Monday, May 29, 2006
This shouldn't be radical. . .
It's taken me almost 32 years to be able to say that and really mean it, but dammit, I love my body.
I'm not supposed to, I think. I'm a fat girl. And I don't mean 'could stand to lose 10 pounds'. I mean fat. I wear a size 24/26 and I'm not really sure how much I weigh. But I really don't care, either. My body is tall (a gift from my 6'9 father), strong and healthy (aside from the Lupus, which I'd have regardles of weight). I can do whatever I want, whenever I want for the most part. If I want to run, I can run. If I want to dance, I can dance. I can swim and laugh and kiss and comfort friends and cry and be angry and change the world -- all in this fat body.
My whole life, people have been trying to tell me I needed to be smaller. I needed to lose weight, I needed to drop a few dress sizes. 'Oh, you'd be so pretty if you'd just lose 20 pounds.' No, actually, I'm pretty now. I'm smart, now. I'm funny, now. I'm a good friend, now. Losing 20 pounds or 40 pounds or 100 pounds isn't going to change any of those things. It's only going to put me in a smaller size jeans. And you know what? I just don't have the need to be smaller.
I look at models and actresses and you know what I think? They need to eat. They're too small. They're going to break. And I like looking at women, you know. I like the look of a full hip and thigh. I like a waist that I can't get my hands around. I like a woman I can really touch, that I don't have to be afraid of hurting. And some of these women who are held up as Perfect just look fragile to me.
All the women in my life have been big. My mother, my grandmothers, my aunts -- there's not a small one among them. And they are amazing women. My mother survived emotional and physical abuse by her father and managed to marry a man as far his opposite as possible, raise two pretty awesome children, have a really great life and not let the bastard get her down. Her mother is just inspiring, seriously. Her husband ran around on her, was abusive at a time when it was impossible for a woman to really do anything about that. And she kicked him out anyway. She kicked him out when she was seven months pregnant with her last child. And put herself through college, then raised five kids on her on. My aunt put herself through college, didn't get married, bought her own home by the time she was my age and was the head ICU nurse before she was 40. These are seriously impressive women, who all just happened to be fat.
And they all hated/hate their bodies. My whole life, I watched them diet compulsively. (Well, everyone except my maternal grandmother. She never could be bothered with it.) My mother was/is obsessed with her weight. My aunt was so obsessed with her weight that she refused to go to a doctor (even though she worked in an ICU unit!) and fricking died of an undiagnosed autoimmune disease at 42. A goddamned disease that could have been stopped with one damned pill a day. Because she was so ashamed of being fat.
They live/lived in their bodies, but they didn't love them. I've got my theories on why that is, but in the end it doesn't really matter. My aunt died. My mother obsessively diets. I don't and I won't.
I honestly love this body. It's the only one I've got and there's no point in not loving it. I take care of it, I eat right, I take my medication, I see my doctors regularly. If my doctors tell me I need to cut back on things, I'll listen. But at the moment, everything is doing fine.
I love my hips and my ass and my thighs and my gigantic feet. I love my hands and my belly and my boobs and my scarred knees. I love my toes and my Medusa-snake curly hair and my teeth and my ears and every little inch of skin. I love all my moles and freckles and my eyelashes that are too pale for my face. I love my glasses and my nose and my eyebrows that won't stay sculpted. I even love the parts of me the Lupus has damaged, because it's all me. This body has shaped my experiences, for better or worse, and to hate it would be to hate myself and I can't hate myself.