First of all, sorry this post is so much later in the day than usual. I almost forgot about the whole thing. I think it’s just been an off week. Anyways, on to your regularly scheduled post!
This week I’m going to talk about body image. My body image. Also the self hate that develops when you don’t love your body as it is.
I know my body has been different from most people in my age group since I was a kid. I’ve had a wider rib cage than my friends and class mates. I also started growing breasts in the third grade. By fifth grade, I already wore a D cup. Those two things, I think, where what started my body image issues. I was made fun of. People said I stuffed my bra. Other people just thought I was a much older student hanging around younger kids. I think I went on my first diet (imposed by my mother) in sixth grade.
In seventh grade, I put myself on a dangerous diet of my own. I would only eat one meal a day, spend half that day at school (including PE) and then spend a few more hours at tech week for a community play I was in. I lost ten pounds that week. I know, I know. It was dangerous and stupid but I was so sick of the mean things my classmates would say because I wasn’t rail thin. The sad thing was that the only thing anyone said was that the play was good for me, because I lost weight. It was then that it got kind of stuck in my mind that normal diets don’t work. I have to starve and over work myself to lose weight.
The next year my mom put me on the Atkins diet for a month. I was miserable the whole time and only lost three pounds, reaffirming my idea that normal, safe diets don’t work for me.
In high school, some of my classmates made fun of my big arms when I wore cap sleeves. So any time I wanted to wear a shirt with short or cap sleeves, I had a jacket on over it. Even in the summer.
I struggled with my weight all through high school and college. Hell, I still struggle with it to this day. Normal diets don’t work, the unsafe diets don’t work for long, and no matter what I do, I can’t get down to a ‘healthy’ weight.
I’ve been told my whole life to cover up. After about fifth grade, I wasn’t allowed to wear shorts outside of the house. I wasn’t allowed to wear tank tops or scoop necks. I had to cover my body from my collar bones to my knees, and if I didn’t my parents and sister would call me disgusting and demand I put something else on.
I’ve hated the way I look for years. I’ve hated seeing myself in the mirror. I’ve made myself wear only baggy, loose clothing. They’re comfortable, don’t get me wrong, but I can’t find more shaped things I really like in my size. I’d love to wear shorts in public in the summer. I’d love to wear tank tops and fitted shirts but I can never forget all the comments I would hear growing up. I can never forget all the comments I still hear my parents saying when they see someone big walking around in ‘revealing’ clothing.
All that said, if you’re even half comfortable wearing something just do it. Wear the comfortable thing. Wear the cute thing. Tell the haters to go fuck themselves, because it’s your body. Not theirs.