I’ve been thinking about the old blue theatre days a lot. I miss making weird theatre in a weird warehouse with weird horrible bathrooms and weird beautiful people. But mostly I miss the part after the show. Performing is fun and hard and scary and exhilarating, but it’s the bit after, when you are so tired and so full of energy at the same time. There is no hope of going to sleep anytime soon so you stand around in the lobby or parking lot for hours talking, laughing, enjoying each other.
It is one such time my junk-yard-burrow-for-feral-racoons of a brain keeps coming back to over and over again.
We are the farthest circle from the door, it is night, but there is light spilling towards us from the neon theatre sign (what happened to that sign?) and the Christmas lights lovingly strung down the fence, stopping just short of where we found ourselves.
It was one of THOSE circles you know (we were 20 and immortal, hush-up now). So the conversation gets a little loopy and at one point some one (not me) says: weren’t there more of us? Someone else was here I swear.
And we giggle and laugh and count seriously and no, it was just us and we laugh again and I say “It was me. I take up a lot of space.”
Now what I meant was – my presence is mighty and you will know me for miles and I am so much larger than life I feel like 2 people sometimes and I stand very tall for my 5 foot 2 and three quarter inches frame and I intentionally and joyfully take up some mother. fucking. space.
But what they HEARD was me making self deprecating remarks about my body size.
DON’T SAY THAT! That’s not it! You’re adorable! So cute! Don’t say things like that!
Don’t take up space, (I mean we all also think you are too big, women should be small and delicate and never ever take up space, certainly not enough space to feel like 2 people).
At the time I took this as confirmation that I was, in fact, taking up too much space, and I should do something about that immediately. One more cup of water on the dark prayer wheel of diet culture.
But now. NOW? The reason I can’t stop thinking about it?
How DARE you. How dare you tell me not to take up space. How dare you tell countless women and girls to stop taking up space. How dare you try to make me feel so small for fear of being too large.
And I know the people in the circle meant well. I know a lot of people mean well. But that doesn’t stop our culture from being so inherently fatphobic that a young, vibrant, talented, pretty girl in size 12 jeans was told countless times that she was too fat to play the love interest.
All y’all who mean well, do better.
All y’all who worry about being too much, TAKE UP SPACE.
I’ll make room for you.