When the political becomes personal

There is a theme on my Fetlife friends list today. It seems to be “let’s discuss our physical appearance” day. Nobody told me. But now that I know, I am going to participate. I am, after all, an advocate of bodily autonomy and a part of the size acceptance movement.

I read a lovely rant by a woman who self-identifies as a bbw. She is happy in her large and lovely body and is unafraid to eat things in public. Even cake. Even a second slice of cake. She is also unafraid to get naked in the dungeon. Because naked kinky times are fun and awesome and she can’t well have them without the “naked” part. To which I say, “Hell Yes!”

Obviously, I agree with being at home in your own skin. No matter what that skin looks like or how much skin there is. Despite what the modern media would have us believe, it’s really great to actually love yourself. As you are. Right now. You don’t need a diet, a self help guru, steroids, or a certain brand of shoes in order to love yourself. If you want those things, great! But they are not prerequisites for self-love. It’s hard in this modern world to just love ourselves. But it’s a really fantastic goal.

I read another rant by a guy whose date was complaining that his date wasn’t confident enough in her appearance. He felt she was fishing for compliments in order to bolster her flagging self-esteem. And he was having no part of that. He didn’t want to date someone who was relying on him for self-esteem. I also agree with that! Self-esteem is, by definition, derived from within. No matter how many people tell you “x”, you may or may not ever believe in “x.” It’s hard, but it’s all up to each of us to decide if we believe “x” about ourselves.

In related news, I started back on hormonal birth control. It’s been years since I have been on any. And one of the likely side effects is weight gain. I was unconcerned. I was much more interested in whether or not I am going to end up with mood swings or spotting. Both of which would be annoying to have to deal with. It’s still worth it not to have to worry about an unintended pregnancy, but it would be annoying. And there is a very very small risk for blood clots. I’m not at much of a risk, but the risk isn’t zero.

I was relating the various things that I was expecting to go through in conjunction with my new anti-pregnancy regime to the men in my life. The Wild Thing listened carefully. He expressed excitement that I would be able to better enjoy my sex life without worrying. He was also confident that I would be able to deal with the things that were potential worries for me. And wanted to know if there was anything he could do in the event I needed support.

The Husband, on the other hand, though he has spent the last year attempting to convince me that he loves my body… well, the only words that came out of his mouth were, “Do you think you will gain any weight?” Color me unconvinced.

I could turn into a weeping mess. A rampaging bitch. And not in the fun way. I could have a stroke. And his first thought was that I might get fatter. I know he loves me, but I don’t think my body is much to his liking any more. Unfortunately for him, I am one of those confident people who is at home in her own skin. No matter how much skin there is.

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6 responses to “When the political becomes personal

  1. Just found your blog and so glad I did! Loved to hear about another woman who is confident in her own skin, “no matter how much skin there is.” EXACTLY! I used to not be in this place, but I’m grateful every day that I am now.

    • I fervently wish that every man, woman, and child was able to be confident in hir own skin. I am still hopeful that we will all get there some day. In the meantime, I do my best to model the change I want to see in the world!

  2. Well, I have to point out that there is fine line between acceptance and being comfortable in your own body vs. outright denial and hiding your displeasure about your physical appearance behind that fake “I’m proud of my body” shield.

    I try not to judge you personally, but latter (‘size acceptance movement’, as you call it) is getting more and more common and has in nowaday society become a convenient escape from all the work that usually goes along with getting and staying fit.

    Again, don’t get me wrong here – I’m well aware of how low self esteem, anorexia and xonstant dieting can destroy both your physical body and mind. Also, making your life goal to look like some gym guru might also be a step too far.

    But I firmly believe that we should name things correctly. If a person is fat, (s)he’s fat (and, again, I’m not talking about ‘I’ve gained so much weight I must quickly lose 5 pounds before next week’ fat). You should keep your body healthy, and fat is not healthy. You should move and exercise and try to check what kind of food and in what quantities you eat.
    Don’t forget that your body is also part of you and you should treat it with same respect that you treat your mind.

    For me, overweight speaks of lazyness. It means that person doesn’t care about him/herself or is too lazy/convinient to work hard for something. And way too often all those references to ‘love yourself as you are’ and ‘you should accept your body’ are just artifical shields to cover that lazyness and find excuses not to work out and take care of your body.
    Well, if it makes people feel better about themselves, we can consider it just an unharmful white lie. But it doesn’t change facts.

    • “Well, I have to point out that there is fine line between acceptance and being comfortable in your own body vs. outright denial and hiding your displeasure about your physical appearance behind that fake “I’m proud of my body” shield.”

      On this, we certainly agree. Acceptance of the skin we’re in is fantastic and desired (in my opinion). And it is my fervent hope that anyone who is faking it til they make with their body acceptance will get to body love as soon as possible!

      “I try not to judge you personally, but latter (‘size acceptance movement’, as you call it) is getting more and more common and has in nowaday society become a convenient escape from all the work that usually goes along with getting and staying fit.”

      Please feel free to judge me. There are very few people whose opinion of me matter, and I can be reasonably sure that you are not one of them. If you are, then we can have an in-person conversation about your issues with my body acceptance. It will likely be short, consisting of me letting you know that I am going to love my body no matter how much body there is or what shape it is in or how “fit” I am. Because I am absolutely “fit” to be a human in my own body. By my own standards.

      “But I firmly believe that we should name things correctly. If a person is fat, (s)he’s fat ”

      I am fat. Yes, I have no fear of calling myself fat nor do I have issues with other people calling me fat. Because it is true. What I DO have an issue with is the assumptions that are often meant by “fat.” Because fat is a term which discusses how much adipose tissue one has, and has nothing to do with anything other than how much adipose tissue someone has. To wit…

      “For me, overweight speaks of lazyness. It means that person doesn’t care about him/herself or is too lazy/convinient to work hard for something.”

      So when you call someone fat, what you are saying is not only that this person has a certain amount of adipose tissue. You are also saying that this person is lazy and does not care for hirself. So I encourage you to go ahead and name things correctly. Next time you tell some person they are fat, continue on and mention that you believe them to be lazy and without a care for their own person. Don’t feel comfortable with that? Then it could be time to take a close look at your own assumptions. Fat =/= lazy. Fat =/= gluttonous. Fat =/= slovenly. Fat =/= uncaring. And here is one that will quite possibly blow your mind…

      Fat =/= unhealthy

      I know, it’s hard to believe. But it is also true. I would also suggest that you google the term “concern trolling.” There are lots of other great studies and blogs out there about things like the usefulness of the bmi & statistics on cancer survival by weight category. You can google those too. But the bottom line here is that body hatred and body shaming is not awesome. If you are shaming someone by calling them lazy and uncaring, you are not being awesome. If someone loves their body, just be happy for them. It’s so hard in modern living. Give them props.

  3. On your last statement, I respectfully disagree. Yes, being fat doesn’t necessarily mean your sick or having constant health problems.

    Also, I believe that BMI is rather imperfect tool to correctly reflect fitness. For example, 6’3 200lb male is rated ‘overweight’ by BMI classification, although most of such people are rather fit and muscular.

    But the fact is (and it shouldn’t be overlooked) – even though fat person can be perfectly healthy at a time, overweight and/or high fat percentage of the body includes a long list of health risks, that usually appear sooner or later.
    A bit like smoking – it might not necessarily kill you, but the probability of that scenario is a lot higher.

    About assumptions – there is a long list of physical features, habits and appearance that we use as a tool to judge people. Usually we rate higher those people around who are valueing similar things than we do.
    Being fit and taking care of my body is important to me, hence I judge people by it. I know what time end effort it takes to stay fit.
    You, on the other hand, are not fit (by your own words), so I find it logical, that you if a person looks fit or fat.

    Another example to illustrate my point. A person who cares about animals (rescues kittens, has pets of her own, does even some voluntary work in that field) automatically rates very highly all people who are like her – pet owners, people who try to find new homes for abandoned kitties etc.
    She might value them highly even despite the fact that these people can be true a**holes in other ways of life – human relationships, work responsibilities or something else. The point is – your valuation criterias are personal and it’s perfectly normal.

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