Leftist commentary from a mouthy bitch
My Body Acceptance is at kind of an ebb right now.
I’ve been feeling meh and unattractive and unlovely for awhile now. I know part of it is that we’ve been running full tilt since June and we were preparing to move. Part of it is work stress. Part of it is that we spent a lot of June and July eating whatever, and not necessarily the healthiest stuff. Part of it is that I haven’t had the time to really write or blog or workout, as there’s always something else that needs doing, unpacking, friends moving out of town, weddings, etc…
So for this last week I’ve mostly taken a break from the news and most of my newsy blogs. I’ve at least gotten to walk more than I have, and we’ve unpacked most of the boxes and have time to cull at leisure if we so desire. So some of the pressure is off. And I am feeling better about myself right now.
But what I want to talk about here is the body issues. One of the things that’s brought on some epiphanies is I’ve found some old photos of me from my late teens/early twenties. I remember distinctly when those photos were taken, and I remember thinking I was the fattest fat that ever was fat. My upper arms were too flabby, my thighs too big. And now I look at these pictures and wonder exactly what the fuck was wrong with me that I could look at these pictures and think I was fat. Seriously, in fact check this one of me playing Frank N Furter at the Rocky Horror Picture Show:
I can honestly tell you that when I looked in the mirror back then, that was not what I saw.
I’m really pretty horrified by the level of body dysmorphia I labored under back then. And I mean that when I saw this picture immediately after it was taken I did not see that image. I saw something entirely other. I saw flabbier arms, cartoonishly big thighs like giant marshmallows, just… If I had to say what I thought I looked like then, I’d have to say it would be closer to what I think I look like now at a size 22.
I think I was a 14 in that picture, possibly a 12.
Only now I’m not so sure that I actually look like what I think I look like. Sometimes my husband and I look at porn together on the net, and I’ll pick out women I think look like me, or at least who I think are roughly the same size. And he always looks at me like I’m insane, and then points to pictures of women who are still comfortably plus sized, but thinner, sometimes much thinner than the women I picked out.
What is wrong with me that I can’t see what I actually look like? I really don’t know, and I don’t know that I’ll ever know, really.
I’m going through the same issues singing for the punk band we started with some friends. Hey, some people get divorced and buy hot cars, I sing punk rock: it’s cheaper. And loads of fun. But I have to ask my band mates to tell me which songs I sound best on, because I don’t know.
What are we doing as a society that this even exists? And I know it’s not just me. I follow the StopHatingYourBody tumblr, and it’s picture after picture of conventionally thin, conventionally pretty and even beautiful girls talking about how much they hate their body, the fact that their thighs touch, or don’t, their boobs aren’t big enough or are too big (just don’t read the comments when actual fat girls post, it’s really awful). It’s kind of horrifying, really. We are raising half the human race to hate itself, and very few people seem to think this is a bad idea. Let’s face it, all you have to do to start a big giant troll fest on the net is to post something about how size does not indicate health and that you should treat fat people like people. Some of the worst trolls I’ve had here are the fat-hating trolls, and the concern trolls are the worst. Because they totally don’t get it. “I’m just concerned about your health.” No. No, you’re not. You just think your disgust with my body sounds better if you spin it that way. At least the “Hurr hurr hurr, ur fat” trolls are pretty obviously just trying to get a rise. The concern trolls are just… insidious, because sometimes they almost sound reasonable enough to have a discussion with. But they always out themselves in the end. Trust me. They do.
So, yeah, uncomfortable revelation number one: the depth of my body dysmorphia. Pretty bad, actually.