Hunger. by Roxane Gay. It is raw and it is what the world needs. Thank you Roxanne.
In her book and in an interview on This American Life, Roxane Gay discusses the difficulties of living in a fat and “super morbidly obese” body. The categories of overweight and obese, invented by medical practitioners and healthcare professionals extend from overweight with a BMI between 25.1 and 29.9, obese with a BMI of 30 to 34.9, obesity class II 35 to 39.9, obesity class III a BMI of 40 and above.
Roxane points out that life is difficult for all fat people, but it is especially and particularly difficult for people with bodies like hers, bodies that would be classified as class III obese. And that is why she struggles with the body positivity movement and the notion of accepting her body. Because she doesn’t like her body as it is and often can’t accept it. She makes note of those she most often sees as advocates for the body positivity movement as women who might be classified as plus size models – those who wear sizes 10 to 14, women who might be classified as overweight but not obese. So what does the body positivity movement bring to people living in the size of Roxanne’s body? Accepting and loving your body are nice goals but for many people, a constantly real struggle, potentially much harder to obtain than someone living in a smaller body.
I have no idea what it is like to live in a body categorized as obese, or even an overweight that matter. One thing I can connect to with Roxane is not liking or wanting to accept your body. As a feminist, as a person who has struggled with eating and body issues for years, and as a person who desperately wants to believe in the body positivity movement.
One solution that I am trying on for size is body neutrality, which is actually what I think some people are talking about when they mention body positivity. The overwhelmingly popular image of body positivity is the idea that all bodies are good bodies and that we need to learn to love and accept our bodies for what they do for us. Easier said than done (particularly for those with additional barriers and marginalized bodies). So instead of running after yet another unattainable goal of loving my body, I’m trying not to think too much about my body. In other words, I’m trying to feel neutral towards my body and let it do its thing. We put unnecessary pressure on ourselves whether we want to lose weight or we want to desperately love our bodies. Body neutrality takes the desperation, pressure, and emotional work out of the equation.
Here is a recipe for some cinnamon buns slathered in brown sugar + brown butter glaze.
Cinnabun Recipe – adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
4 1/4 cups flour
6 tablespoons melted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter
In a bowl of a stand mixer, whisk eggs, milk, sugar, yeast, and salt.
Add 2 cups of the flour and the melted butter and stir.
Add all but the last 1/4 cup of the flour and knead with dough hook for about 5 minutes.
After kneading, dough should be moist and soft but not sticky. Add the rest of the flour if it feels sticky and knead for 5 minutes more.
Transfer dough to an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
After dough has risen, shape into a large rectangle (about 12 x 16 inches). Brush or dab dough with butter. Mix cinnamon and brown sugar together. Sprinkle evenly over buttered dough.
Starting from the long end, roll the dough up nice and tightly into a long cigar shape. Using a serrated knife, cut off 2 to 3 inches of dough, continuing until you have about 18 buns. Place into buttered cupcake tin or 9×13 pan. Let rise 1 1/2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden toasty brown.
Brown Sugar, Brown Butter Glaze
1/2 cup brown sugar
5 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons half and half
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Keep stirring for 5 to 10 minutes until butter has turned a dark golden brown color and smells nutty and delicious. Let cool for a few minutes.
Add in brown sugar and replace saucepan over low to medium heat. Stir stir stir. The mixture will be separated at this point. Add in the half and half and keep stirring. The mixture will come together after stirring a few minutes.
Use a pastry brush or spoon to dab the glaze on top of the hot buns.