WOMEN
06/19/2012 10:30 am ET

I Know Why the Fat Lady Sings

Why did I get fat? Why was I eating until I hurt and regarding my own body as something as distant and unsympathetic as, say, the state of the housing market in Buenos Aires? Obviously, it's not wholly advisable to swell up so large that, on one very bad day, you get stuck in a bucket seat at a local fair and have to be rescued by your old schoolmaster, but why is being fat treated as a cross between terrible shame and utter tragedy? Something that-for a woman-is seen as falling somewhere between sustaining a sizable facial scar and sleeping with the Nazis?

Why will women happily boast-moan about spending too much ("…and then my bank manager took my credit card and cut it in half with a sword!"), about drinking too much ("…and then I took my shoe off and threw it over the bus stop!"), and about working too hard ("…so tired I fell asleep on the control panel, and when I woke up, I realized I'd pressed the nuclear launch button! Again!") but never, ever about eating too much? Why is unhappy eating the most pointlessly secret of miseries? It's not like you can hide a six-Kit-Kats-a-day habit for very long.

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