was shameful to admit that I had gone through such a repulsive act only to look pretty to one eye. The truth is, I had tortured myself since long before I met the person I love, the one I wanted to impress, I hurt myself since I knew the word beautiful. Since people started to point out the chunk of fat nested in my thighs, my belly, my arms. Since they fed me with that adjective: I’m beautiful, ONLY IF.

Only if I’m thin and skinny, and lean and fashion runway-worthy.

If you wonder how I am now, I am healthy. In the last three months of 2020, I’ve fallen sick due to cumulation of both physical and mental state. And that (thankfully) stopped me, at last. I consulted with the professionals and is now still in therapy. But I can say that I’m progressing a lot. Through the journey, I oftentimes asked the therapist what I was battling with. Was it the mythical deity herself, ‘beautiful’ the adjective, and the way I depict it or was it my insecurity? She said I was not battling anything or anyone, and that was not a battle. This is me now taking the turn and getting back to the arching way I went. That’s why I have to do it carefully. I’m also no longer in a relationship with the person I told you about. I realized that he was a tiny cup and I was the water who was filling him overwhelmingly like a waterfall trying to fill a little pond. My water was on its halfway to drown both of us (in my case, it was already drowning me in the context of my eating disorder) So I let go, hoping that my water would be useful for another person in the future.

I am writing this heavy heartedly by recalling those moments. Back and forth I’m thinking, is this going to trigger anyone out there? Is this too personal? Would people think I over-share it? However, someone said to me that maybe writing this could be a way I make peace with everything. I’m making peace with my Miranda Presley, so she can finally put the gun down and settle this battle once and for all. I’m not made for her: I’m not made to be entirely, perfectly beautiful. And I can live with it now.

PS; Thank you for reading, I tried to chronologically tell you the whole thing but i wasn’t prepared for the overwhelming emotion, it still is an experience i wish i could undo (or fix sooner) so i’m sorry for butchering my words. But i hope my story can help whoever shares similar struggle as mine somehow.

Wholeheartedly,

L.

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a tiny bug dangling over the lamp dreaming of becoming wordsmith. Inq📩 sekarlintanghapsar@gmail.com

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Lintang

Lintang

a tiny bug dangling over the lamp dreaming of becoming wordsmith. Inq📩 sekarlintanghapsar@gmail.com

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