underlined: hunger

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I’m a huge fan of Roxanne Gay. She’s up there with Zadie Smith.

Her sentences flow flawlessly but has enough weight to ground it to fit her overarching narrative about her struggles with weight. I’ve enjoyed reading Hunger so much that I savored it, reading slowly, hesitant to finish, until I realized that I still have Bad Feminist: Essays to read.

Below are my underlines of the book.

The frustrating thing about cages is that you’re trapped but you can see exactly what you want. You can reach out from the cage, but only so far.

My body is a cage. My body is a cage of my own making. I am still trying to figure my way out of it. I have been trying to figure a way out of it for more than twenty years.

I was hollowed out. I was determined to fill the void, and food was what I used to build a shield around what little was left of me.

We have a shared history and yet we do not. In many ways, that’s the best means of describing my relationship with my family, and with nearly everyone in my life.

I was a daydreamer and I resented being pulled out of my daydreams to deal with the business of living.

Sometimes we try to convince ourselves of things that are not true, reframing the past to better explain the present.

When I read, I could forget. I could be anywhere in the world except in the eighth grade, lonely and holding tightly to my secret. I often say that reading and writing saved my life. I mean that quite literally.

Loneliness remained a constant companion.

It was easier to lose myself in the virtual world than to try and put my life back together or face these people who thought they knew me.

It was there that I learned that one of the best ways to measure where you stand as a writer is to work at a literary magazine.

People project assumed narratives onto your body and are not at all interested in the truth of your body, whatever that truth might be.

There are so many rules for the body—often unspoken and ever-shifting.

The bigger you are, the smaller your world becomes.

To be seen while I am eating feels like being on trial.

These sad stories will always weigh on me, though that burden lessens the more I realize who I am and what I am worth.

…I knew I didn’t have the inner scaffolding to endure any more hurt in those protected places.

One of the many things I have always loved about writing (not to be confused with publishing) is that all you need is your imagination. It doesn’t matter who you are, you can write. Your looks, especially, don’t matter.

It’s one thing to write as if you have no skin. It’s another thing entirely when photography is involved.

The thing about shame is that there are depths. I have no idea where the bottom of my shame resides.

There is the humiliation of the scale, of confronting that number or confronting a scale that cannot accommodate my size.


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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