This applies to all genders and orientations, but I do feel that there is a heavier spell placed upon modern women in regards to looking or playing the part/role, as it were. It applies to all bodies and not just fat ones. I imagine if you’re reading this blog that you must have some interest in breaking free from the nonsense of what is “acceptable” and popular and all of that. I hope that you’re ready or at least willing to push yourself just a bit outside of your comfort zone in order to really see all of the wonderful things that you’re capable of. Because the truth is we are all capable of so much more than we are often willing to admit or prove to ourselves.
When you are getting dressed, in the morning or evening or for some fancy do, are you filled with thoughts of covering, hiding, smoothing, shaping, lifting, heightening, and other such things? I am here to tell you that while your efforts may make you feel better in the short term, your discomfort shows. There are a million little things that tend to go unnoticed, especially by ourselves, but they add up and they do show. You know how when you’re breaking in a new pair of shoes and you begin to sort of over compensate for that discomfort? That shows!
Every little thing we do to try to “fit in” or appear a certain way that isn’t our true selves it shows. Even if it doesn’t show visibly, and I may lose some of you here, but it does show energetically. You can feel when someone is terribly uncomfortable. You can sense when someone is hiding or covering something. Perhaps not everyone picks up on this and many of us are lost in our own heads and insecurities for sure. But I have felt it, standing next to or in front of someone, the very insecurities that person is trying to hide or cover.
Sometimes I catch a glimpse of it in someone’s eyes, that they are putting on a show. Other times it’s just how they carry themselves or small mannerisms. These things, no matter how small, tell a big story about you. I think I see and catch these things only now that I have let so much of that stuff go in and for myself. When I saw Michael Moore in person I was surprised and disappointed to see a man I admired feel badly about his body. He didn’t say so, but his movements and mannerisms and other subtle things spoke loudly to me and I was saddened. How could someone so seemingly smart and compassionate and aware, worry about such things?!
As my roommate and I were both getting dolled up for dates the other night it all came back to me. How I used to fret and fuss over things like my arms and thighs and visible belly. She asked to borrow one of my dresses, because I have so many now that I let that shit go, she assessed each in how it covered or “flattered” her various sensitive areas. She kept saying, “I know you can rock anything and look fabulous, but I’m just not there yet. I try.” and I explained that it wasn’t until I pushed myself to try something once that I soon saw that the entire thing was pointless. I used to sob loudly at the mere thought of going sleeveless outside of the house or with friends over. No matter how hot it was.
In the end I told her I thought she should wear whatever she was literally most comfortable in because if she was worried about showing something she wasn’t comfortable with she would look uncomfortable overall. And if you’re so consumed with something like that, you won’t be having a good time. Like when I see girls at the dance clubs in those super high heels trying to dance. It boggles my mind. I am there to dance and so I wear my docs because I can dance all night in them. But these girls think they look hot in those heels. And they do while standing or sitting still. But take it from me, and I have heard men and women say the same thing on the subject, nobody looks hot walking around in horrible pain.
It’s just not worth it, folks! It’s not! If you’re not comfortable showing your arms, don’t. But know this, you won’t know what freedom feels like until you give yourself the freedom to let all of that go because it’s weighing you down and holding you back. We waste so much fucking time on hating ourselves and our bodies and for what? What do we really get out it at all? Nothing but wasted time and energy! Do you really think someone late in life wishes they spent more time putting on fucking spanx and heels and fretting over their arm flab showing? HELL NO!
Everyone wishes they spent more time living and less time worrying. Since I stopped freaking out about how I would look to other people I have become happier and have felt more in control of my life and connected with my body. But it took that first try, that first toe in the waters outside of my comfort zone. I never would have had the nerve to open my own food-based business as a fat woman had I not left that shit behind. It is a difficult thing indeed to be fully informed on a subject so weighted with pitfalls while inhabiting a fat body. If I was still worried about my damned arm flab that cafe would not have opened itself.
I urge you to try something you’d normally be uncomfortable with and see if the world ends when you do. Find out for yourself and decide what matters most to you. Because feeling good in your own skin isn’t something someone else can give you. You can’t just wake up with confidence. You have to work towards it. The journey and your life are the rewards for that work. I look and feel younger than I did five years ago because of this work. I can’t imagine going back now or living any other way going forward.
When I tried going sleeveless the first time it was hard. I felt like all eyes were on my honey-lovin-arms, but they weren’t. It was all in my head. Now when I go strapless, in public and even in front of two hundred people, I feel amazing and free. This is me, this is my body, it’s a beautiful gift that carries me through this life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything and I refuse to do anything to jeopardize or harm it. It took me this long to realize that I own it, not the world. That how I feel inside does in fact show and glow on the outside.
Let us all pause for a moment of gratitude that we can choose to love and support and embrace our bodies. They are a gift and a blessing and it is up to us to do right by them. I hope that you find the strength to let yourself out of the societal cage that has forced us all to hide and to conceal and to try to be anything but our truest and most beautiful selves. We are all worth it!
Rad Fatty Love,