I want to write. I want my writing to be read. I write about my body and want people to read what I write about it, because when I post things on my blog, it is not just my body any more. I know I am voicing concerns that other people have about their bodies, about their minds, about their well being. When I write about my body, I am sharing a burden. It’s something I tend not to do out loud.
When I talk about being fat, it is with a tone of comedy. I take the piss out of myself – not out of my weight, I try not to self deprecate, I try to be the strongest me I could be without people realising how much strength it is taking. Either that, or it is with an edge of anger. Anger at clothes shops who fail to stock above a size sixteen. Anger at people who think my weight is their business. Anger at the corporations and the society that seems to benefit from my perceived shame at being fat.
I don’t talk about sadness.
I keep that to myself.
But when I write about it, I can articulate the sadness so it comes across properly.
I am part of the body positivity movement. I believe that people should feel good no matter what they look like. Embracing that belief for myself is harder. Sometimes I hate myself and that’s difficult – what I think and what I feel are two separate things, and it takes a while to talk myself down from that particular ledge.
I read an article by Roxane Gay – someone who I look up to immensely – on the Guardian website. She talks about not being happy, about knowing she is the fattest person in the room at most times, about the pitfalls of being overweight, about dieting and the fake concerns of strangers, articulating many of the doubts and fears I have in my own head. It’s a brilliant piece of writing. I didn’t feel empowered after reading it, but I felt understood. That’s important.
When I decided to force myself into accepting my body, I sought out role models. It helped. I remember listening to a podcast – Sofie Hagen’s Made Of Human – and crying because finally, finally, I felt understood. I looked for these women, these fat, intelligent, powerful women, everywhere I went. There were a surprising (to me) amount of them. Now, I’m sure if you’re into body positivity this isn’t something new for you, but to me it was. I saw fat people out and about and instead of comparing their size to mine, I tried to see the beauty in them. It was difficult because I hadn’t ever seen the beauty in myself. Cheesy, I know. But it’s true.
I don’t really know where this writing is going. I guess I just feel a bit sad tonight and wanted to talk to someone.
I used to have a lot of fears, and I’m getting over them. I force myself to think about these fears in the same way I force myself to look at my reflection in a full length mirror. I do that sometimes. I stand in front of the mirror in my room, in my underwear or in nothing at all, and look at myself. I pick the bits that I like and accept the bits that I don’t. I poke at my belly, squeeze the flesh at my shoulders, lift my head to minimise the chins. I swallow the whispered words of self hate. I look at my legs, the curves of my shoulders, the shine of my hair, the green of my eyes. I let the words of acceptance go past my lips. The words of love. Words like sexy and attractive and beautiful and yes. I look through my brain into the fears I have for the future. Most of it centres around being alone, about not being loved, and when I examine it really closely I realise that it doesn’t bother me too much. Not really. I have love from the people I surround myself with. And being alone isn’t a bad thing – god knows I’ve been single for long enough that I like my own company, most of the time. Sometimes I can be a complete bitch to myself, but other times I am actually quite a cool person for me to hang around with.
I cloud my head with words of positivity. Lots of I am. And after a while, after quite a long time, things became true. Self-fulfilling prophecies.
On bad days, I hate myself. I cry. Sometimes I punch walls (not advised). But that’s alright. Because on the good days, I am one of the fat, intelligent, powerful women I look up to.
I guess that’s why I write this blog. If you enjoy my writing, fantastic. Honestly, fantastic. But if you get something more out of it, then even better. You can be a body positivity activist even on days you hate yourself. Because to someone else, you’re the most badass feminist killjoy that ever walked the earth. You are worth so much more than the size of your clothes. And you owe it to yourself to know that. And to own it.