Confession- I’ve not been super into FA or the body acceptance movement here on Tumblr. It’s not that I don’t agree with the message. I certainly do. Mostly, it’s felt really…just…done to me. Like I’ve been there, done that. I see fat girls post pics of themselves in various states of undress, announcing that they’re fine just the way they are and my reaction is, “Yeah. No shit”. It’s been tedious for me to watch people self actualize all day instead of just living it.
One more confession- I feel this way because I did all that self actualizing and announcing years ago and apparently I just forgot about it. So, I’m a dick.I get up everyday (okay, most days) and I don’t think twice about how hot I am. I just am. I wear clothes I like. I sleep with people I find attractive. I eat food I enjoy. If someone asks me what dress size I wear (which is rare), I don’t hesitate to answer “18-20”. Over the years my weight has become a non-issue to me. I like my body, my lovers like my body, end of story. What’s all the fuss about?
What I’ve forgotten, it seems, is that this confidence was hard earned. I found an article I wrote in 2004 for a ‘zine I published with Kelly Hogaboom, called “Fat”-
“When I started looking back, back to the beginning of this long journey, I kept coming back to my own mother and her relationship with her body. My mother has battled weight issues her entire life, and continues to even now. She dealt with anorexia and bulimia before I was born, and maybe even after. I remember her putting herself down, torturing her body by depriving it of food. She has never loved her body or appreciated all its done for her throughout her life and she probably never will. I no doubt learned from her example as a child. She unintentionally helped to affirm my negative body image by refusing to love herself as she should have. She was just doing what she learned from her mother and the world around her. If the goal is to learn from our past, I will take from my own as well as hers and teach my daughter to love herself by setting the best possible example- loving and accepting who I am now. I look over my body, with new eyes, and I’m amazed at what I see. I love my big milky breasts. They have fed and comforted my daughter without fail for 7 months. My distended postpartum belly stretched to accommodate the growth of a nine pound child. That’s no small task. My arms have held and protected Olivia from the world and set her free when she wanted to explore. My legs have walked miles around our little home changing, entertaining, and soothing our little girl. My whole body shows evidence of love and hard work. Its been difficult to change my perception of what is beautiful and what is not. I think about all the hot mamas I know, the hottest ones are the ones with bodies just like mine, which leads me to believe that maybe I can be beautiful, too. Just the way I am.”
I am becoming increasingly aware of two truths about activism-
A lot of times we join a cause because we need to work on our own issues surrounding that cause
It’s easy to loose interest and/or become complacent about that cause once you’ve gotten what you need from being active in it.
I am embarrassed that I’ve become so complacent and comfortable that I’ve forgotten that loving one’s body IS a struggle for so many women, especially younger women, and that our culture really does not value physical variety. Just because I am now blissfully removed from how hard it is to accept yourself, doesn’t mean I should be any less supportive of the younger generation still striving for the same bliss.
So, girls and boys, let me tell you- it’s a great big world out there. Love that body. Surround yourself with folks who love your body, too, and get to living. You’re beautiful. Just the way you are.