by Jay Johansen | Aug 22, 2022
Every now and then a woman on the Internet will say that she has gotten a "revenge body". The way the story usually goes is like this: Her boyfriend asked her to do something to make herself prettier, usually to lose weight. She refused and said that he should love her just the way she is. The boyfriend then broke up with her. So then, to spite her boyfriend, she went out and lost the weight (or did whatever), and now she looks the best she ever looked. Thus, she gets revenge because now she is the kind of woman that he wanted, but it's too late. He already broke up with her and she's not going back.
Except ... this isn't getting revenge. This is proving that the boyfriend was 100% right. Presumably the boyfriend's complaint is not that she is incapable of looking good, but that she was unwilling to make the effort to look good for him. If the reality of the situation was that she was trying very hard to lose weight and she just couldn't do it because of medical problems or whatever, you could say that the boyfriend was being cruel and unfair. But by losing the weight after he broke up with her, she proved that she was, in fact, perfectly capable of losing it. She just didn't care enough to do it to make her boyfriend happy. She is willing to do it for some other man that she met after they broke up or that she supposes she might meet now that they have broken up, but she wasn't willing to do it for him.
By losing the weight now, she proved that her boyfriend was 100% right. She was perfectly capable of making herself pretty for him. She just didn't want to bother, because she didn't care about his happiness. She wanted a relationship that was all he gives and she takes. The idea that she would do something for him in return was unacceptable. Or maybe she was willing to do things for him, just not the things that he actually wanted her to do.
If he had not broken up with her, she still would not have lost the weight. It wouldn't have mattered how long they stayed together. She wasn't going to lose the weight. Not for him.
© 2022 by Jay Johansen