Today is December 31, 2013, and it doesn't matter.
I woke up about 30 minutes ago, checked my email, my text messages, began plotting my outfit for a party I'm going to tonight and realized that tomorrow is the first of the year. And I just didn't care.
I haven't spent the last two weeks waiting with anxiety for this day to mark the beginning of a major shift in my life. I don't have a single special goal, or a big big dream for a whole new _______. I do not plan to exercise more. I do not plan to eat more kale. I smiled when I realized how proud I was of my goal-less New Year's Eve.
I remember when I used to look forward to New Year's Eve because I felt the final night of each year held the magical potential to usher in a whole new life, a whole new me. Every single NYE I thought about how much weight I was going to lose in the new year. I would develop a diet plan and an exercise regimen, and then obviously I would eat every imaginable delicious thing because this was going to be the last time I had anything like that in my mouth for a very long time.
This is a ritual that many people participate in, so maybe it seems like it's completely normal. But it's not. I don't think wishing you were a totally different person for several days (weeks? months?) a year is normal. I think this whole obsession with goals and aspirations on NYE is a tradition worth eradicating.
Why? Because this tradition is based in capitalism, patriarchy, and fatphobia that's why!
Even though not having NYE goals seems like the easier option, I realize that it's actually a huge deal not to give into a pervasive cultural ritual. So, I won't tell you to just throw those out the window if you have them. But I will ask you to look over your goals and see which ones are based in the belief that you're not enough right now, just as you are. And I will ask you to cross those off the list.
I have to go now and get some delicious coffee and a cheesy biscuit thing because not having goals is hard work and stuff. But the last thing I want to tell you is that no matter what your plans are for tonight or tomorrow you are hot and great and magical and enough.
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Virgie Tovar, MA is one of the nation's leading experts and lecturers on fat discrimination and body image. She is the founder of Babecamp (a 4 week online course focused on helping people break up with diet culture) and the editor of Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion (Seal Press, 2012). She writes about the intersections of size, identity, sexuality and politics. See more updates on Facebook.