We talked about the image of the ideal women in the form of models who were mostly unhealthy teenage girls...We talked about how most women's sense of self esteem still largely rests on what they look like and how much they weigh despite their other accomplishments. We talked about the idea that women in the post-feminist era, while supposedly strong and commanding and equal to men in every sense, looked weaker and smaller than ever before... I remember feeling ashamed for calling myself a feminist when I had blatantly succumbed to the oppression of the mass media telling me what was beautiful, how to look, and what to weigh. I had always prided myself on the fact that I was smart, analytical, and someone who didn't "fall for it." By starving myself into society's beauty ideal, I had compromised my success, my independence, and my quality of life. Being overweight was really no different. It was just the "F-you" response to the same pressure. I was still responding to the pressure to comply to the fashion industry's standards of beauty, just in the negative sense. I was still answering to their demands when I really shouldn't have been listening to them at all. The images of stick-thin prepubescent girls never should have had power over me. I should've had my sights set on successful businesswomen and successful female artists, authors, and politicians to emulate. Instead I stupidly and pointlessly just wanted to be considered pretty. I squandered my brain and my talent to squeeze into a size 2 dress while my male counterparts went to work on making money, making policy, making a difference.
Unbearable Lightness - Portia De Rossi