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FUN A DAY 2019 #2: Ivy

[CW: brief fatphobic comments] //She liked to casually (‘casually’) tell new acquaintances that she apparently had the kind of face that people like to comment on, and about how through her twe more...

[CW: brief fatphobic comments]

//She liked to casually (‘casually’) tell new acquaintances that she apparently had the kind of face that people like to comment on, and about how through her twenties, a succession of observers had told her some variation of “What a gorgeous face! …have you considered trying to lose weight?” She did have a gorgeous face: she had large blue eyes and long lashes, a perfectly straight nose and pink lips, a full, oval face and prominent, rosy cheekbones, very light skin (she refused to call it ‘fair’), and a dusting of freckles across her cheeks earned over a lifetime of Gulf Coast summers spent running around outside from noon to sundown with girl friends who would later become girlfriends. As an adult she was 5’8” and a formidable 242 pounds; her stomach was round and soft, her arms and thighs were large and strong, her hips and breasts were full. She enjoyed causing a certain kind of person discomfort by telling them that she’d always been fat, and that she’d slept soundly as a high schooler, knowing that she outweighed and could certainly out-yell most of her classmates, including a good portion of her high school’s jocks.

//During her brief time living in the northeast, she liked to make a certain kind of person uncomfortable by telling them that up there, the ‘what a gorgeous face’ and ensuing acknowledgement of her weight was regularly followed at some point by, ‘Where are you from?’ She’d gotten into the habit of curtly but politely saying, “The South,” which was usually followed by, “Well, yeah, I mean, I could tell from your accent. But where in the South?” She would say, “It’s a small town, you wouldn’t know it,” which wasn’t true. Her hometown was hers, and since leaving she’d learned to not share with everyone she met.

//When she moved to Virginia for a graduate sculpture program in which she felt shockingly comfortable and maybe even happy, she got into the habit of telling people about how when she was in high school, a random ‘what a gorgeous face!’ type had tried to reassure Ivy, “God doesn’t make ugly,” but that Ivy had known that this wasn’t even remotely true. She’d enjoyed explaining to her new friends that she’d decided as a teenager that God not only made but loved ugly, because God was a tacky lesbian, just like her, and that after that exchange she’d shaved her head, only to then immediately grow her hair back out, and then subject it to as many dye jobs in as many different colors as she could manage.

//Determined to live in her body as fully as possible, Ivy spent her high school and undergrad years learning to cut hair, sew her own clothes and craft her own jewelry, make things like bath bombs and shea butter creams, to wing her eyeliner and draw on dramatic eyebrows, to paint and perfect acrylic nails. She liked performance art and experimental theater and karaoke and dance clubs (at least three different young women in three different cities considered her a dangerously alluring performer). She went swimming regularly, always by herself, to avoid prying questions about her motivations and possible, though non-existent weight loss goals, and spent as much time outside as she could.

//She also liked to do nothing, though. In the summer she was content to lie out in the sun, even if only in her yard or on the quad, and during the cooler months she liked to lie on her couch under a blanket and watch old movies. She liked to sit in coffee shops for hours and listen to her over-caffeinated classmates’ chatter, or to watch people come and go if she was by herself. She’d decided early in life that there was no greater pleasure on this earth than taking a woman out for a leisurely dinner, and sitting there, with her, ideally for several hours, and looking across the table at her, at how her hair was done and what she’d chosen to wear for that evening, listening to her, and watching her relax and laugh and enjoy her food. Naturally, Ivy was an excellent date, she was a great storyteller, and an even better listener who had perfected the art of making a woman feel heard. She lived to be present and to indulge without apprehension, and even though this was deliberate, she didn’t know just how effective it was, or how much her women friends and partners appreciated it.

//ART WORK SOURCE: by Marie Boiseau

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  • 7 months ago