Ozempic and the Skin I’m In

I did Weight Watchers for a year with my mom, while taking a diet pill in secret. I lost the weight, put on the weight, put it off again, and put it on again. I compared myself, and still compare myself, to skin friends and enemies.

… It’s harder to restrict these days, and I’ve gained some of the weight back. I’m eating, I’m eating, but getting punished for how I look because of it. I’m still learning to love myself.
Fat Jewish women in media, whether a sitcom character written by a man or a ghoul featured in antisemitic propaganda, are associated with laziness and greediness. It hasn’t always been this way, but I don’t really want a ‘return’ to some practices like North African force-feeding of young girls to make them more desirable, or some German ideal of zaftig. I would like increasing diversification and more portrayal of many different body types. I would like to see fat and midsize women as delicate love interests, specifically, in Austen-like pieces. I want to develop new erotic and aesthetic languages. I’d like to see Isaac Mizrahi’s fashions on a big-bellied, big-backsided Neolithic Canaanite goddess statue. That kind of thing.

On a more personal note: I just wanted my mom to be proud of me and to feel like the person I was before I went off my ADHD medication, gained a bunch of weight, and started getting body shamed by my dad, too. I am desperately trying to embrace being midsize before I kill myself over this, either through medication or starvation. If you are doing the same, you are not alone. It is exhausting and grueling being in this world. The sting of that is only slightly lessened by every fat, hot model smoldering at me from a screen or billboard or TikTok video. By the way, one of her exists for every twelve articles about Wegovy or its ‘natural’ ‘affordable’ substitutes. And then there’s the insult of thin friends disingenuously telling me I’m beautiful while not-so-secretly pitying me and posting about their fear of being fat.

I have to ask myself: am I scared of being fat, or am I scared of the abuse and degradation that accompanies it?

I am staying alive and fighting for the day that the miracle of fat shines on us. I am working for the day that I watch oil glistening on my and my girlfriend’s fingers from frying kubbe with the same mesmerized stare I reserve for freshly glazed acrylic nails. The miracle of my girlfriend’s fatness shines on me every day. She is large, hot, strong, delicate; she protects me and holds me so tightly I can forget what I’m so worried about, what I’m dying over. Because even if I can’t love myself, I really love her. Even if I try to fast, she’s there to break it with 11 pm corner-store candy, cuddles, and silly videos. The adage about not being able to love someone else before you love yourself isn’t true. Sometimes, someone can teach you how to love yourself.

Each time we break, or think we are going to, we are becoming the version of ourselves that is enough to hold all of us. There are hot, fat, Jewish Barbie dolls now—inspired by us!

Meanwhile, I’m going to be giving a fat fucking middle finger to anyone who tries to make me feel bad about the skin I’m in.

D.B. ASHKENAZI, Lilith Online,
October 2023.