Shrinks, people that encourage you to think smaller, be smaller, live smaller.
My shrinks were not the least bit metaphorical with me. At first, when I looked at this question, I thought it might not apply; then I thought (legitimately) that maybe I am the metaphorical shrink at times – this is my crazymaking skill – I did suggest a friend who ran for president perhaps consider local office first, as a stepping stone. That’s a pretty shrinky thing to say, although I sincerely believed he would learn some valuable things on the local level. Then, I thought about all the things I’ve done to shrink myself: I chose my first college based on low competition. I write in the occult field yes, because I have a passion for it, but also because it’s smaller and good writers (versus knowledgeable ones) are scarce.
But then it it hit me: I have spent my life surrounded by literal shrinks. I’m a big woman. Even at times in my life when my BMI was doctor-approved (BMI is bullshit, btw) I had to wear XL clothing, couldn’t wear most bracelets and I was taller than average. Yet I remember my first diet happening when I was around 4 – stepping on the scale and biting into a plum. Every day of my life for years I’ve had people walk up to me and make presumptuous comments about my weight and from there make nasty assumptions about my worth as a human being.
I’ve handled most by giving them advice on how to feel better about their own bodies. I recommend HAES. I suggested one woman who tried using 9/11 to fat shame me take bellydance lessons. I occasionally blurt back, “I’m still more attractive than you are.” (This, disturbingly, is often true. Fat is the ultimate wrinkle cream.)
I started Fat Chic.
I’ve been shrinking the shrinks since I turned 30.
Wow. I’m awesome.