Sunday, May 13, 2012

I was feeling rather hateful towards my body tonight. It's an old familiar feeling, and it's incredibly cruel. I feel disgust and contempt and anger. It's this ugly body's fault that I am not happy, that I am not in a relationship, that I am shy and self-conscious. My poor body. I shouldn't be so abusive towards it.  Even after all of the work I have been putting in to not falling for those same old lies (that diets work, that thinness equals love and happiness, that fat is ugly, that I am worthless and unlovable because of my shapeless and ugly body), they still creep up on me. If I don't check them swiftly and often they'll take hold of me and choke me before I even realize what's happening. Sometimes the lies get so loud in my head that the only way to shut them up to start a new diet, obsess over everything I eat, force myself to exercise when I don't want to. Of course doing things you hate doing is unsustainable and I give up soon enough (usually feeling like a total failure). 

This is hard on me. I don't want to be like that. I want to call bullshit on the whole cycle, on all of the lies, and especially on how justified and righteous I feel when I bash myself for something that is so much not in my control. I'm pretty sure that perverse feeling of righteousness comes from when I was younger and I bought in to everyone's cruel remarks about my body. They would let up if I agreed with them. As long as they knew I despised myself as much as they did, my fatness was slightly more acceptable. Sometimes they would even be nice ("no, you're not that fat!"). Or maybe it's my Mormon habit of constant self examination, the constant comparison of myself with others to check my own standing before God, the constant struggle towards perfection (which I'm also learning to give up, or at least rethink, for the sake of my emotional health and sanity). In any case I firmly believe that no good comes from self-contempt, from guilt, or from comparison with other people. How can I be healthy physically if I hate my body? How can I be healthy spiritually if I get caught in guilt cycles? How can I be healthy emotionally if I compare myself with the fraction of what I know of other people's lives? 

Fortunately I caught it before I woke up tomorrow morning with a new diet in mind. I won't do it. I do not eat badly and I don't need to change any of my eating habits. I move my body every day, and I certainly could move it more, but I think that means I need to find things to get me out of the house and doing stuff. I want to live with a purpose and it's hard to be purposeful when I'm running as fast as I can on a machine going no where. My brain does not like that.

Also, this article helped a lot to remind me that diets are evil and that I don't have to hide my body. Also I bought some fantastic new clothes. I read an article the other day in Bitch Magazine about "fatshion" and how we fat ladies should not be hiding our bodies in shame. She talked about how using fashion to be visible is political, it's participating in fat activism. Visible bodies are powerful bodies; they are speaking bodies, and they demand to be seen and heard. That's why fashion in general is important for women, and why it is especially important for fat women to take seriously. (Seriously, there's this theory called "presence politics" that I plan on learning more about this summer). They want us to hate ourselves into dieting (they being the diet industry first and foremost, but also the people who buy into the cult of the body and the narrowly defined ideals of beauty that actually causes all but a small percentage of people to suffer for it). They want us to disappear, or to fulfill stereotypes and dress like lazy slobs so they can feel righteous and justified in their shaming. So instead of being committed to a diet, I'm going to be committed to finding and wearing loud clothes (which believe me can be very very difficult in a world where the only clothes I can fit into are either online or only found in one store at the mall. Clearly fatties are more profitable in the diet industry than in the fashion industry). So I bought four new patterned tops for my trip to New York next week (which is a big deal because I hardly ever wear patterned fabric). And I'm going to flaunt it.  I also bought a necklace, which is again a big deal because I never accessorize. 

So yeah, don't hate your body. It's beautiful. It's a freaking miracle. And I'll try to not hate mine. 

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