Worth Your Weight

January 29, 2008

Lady with the long neck

Filed under: fat acceptance — worthyourweight @ 9:20 pm


I’ve always wanted a long neck. I don’t have one. Short-ish necks tend to run in my family … who would’ve thought? LOL

Now, what to do about this desire? Admire paintings like Parmigianino’s Madonna with Long Neck (detail above). Draw sketches of myself with an impossibly long, giraffe-like neck. Grow my hair long. Wear V-neck tops or those with plunging necklines. I’ve done all of these things.

Then I learned about a practice of the Padung tribe of Thailand. I’m sure you know about it. Padung females wear rings around their necks in order to elongate them. They start at a very young age and add rings as the years pass.


I got very excited. (I was a teenager.) Maybe I could realize my dream of a long neck after all! But I found out that neck stretching is often painful and is actually deforming the collarbone and ribs to give the appearance of a longer neck. Sounded dangerous to me, and so while I sometimes catch myself wishing for a longer neck, it’s easy to dismiss because it’s not in the cards for me. Never was.

I’m also short LOL — I notice that it seems tall women’s height mostly comes from their necks. I’m about five foot three, five foot three and a half. Take a look at a tall woman’s neck sometime. They look to be about six inches long (about the length of a dollar bill). Give me my wished-for long neck, and I’d have height, too! I’d be around five foot nine.

Naturally, I’ve often wished I were taller. (“I wish I was little bit taller, I wish I was a baller” — anyone?) But really, aside from platform shoes à la Japanese Spice Girls, what can I do about it? Bupkis. And it doesn’t really bother me. In fact, I think short can be darn cute in its own right. I love Princess Leia all short and spunky barking orders while stomping between Chewbacca and Han Solo.

Being short doesn’t bother me anymore really. Any of the stuff on offer to “gain height” seems very scary and sketchy. So that sort of thing is pretty much off my radar. Mess around with supplements that stimulate the release of human growth hormone? Uh, no thank you. Bet it doesn’t work anyway.

I sometimes wish I weren’t fat. But the ways proffered to get unfat are just as dangerous, scary, painful, and unproven as neck rings and HGH-stimulating supplements. With that in mind, it’s much easier for me to quickly drop that “wish I weren’t fat” thought and move on. It makes it hard to obsess over my weight. It’s actually helping me to accept myself and my body on this come-as-you-are basis. As others in the fatosphere have noted, it’s hard to resist the urge and the imperative to diet. Looking at weight-loss efforts this way — on par with other willful deformation and tinkering with hormones — makes it all too clear what the sane and healthy path is … or the right path for me anyway.



  1. Great post!

    (I’m 5’6″, and it’s all in my torso. I have several friends who are 5’2″ and my legs are no longer than theirs–but every shirt in creation is too short! LOL)

    Anyway, digressions about my stubby legs aside, I love your post because I love that way of thinking about fat–that it’s just another physical trait that’s part of the hand we’re dealt, rather than something that needs fixing. I’d love to get to that place, where I can see my fat as being along the lines of my frizzy hair or my small mouth; it’s just what I happen to look like.

    Comment by embonpoint — January 30, 2008 @ 10:20 am

  2. “I wish I had a girl who looked good, I would call her.” Damn. I should not be remembering Skee-Lo. Or his name.

    Apart from that, basically yes, what you said :) I am now having trouble convincing my friends and family that no, when I refer to myself as fat that is not their cue to go “You’re not fat, you’re *insert euphemisms here*!!” I *am* fat. It’s an adjective. It is not an insult. I don’t mind. They won’t have it, though.

    Comment by Shira — January 30, 2008 @ 11:31 am

  3. Lol, very funny stuff :-) Well the neck thing is true of me too, I don’t have the longest most elegant neck in world, but I have just about the shortest torso in the world, which is quite uncomfortable for pregnancies I found out, lol. Good luck with the neck thing, I think I am going to go gain some weight now. Great blog, by the way! :-)

    Comment by sansoucy — January 30, 2008 @ 3:03 pm

  4. embonpoint, I have a short torso, too LOL What’s funny is that for years I thought I was supposed to wear my pants where my waist curved in, and that was so high up! It wasn’t comfortable. So I wear my pants at my belly button. Recently I learned almost everyone wears them there or even below the navel. I had thought my short torso had turned me into a pants freak.

    Shira, too funny that you remember that song, too :D I really thought I was the only one. It’s a great reminder in your comment that fat is a descriptor, period.

    sansoucy, short neck chicks rock ;)

    Comment by worthyourweight — January 30, 2008 @ 5:51 pm

  5. Right on, yo! You’re so right, itsn’t there something we all wouldn’t mind being able to change to make better about ourselves. This desire comes naturally, unfortunately, our world only emphasizes the importance of THEIR view of “beautiful, and we all can easily obsess over these things. But who gets to decide what “beautiful” means. There is nothing better than to realize that, nobody can tell us what we should look like and that we don’t look good enough if we don’t fit into a certain image. I am constantly hearing from teenage girls how fat they are, or ugly, or whatever and how they need to diet or go workout more. They don’t feel beautiful. I want them to realize the real truth!

    Comment by melissalewis — January 30, 2008 @ 6:22 pm

  6. Well said, melissa. I try to always keep in mind what Wolf said in The Beauty Myth: there are many, many configurations of beautiful. The thin-tan-white-blonde ideal is very narrow-minded!

    Comment by worthyourweight — January 30, 2008 @ 6:28 pm

  7. Disadvantage is also a kind of beauty。 We love it more because we don’t have it.

    Comment by bbwdating — January 31, 2008 @ 4:03 am

  8. I think long necks are ugly and scary.. yök!!! They remind me of turkeys.

    Comment by sari — October 28, 2008 @ 8:12 am

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