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Someone wanted to commission a sort of beaded belt/body harness for her daughter who's on a cheer squad. Which I and my partner would have been game for because we love money, but then she added, "Make it like the kind that hang right when she's X amount of pounds, and won't hang right when she goes over that. Like the other girls in the squad have."

My partner is a naturally skinny person, and like me counts the The Beauty Myth as one of those life changing books.* She is much more reserved than I am (and that's saying something), and her only response to this was to narrow her eyes. I, the fat chick, have little reservations about speaking my mind. I wish I could say that I said something clever, or something sharp that made her change her mind. But I said, "That's kind of screwed up. That's a good way to start an eating disorder."

"Well, not if you have your head in the right place."

"Nope. She's in high school. One's head is not in the right place there and then. Kind of screwed up message you'd be sending."


She got kind of exasperated, "Well, no one wants to see that kind of a body on the field. I just want to help her."

"So talk to the school board about getting uniforms with turtlenecks. I've seen what they wear, and it must be cold." I shouldn't have said that. In retrospect, it sounds like I was slut-shaming. What was going on in my head was, "Hells bells, she's underage, wearing that school's incredibly skimpy uniform that leaves little to the imagination. I know people who came out kind of screwed out of that schools cheerleading program and that uniform produces tons of competition to be perfect already. And you are her Mother. You are supposed to be protecting your kid from this." But it was a far less organized thought than that, it was kind of bouncing around at once.

It's this point that my partner steps in and says, "Heathy is more important than anything else. I'm sorry but we can't help you here."

She left, and with her went a sizable commission. Because karma isn't a thing, we didn't make a lot of money, but we can now go to a pauper's grave feeling very noble. Tell me this body harness/ED creator isn't a popular thing. I've seen body harnesses before but it never occurred to me they could be used like that.


*I know, she's gone off the deep end, but still that book was important.

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