The Binge Eating Diaries: Halloween and Body Image Demons

By Jacki Monaco on 11/01/2012
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A series by Green Mountain alum Jacki Monaco on her journey to overcome binge eating. Follow her every other Thursday as she blogs about the victories and challenges of recovery.

What I used to think of as a day to dress up as your favorite princess or bloodiest nightmare has turned into a day reserved for phrases like, “Less is more” or “Thank God for girls’ Halloween costumes” or “The (pardon my French) sluttier the better on Halloween!” Sadly, as I grow up, the holiday just brings my body images issues into full gear.

Now, I am all for empowering females, but those phrases come from the opposite sex who prowl the scantily clad. Costumes have been exchanged for underwear and fairy wings and I am not the girl who can pull that off, mentally or physically. So with my combination of jealousy, frustration, confusion, and needing to vent, today we talk about my HalloWeekend.

Demons are lured out from their hibernation on Halloween when you have self-esteem struggles and compare yourself to others. This past weekend, I attended two Halloween parties haunted by dozens of creatures baring torsos, breasts, and butt cheeks. What was I baring? With my long, flowing goddess, the only thing exposed about me was my damn fine makeup.

As inferior and grandma-like as I felt in my full-bodied costume, I survived both evenings without tears and without “make-me-feel-better-binges.” I tried to bottle the “Why Me!?” anger that I all-too-often direct toward the Big Guy In The Sky and put it in my pocket. I want to be nobody’s object of “aSEXtion” next Halloween, but I would sure love to be the object of my own affection.

One minute, one hour, one holiday at a time, ladies and gentlemen… How did you manage Halloween this year in terms of binges and body images? I’d love to hear your thoughts as always. 

6 Responses (Add Yours)

  • Lisa says:

    Those midriff-baring, cleavage-showing costumes have nothing on you, Jacki. This costume is amazing. You look so beautiful, ethereal.

  • Jace says:

    I really appreciate that comment Lisa. Thank you so much for those kind words.

  • Halloween was challenging for me this year…a week prior the chocolate bag snuck into the house…it whispered to me repeatedly through out the day… I gave in to a few little bags…then I drew my sword and replaced it with healthier treats..not perfect..but healthier. small bags of crackers or popcorn dressed in Halloween decorations…as for me..

    At work, I donned my black skirt, boots and shirt with a bright orange shrug that in my mirror represented a pumpkin…in other people’s lenses I was fashionable and in the spirit.

    taking the kids out trick or treating my donned my old standard black and purple witch’s hat but bright sparkly purple glitter pointed rimmed glasses with the green warted nose attached…

    ….going to the local pizza parlor where they hand out slices to those that are in costume….My triumph… convincing hubby to don the glasses and hat so I would not have to cook dinner….I won… the laughs were worth WAY more than the taste of pizza..

    p.s. your costume..beautiful….you….gorgeous…. bare skinned costumes….not needed to show your awesomeness.

  • Ryan says:

    I had a similar experience this year, except I couldn’t bring myself to go to the Halloween party. It makes me sad to think that my own shame, self loathing, and hatred of my body keeps me from doing things that I would really love to do. Unfortunately, I fall into the comparison trap a lot and it is very difficult for me to be around beautiful, confident, and outgoing people, showing off their bodies. I just feel inferior, and it is not a pretty feeling. Yet, missing out on all things fun isn’t a great feeling either, so how to balance this? I’m not sure what the answer is just yet. I admire you for having the cojones to go to the parties and telling the demons to shut up.

    I don’t have anything against those who wear “slutty” costumes, but aesthetically speaking, I believe your costume is one of the nicest I’ve seen this year. Your costume is beautiful and you look stunning. Did you make it yourself?

  • Jace says:

    Jules- Way to be proactive on the replacement snacks! It seems you are like me- sometimes, especially this time of year when it haunts us, a girl just needs some chocolate. Congratulations on the ability to draw your sword on such an antagonist.

    It sounds fashionable and spirit-like to me Jules! Orange just HAPPENS to be the COLOR of a pumpkin! Your pizza parlor shenanigans- I love that! Laughter over food on the importance scale…doesn’t it feel good?? It sounds you had a pretty positive Halloween experience this year and I am so happy for you for that. Thank you for sharing your outfits and food thoughts/actions with us!

    And thank you so so much for the lovely compliment.

  • Jace says:

    Ryan- I completely ride the wave length that you speak of…body hatred holds us back from living, waiting for changes before we let ourselves experience so many aspects of life. I have missed many seconds, minutes, hours, days and almost 2 years of my life, hiding from myself.

    Oh the comparison trap! My left thigh has been trapped under that trap for years, I basically live there, so I’m sure we’ve met…! lol… I know that feel so well, it lives with me. Halloween feels like THE comparison day. I often find myself doing what I hope other people are not- checking out bodies and comparing instead of admiring costumes and enjoying.

    This year I decided that I deserved NOT to miss my favorite holiday. I dressed for what I thought was good for my body type, for my comfort level so that I didnt feel as though I was trying to “compete outside of my range.” I did wince at the beautiful bodies and found myself growing smaller emotionally at times, hiding in a shadow, but as I kicked a small amount of butt at beer pong, I remembered that I am skilled- even in silly ways, and that these skills make up my personality and should (in a perfect world) overshadow my imperfect physique. Thank you for applauding my cajones! They are all-too-often overlooked…!

    Thank you so much for complimenting my outfit. I did indeed. Lots of thrift stores, old things put together. I love to create and THAT is what I should look forward to every Halloween! Thank you Ryan.

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