Body Love: Body Positivity, Fat Shaming and a Broken Shell
I have a very broken relationship with my body. I often feel disconnected from my physical being and the sensations that come along with it. My body has been an object to use, to abuse or to taunt in the past. Not by me, but by others. But their treatment of my body has very much affected my own treatment of the physical shell I was born with. Emotionally and physically.
I often speak up about body positivity, and against the shaming of others because of their physical appearance. The whole movement around body positivity is rooted in the fight against the discrimination of overweight people. But society has latched onto it, where it is now all about “healthy” bodies and where everyone’s bodies should be accepted. So yet again, those that are overweight are pushed out of the spotlight, and those that fit into the general category of physical beauty, scream the loudest.
Body positivity for me doesn’t mean that there is a certain goal for beauty, or that everyone’s body is beautiful. It is about allowing those that have long been shamed for their body type, a space like everyone else. But that is not what body positivity means today, and fat shaming continues. And I am a hypocrite here. I fat shame myself. I try to challenge my own conceptions of my body with this blog and in other areas, but at the end of the day, I look into the mirror, and I call myself fat. And not in a proud way. I bully myself.
I have been overweight almost all my life. The negative comments about my body and my weight started off very early on in my life, from my parents. Food got restricted for me, I was constantly on diets, as a 6 year old! Later on, in school and also in my circles of friends, I got bullied because of my weight. I internalized the hate others had for my shape, and was unable to even be partially naked with anyone. This first changed in my early 20s, and then it was only in the privacy of my bedroom, with my boyfriend.
The reasons why I am overweight are medical. They have nothing to do with exercise, or what I eat. I have not eaten any bad carbs or sugar in almost 18 months. As a matter of fact, I eat very healthily, due to my diabetes, to avoid having to take medications for as long as possible. My diabetes is also a result of medical conditions and not because I am someone who is unable to control herself. I suffer from PCOS and Hashimoto’s. I also gained weight later in life due to medications. For three years of my life, I was able to sustain a “healthy” BMI, which involved an hour of exercise seven days a week, and around 1000 calories of food a day. It was not sustainable. The Hashimoto’s made me put on weight in no time. And there I was: fat again.
Still, to this day, I fat shame myself. I bully myself. I am disgusted by my body. There are days when I stand in front of a mirror and I gag at the sight of my breasts and my belly. Literally gag. My breasts have especially been a point of hatred for me. More than once I was so desperate about their shape that I had the strong urge to cut them off. I remember a therapy session many years ago where I sat sobbing, explaining to the (male) therapist how I needed to get rid of those disgusting things. I rather wanted to be breastless than having to live with what my body had to offer.
My belly gives me similar emotions. Do you know how to terrible it is when people assume that you are pregnant, when, in fact, you are just fat? How does one even respond to that? I usually just smile and nod and walk away. I try to hide it with clothes as much as I can, but it isn’t always possible. And some days, no clothes in the world can make me feel comfortable enough to leave the house.
My body has been through a lot and it has the scars that reflect just that. I had an emergency appendix surgery when I was a kid and there is a huge ugly scar on my belly. My arms are covered in self-harm scars. I try my best to hide those, always wearing long-sleeves during summer, never going anywhere without having my arms covered.
The weightloss and weightgain, the illnesses I struggle with, the lack of care I sometimes showed to my body, are visible. It is a weathered and broken shell that I have to live with.
There are some things that I can still appreciate. I quite like my face from certain angles (although my skin is appalling!). My calves are well-shaped, my feet are cute and my butt is actually hot. I appreciate the sexual pleasure my body provides. I am able to have multiple orgasms, to fuck for hours on end, to turn pain into pleasure, and to endure a brutal treatment.
But in general? I would describe my body as broken. My relationship with my body is broken. I am trying to take care of this shell as well as possible. For example, I stopped smoking and vape now. I eat well, I try to stay hydrated. I try to rest. But it is never going to be enough. I will never be able to be conventionally beautiful. The scars will stay. The illnesses are going to get worse, and the symptoms will affect me even more. I am trying to work on my own body positivity: I post pictures online, expose myself and try to smile through it. And nod.
Maybe the important part is not if I love my body. But if my body can bring pleasure when it is supposed to. It can bring me pleasure during sex, and it pleasures my Master. That could be enough. At least for now.
Questions for the Erotic Journal Challenge:
When you think about your body, what’s the first word that comes to mind? Are there things about it you love, dislike, could learn to treat better? Has your relationship with your body changed over your lifetime?
Our bodies tell a story…the story of our mistakes, our accomplishments, our strengths and weaknesses. What tales does your body have to tell?