Butterfly Cauldron

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Fear of a naked fat woman

Bear with me, I'm feeling introspective.

I started this year off with a request. I asked the Universe to help me become more at ease with my body and the pleasure it can bring me. I've spent the last six or seven years getting acquainted with the pain my body can bring me. I wanted this year to be different. So, I requested that the Universe send me people who would help me do that, help me get in touch with the joy my body can bring me and to help me accept it, regardless of what shape that help too. I'm generally pretty damned picky, wanting partners to be 'just so', dismissing people out of hand. Oh, I can't go out with him, he's too XXX or she's too YYY. I tend to think myself out of things and in doing that, I deny myself a great many experiences. So, this year, it's going to be different.

And, low and behold, the Universe listened. She sent me The Boy and made him very insistant, even when I tried to pull my usual number and ignore what I was being sent. So, I finally give in and just go with it. And it's been lovely. It reallly has, although I'm not seeing a longterm relationship here. But then again, who knows? I've been wrong before.

So, what's my problem? Even when he's touching me, there's this little voice in the back of my head wondering how he can stand it. How can he stand looking at my naked body? It's not beautiful. It's not even close to 'normal'. It's fat and ugly. At least, that's the voice in my head. I don't really believe that, I think. At least, I don't most of the time. Most of the time, I'm certain I'm adorable and desirable and deserving of love and pleasure. And yet, when I'm naked . . . In my head, I keep asking the question. How can you stand this? Don't you think you could do better?

And I want to cry, because I can't stand that I think of myself that way. And I know it's in my head, that it's all me. None of the men I've ever been with has so much as suggested that I needed to lose weight. Even when I'd gained a good 50 lbs., my Ex couldn't stop touching me. He never stopped telling me he thought I was beautiful and it was clear he thought I was desirable. And The Boy? He's so sweet. He seems shocked that I want him. And I don't understand that. Because. . .I don't know why he wants me.

See, I can understand why someone would love me. That's not the issue. I just don't know why anyone would desire me. How awful is that? Confident in my ability to inspire love, but not lust. *sigh* Which is stupid, because clearly, I've been inspiring at least one man of late. (Not that this stupidity is stopping me from enjoying him. Hell no. I'm messed up, but I'm not stupid.)

And then, I wonder, do all women feel that way, regardless of their size? Are we all struck dumb when someone expresses desire for us? Or is it easy for others? Because, if you ask me about anything else, I'm totally sure of myself. But in this one area? I just. . .I know I deserve to be loved and wanted and desired. I just can't understand why anyone would want that. And so, my brain, it hurts.

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posted by Zan at 5:11 PM

3 Comments:

This is a tricky on, isn't it? I think it's the real Achilles Heel for many otherwise confident women.
If we're being really honest? For me it's entirely dependent on weight. When I'm at the lower end of my weight scale I walk around the house naked. Add a mere ten pounds and...I walk around convinced that everyone I see is judging me.
Even at the higher end of my weight scale (basically a size 10-12) I get compliments, guys trying to pick me up etc but...I don't believe them. I feel like they're trying to trick me. I would dread getting naked with someone new at that point.
At the lower end of the scale (size 8 - not that much difference, really) I believe them.
It's insane, really, the way we all beat ourselves up about this. I don't think men do it, generally, except about penis size. I've met a few men who do, but only a few.
This is one of the few issues where I'm firmly in the radfem camp. I think we're programmed to feel this way in order to keep us too busy fretting to do anything productive. It also makes us ideal consumers.

6:04 PM  

Everytime B/f says how much he wants me and loves my body, I always think he's crazy. But I go with it. And tell that nagging voice to F*** off.

11:19 PM  

I struggle with this too. In our media-driven culture, how can we help not being affected by the constant barrage of messages telling us "thin, young, beautiful" is the only way women are valuable?

But I tell myself this; never never never talk your husband/boyfrien) out of thinking you are beautiful.

Say, "thank you" when he praises you.

Don't say "but I'm fat" don't say "but I'm ugly" don't say, "how can you love someone like me?" (and I've said all of those things both out loud to him and in my head, believe it).

DON'T talk HIM out of believing you are beautiful. He thinks you are; that is enough.

If you keep denying it, one day he might listen.

And yes, easier said than done, I know. :)

One of the happiest times I've ever seen my husband's face was when I had been looking at myself in the mirror naked one day and for whatever strange reason, I finally saw what he saw; I saw a lovely, soft, feminine woman's body. I looked...lush. I ran to where he was and told him I have "lush" body and he was SO HAPPY, his face lit up! He told me again and again that yes I did and I was beautiful.

It makes them happy when we agree with them about the person they love most. :)

11:27 AM  

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