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Daily Helping for April 6th, 2021 – Blythe Baird – When the Fat Girl Gets Skinny

A photo of poet Blythe Baird, onstage, standing at a mic, mid-performance of When the Fat Girl gets Skinny

I lost track of how many times this poem and this performance gave me goosebumps. Poet Blythe Baird infuses every word with raw power and emotion, and it is both stunning and heartbreaking.

“If you are not recovering, you are dying.”

Baird takes us through the horrors of suffering from anorexia. The inherent contradictions of the disease. And more importantly, the many horrifying ways that society contributes to this illness.

“If you develop an eating disorder when you are already thin to begin with, you go to the hospital. If you develop an eating disorder when you are not thin to begin with, you are a success story.”

The rage behind her words. The sadness and weariness. It’s all there.

“I say, I am sick. They say, No, you are an inspiration. How could I not fall in love with my disease?”

But there is also triumph. The joy of being boring. This video was published in 2015, and I hope that Baird is boring still.

“Now, I am proud I have stopped seeking revenge on this body.”

As I said, goosebumps.

Suggestions for artists I should check out? Please contact me with your ideas. I hope you enjoyed your daily helping of art!