I won't be coming to your simcha. It's not that I'm not happy for you or anything like that. In fact, I'm SO happy for you! What a great achievement/milestone/thing. You're going to be radiant and on top of the world, and I wouldn't want to do anything that might interfere with your pure and well-deserved joy. I'm so happy for you that I could sing! But I won't.
No, it's something else.
I won't be attending your simcha because I don't want to be the fattest woman in the room. I'm so tired of it. It's just exhausting. Dressing this bulky, ugly body of mine in something socially acceptable, then finding shoes to match? Ugh. Nothing ever fits right, nothing ever looks right. No amount of dieting and exercise has ever made me the "right" shape or size, and no designer caters to the likes of obese me. And that's just for starters.
No matter how many layers of makeup I paint on my face, or how many coats of lacquer I brush on my nails, how stylish my headcovering is, or how trendy my clothes are, the results are the same: inadequate. At the end of the day, all I'm going to get for my earnest efforts are long, disapproving glances, or worse - being ignored completely. A famous comedian with a weight problem once lamented, "Want to disappear completely? Want to go invisible in this country? Gain 100 lbs. No one will ever notice you again."
No, not everyone has to be my buddy and pal. I don't require everyone's approval, and I don't desire everyone's friendship. But a little respect would be nice - the kind of respect that each Jew is supposed to grant every other Jew. The kind of unconditional love that's written in black fire on white fire between the spaces of the letters of our holy Torah. Yeah. That's what I want.
What I want is for my dress size to simply not matter to anyone. Ever.
What I want is to be appreciated for the person that I am: the smart, caring, sometimes sardonic but usually kind, funny, honest, G-d-fearing, loving mother/sister/daughter/neighbor/woman/Jew.
But what I really want is bigger than all of that.
What I want is for the Jewish nation to stop being a nation of Hellenists. Because that's the truth - the Greeks may have lost the battle (over the Bais HaMikdash), but they won the war. Our entire nation has fallen under the spell of the Syrian-Greeks and their pursuit of the perfect human form.
This is the reason that I will stay home this night, when others are dining and laughing and dancing and connecting and being joyous, just like the Torah mandates at such times.
Scholars and historians are at odds about what event signaled the end of the Hellenistic period. That's because it ain't over, honey, because the fat lady hasn't sung.
**To reach out to the author of this article, email email@example.com with the subject line, "contact rsvp", and your message with be forwarded.