As somebody who feels a least a bit of disdain for the majority of celebrities, I can honestly say I hold Beth Ditto to the highest regard of amazing. She is not only a fantastic musician, but also the kind of person who comments on controversial things when necessary, dances in her underwear because she doesn’t give a fuck about those impossibly trivial things known as “beauty standards,” and is beloved by fellow famous folks.
Wednesday, I got some terrible food poisoning and spent at least 24 hours straight throwing up. Long story short, I developed some other serious symptoms and wound up in the ER yesterday. After being discharged, my friend who took me to the hospital mentioned that he was feeling really hungry. Upon realizing I hadn’t consumed anything besides ginger ale and water in over 48 hours, I noticed how much flatter my stomach felt and got a rush of excitement.
This is not a good feeling for most people, as it signifies hunger; for somebody who had an eating disorder for the better part of a decade, it’s a familiar feeling. It’s like an old friend that I stopped being friends with long ago, but still feel nostalgic about our “good times” (though there weren’t actually any). The last time I had food poisoning, in fact, I relapsed on my progress after about five months of not purging or fasting. It can be both risky and easy to unintentionally fall back into old habits, particularly when I’ve gained a bit of weight and haven’t been feeling great about how other people might look at me lately.
So while looking around the Internet as a means to forget the ever-horrible pain continuously radiating from my stomach, I came across this article over at Huffington Post about Beth Ditto. It includes a lot of Ditto’s quotes on growing up poor, being famous and heavy, and being both femme and queer. However, it was this one that reminded me of how important it is to maintain control and banish the constant wondering of what other people are thinking:
I have no control over what people think of me but I have 100% control of what I think of myself, and that is so important. And not just about your body, but so many ways of confidence. You’re constantly learning how to be confident, aren’t you?
These days, I don’t need a huge amount of support to maintain my progress, but I do need a little push on occasion. Therefore, this was perfect for me last night.
Overall, Beth Ditto is an excellent role model: she discusses weight without shaming thin women, which is integral in being considered body positive, in my opinion. She’s queer, heavy, unabashed and refuses to edit herself regardless of what others may say. She’s the celebrity that so few people might’ve expected, but so many needed.
Photo via T Magazine.