I have been thinking quite a bit about my past and all that I have been through. It became apparent to me that it was never really me that hated my body, it was others. While I would drowned in self-hate and misery, it wasn’t specific to hating my body until the outside world got involved. No, I simply thought I was worthless and had that message reinforced enough times to believe it. It took other people’s influence and hate messaging to get me to hate my body, too. And even then? I can’t say that I stuck with it.
I never wanted to be super skinny or thin. I grew up in the time of super models and enjoyed fashion at a distance. Being the poor kid, I knew better than to want those things by the time I’d reached my teens. I had also by that point learned to seek emotional fulfillment outside of my home. Friends were there and then not. Endless disappointment, honestly. Boys were a nice distraction, but evil did seem to lurk around every corner. I was always a “good girl” but hung with the bad kids, so I had a reputation I did not earn. I didn’t care too much and only noticed when a friends answered her phone saying that she could no longer hang out with me because, “my mom says you’re a crack whore.”
Body image? Eh, that didn’t entirely exist for me. I mean, it did to a certain degree. I wasn’t in tune with my body. I was, and sometimes still am, disconnected from it. I didn’t have the mindfulness that I do now. I simply wanted to escape. Escape what? Well, everything! School, my house, being poor, being me, being ignored, being ridiculed, etc. The stoners I hung out with made me feel normal, they made me feel cared about. I was a hippie at heart (and always will be) and they fed into my wavelength on that level. We would go up to The Haight (Haight/Ashbury in San Francisco) and frolic in the park and talk to the houseless folks on the street. It was where I felt most myself because it was as far as I could get from home.
The first time I ever took my shirt off in front of a boy I was fourteen and he was eighteen. He sat in this overstuffed chair in my bedroom (my dad wasn’t home, obv.) and I took off my shirt, then my bra and I sort of walked away from him so he could watch me. I felt my hair sweep and tickle my bare back and it felt exhilarating and powerful! It felt like I had control over something finally. It felt like I could do anything for a brief moment. But then I realized that I was doing it for his pleasure, not mine and went back to the “task” at hand. Nothing else happened that night. No, that French guy got my virginity about a month later (and it was terrible). But that was my first taste of mind-body connection. I remember it like it was yesterday because it felt electric!
I wish I could say that I’ve had hundreds of those moments since, but I haven’t. The truth is that I know that there were years of my life where I tried to ignore my body entirely. I was in it, but merely as a vehicle for getting places and doing things. I withdrew into my mind when the abuse was too much and I longed for a “final” escape from it all. It wasn’t until more recently that someone said they loved my body, that it was beautiful, that to them it was the “dream body” that they’d fantasized about since they were a teen. To have someone so comfortable with my body that they don’t think twice about moving and caressing my ample flesh is to have a comfort like few others in this world.
Many of us fatties fall into bouts of despair because society insists upon demonizing our bodies. But I can assure you that the people of this world are not so simple as society and marketing make them out to be. I can say with absolute confidence that there are incredible creatures on this planet that make life worth living, in any body you have right now! Putting your hopes and dreams and your life on hold until you can become some otherworldly creature (isn’t that what it seems like sometimes?) is depriving yourself and the world of the your magnificence! You can do anything you want to do right now! I know because I can, too! There’s no limit to your potential! You just have to stop holding yourself back and allowing others to do that to you, too. It really is that simple. You are amazing and you are worthy of everything this world has to offer you. Now get out there and grab it!