Saturday, August 23, 2014

Dear beauty industry,

I grew up trying to please you. My mom drilled my head with your propaganda, as so many women have. I heard that my flat chest is nothing you would wish on your worst enemy, so as young as 5 years old I vowed to get my boobs done. I had no idea thighs weren't supposed to touch when your feet are together and when I heard that shorts in public were a thing of the past; I was 10 years old. Blondes have more fun, my big ass was the only thing acceptable (thank you sir-mix-a-lot), and if when you're done waving, your arm keeps moving, the punishment had better be starvation. I pumped my mind with "thinspiration", felt superior during that one meal I didn't give in, but then felt like a complete failure when I finally did. I threw up the one half of my hot lunch I ate during 5th grade one day, thinking how could this be better than carrying a little extra weight? But you said it was, everyone said "thin is in" and "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels" so I shut up and failed as I was trying to keep up with you and all your magical ideals. We would point and laugh at fat people with terror in our hearts that we would become them, yes that was our nightmare, not anything rational that we should have been aware of. Everyone was on a diet, everyone had "just 5 or 10 pounds" to lose, nobody was happy being simply them. Nobody ever said "you don't have to change" and "we like the way your hips shake", but meet them in the gym to work off our shame that we had to eat today, was all that anyone could think to say.

Which brings me to a point I want to make damn sure I make: other bodies are not up for target practice to catch all your shame and hate. I grew up in a family where it was okay to (sort of) inconspicuously point out "the guy to the left" and "the woman in pink to my right" and let me just say, it spawned nothing but fear, anger, and hate. I feared ever having rolls that couldn't be hidden with a shirt, I was angry that they could enjoy themselves fully in their voluptuous body while I was wasting my life at a healthy size, and I hated that we pointed it out because what were they saying about me if I noticed them? People are not something to be condemned in secret or in passing because of the way their body looks in comparison with YOUR preferences. You are not the be all end all of beauty, your opinion does not matter... so neither does mine, right? Right. People will always hate, but this message is for those that can be salvaged from dealing the hate and the beautiful people struggling with their body image - and not just weight.

Body positivity seems like a fat - only club, but that's just the start. Many people are body shamed for various reasons like...
Men who are intact (formerly known as uncircumcised)
People with disabilities that can look different from others
Women with small breasts
Men who aren't muscular
Women and men who are TOO THIN OR TOO MUSCULAR (Yes, skinny shaming is a thing and is usually done to be "body positive" about fat girls... but real body positivity is being positive about every type of body)
And the list goes on.
It's a sick, slippery slope and, as you can see, you cannot please everybody. Good news: We weren't created to. Everyone has a preference for whatever reason for what they desire in a partner and what they don't... but that's all it is... a PERSONAL preference. Not everyone was made to be desired, liked, and wanted by YOU.
So let people be people in all their unique glory and continue on being rad as fuck while loving and supporting every body.

Now for all the disclaimers and bullshit for the people who always misread/hate on body love pieces. You are welcome.
1. You don't "care about their health". I've said it, even believed it before, and it is a lie. I don't care about a thin persons health as they walk down the street, I don't run over to a man with a cane and ask how his last doctor visit went. Why? Because I don't have time, nor does anyone else, to be concerned with every individuals personal well being and health. Unless, of course, they're fat. Then I just simply must make sure they know that their weight is not good for their knees, heart, kidneys, etc. They're aware, okay? You don't know their medical history and it's not for you to know, leave it to the doctors.They know they are either healthy or unhealthy and it is THEIR decision to lose weight, gain weight, or remain at their weight, and it doesn't affect you one bit. So drop the "I'm so caring" bullshit and stop shaming bodies, capisce?

2. I'm not promoting obesity, un-healthiness, or lazy habits. I'm suggesting, as many now have in this body love movement, that your life doesn't need to wait for your body to change in order to be lived. Wear the bikini, have sex with the lights on, go rock climbing, take selfies without filters, work out, wear the horizontal stripes, eat what YOU want, don't shave, or shave it all, be proud. You're beautiful, worthy, and capable of unlimited pleasures and dreams right now, in this life.


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