Thursday, June 21, 2012


Seen getting off the Brown Line to Kimball at Fullerton at about 8:30 a.m. 

She bought it in the children’s department of Target. Ally’s baby-sitting charge, a 7-year-old girl, squealed at the sight of it.

“Lookit Ally! It’s a sparkly belt! It’s good because Mommy doesn’t let me dress like a princess usually, but if I wore this then I’d feel like a secret princess, because of the glitter. Can I get it?”

Ally held the cheap, thin piece of plastic in her hands for a moment. It was beautiful. “Sure, sweetie. And you know what? I’m going to get one, too, so we’ll match! We’ll be twin secret princesses.”

Now Ally wears the belt low around where her hips should be, on top of black skinny jeans that stick close to her fragile thighs. Ally knows that the life of a princess isn’t easy—you’re always in the limelight, you can’t go anywhere alone, your personal life is everyone’s business. You always have to be on your best behavior. No matter what, you have to control yourself.

Ally’s sparkly belt represents that control—the control over what she puts in her body, the control over her appearance. It’s hard work, and she feels accomplished every time she buckles it. When she wears the belt, Ally truly does feel like a secret princess. 

I wasn't sure about writing this story--it seems weird to assign a disease to someone who may or may not actually have that disease. On the other hand, I've written about murderers I've seen on the L who I'M SURE are not actually murderers, so I guess an eating disorder is fair game. For the record, I think you should love your body, no matter what size you are, big or small. 

Happy news: JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound are playing in Millennium Park tonight FOR FREE! Show's at 7:30. I'm going with my friend Gena. You should come, too. Oh, Chicago in the Summer. You are a beautiful place.

1 comment:

  1. Love it, Becky. I wrote a thesis on EDs in college and this hits the nail square on the head.


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