It was when I was thrift store shopping that I remembered that one of the things I want to do when I get a wheelbarrow full of money, besides purchase a nuclear-powered stove and get my name etched on the surface of the moon, was get a tummy tuck. Flat-out, straight-up plastic surgery.
I knew I’d want one even before I got weight loss surgery. My stomach has always made me uncomfortable—I remember thinking as a teenager, when a friend confessed that she had let the boy she was making out with put his hand down her pants, that I could NEVER, EVER do that. He would TOUCH my STOMACH. The idea filled me with revulsion.
My own body, filling me with revulsion.
There’s so much wrong with that. There’s everything wrong with that. I don’t know how to explain how much there is that’s wrong with it. I don’t know how to fix it, either, except to do the same thing I did. I went and got weight loss surgery, because I thought my size and my shape and my fat were repulsive.
And I thought I had come to terms with that. That whatever problems I have, they were not the sole consequence of being fat, and that being fat was not an ugly thing or bad thing, that being fat was having a particular physical description, not a moral failing.
So see, weight loss surgery did make me a better person after all! We are all beautiful unique flowers with beautiful bodies and precious souls.
Except that I want to go get a tummy tuck because I think the stomach I have left over, from having been twice as wide as I am now, is ugly, unappealing, will actually physically repel anyone who glimpses it.
The idea of anyone looking at my stomach makes me so uncomfortable I can hardly sit still. It is difficult to continue to type this, to continue to talk about this idea. To confront the fact that the way we deal with the things we dislike about our bodies is so often to find a way to fix it.
I want to be fixed. There it is. Weight loss surgery was a way to fix my body, tattoos are a way to fix my body, saving up six thousand dollars and letting a doctor whack off the skin he calls “excess” and hauling it all up like he was pulling up a pair of panties for me—that will fix my body. Until I figure out what else needs fixing, and how much it’s going to cost to fix it.