FAT-TI-TUDE! BODY IMAGE! Repost by request.

Hello loves,

An awesome new follower of mine who is my long long sista from another mister Chelle asked for this to be reposted as she was the only person who commented on it and she thought it was bomb-diggity, or words to that effect. (I totally lied about the 'bomb-diggity' bit, I've just been waiting to say that my whole life.) You should totally check her blog out. I think I cracked a rib laughing so hard today. DO IT!

Onto my post, from December last year.


I want to say something about body image. I'm not 100% happy with what I see in the mirror. Is any woman? I'm fat, I have cellulite, my nose is too long and witchy in profile and I have a couple of extra chins. The easiest thing in the world would be to hate myself, especially as the world is so misogynistic and far too often women are told (through messages in the media) that we're of little or no worth unless we're young, pretty and fuckable. To hell with that. I won't let anyone dictate my worth, and neither should you. Whatever you look like, you're worthy of love, respect and all other good things.

These magazine articles where women are praised for losing 10 pounds as if they've given birth to the next Jesus also bring the hammer down on any celebrity not doing whatever it takes to be popular and fit in with this bullshit sexist male-dominated perspective. That's not to say it isn't also perpetuated by women who believe all women OWE it to society to be considered attractive, but I believe it's ultimately a symptom of patriarchy that has filtered down. Take Lauren Goodyer for instance, she of The Only Way Is Essex fame. Virtually every day there's an article in the Daily Mail thinly veiled about how hideous she looks - complete with virtually up-skirt photos to catch the tiny bit of cellulite on the back of her legs. The message is there, yet unspoken: Look at this woman who dares to be over a size 6. See how worthless she is? Then she'll diet and they'll print a photo of her looking slimmer, and they're suddenly full of praise for her. So the message is only is she worthwhile as a human being if she looks thin and attractive. Through these and other messages we are constantly being told being thin at all costs is the best thing any woman could ever hope to achieve. If I was a mum to a teenage girl right now I'd be shitting myself. These messages have always been there, but now with the internet so accessible they're everywhere you look, and it's so easy to get sucked in if you're not really strong.

Luckily for me I had an experience when I was 17 which made me wise me up to this kind of bullshit. I was a fat baby, a fat toddler, a fat child and a fat teenager. I hadn't known anything else other than being fat, so I didn't know how thinner people were treated. Then I started going out with an arsehole who told me I needed to lose weight. (It strikes me as funny he only said that after we started going out. He should've found himself a slimmer girl to start with rather than trying to change me. Hey ho, you live and learn.) I was extremely unhealthy in my dieting, sometimes only eating satsumas and carrots all day. I lost a couple of stones very quickly and soon I was Miss Popular. Some people at work at the time - both men and women - were suddenly all over me when they'd paid me no mind before. I hated it. I knew they were shallow arseholes because I was persona non grata to them before. I wasn't any different inside and their sudden interest disgusted me. I wanted nothing to do with them. I guess from that age I thought anyone who didn't like me as I am could go and get screwed. I've remained that way. Anger and a dash of feminism make me bristle at the notion that women are things whose primary function is to exist to be physically appealing to men. I don't owe it to anyone to be their version of attractive, but sadly there are some men out there who believe this is the case and get all butt-hurt when they see a woman who dares not to fit the cookie cutter mould of excellence. (Any sarcasm you're getting is entirely intentional.) The Daily Mail is the equivalent of the twatty bloke outside a pub who said 'Look at the size of THAT!' as I walked past, if my very existence is going to subvert the entire human race and curdle his pint. 

So we have established I'm not perfect, and we've established I'm a bolshy feminist who couldn't give a monkey's if my body offends poor shallow souls. That says more about them than it does me. There's more to it than that though. This is why I refuse hate myself: This body of mine is the only one I've got. These legs of mine, these fat legs, they've carried me around all these years. They've helped me dance with joy in dozens of  clubs over the years, taken me on numerous journeys to see and do wonderful things and have opened up to let in a couple of good guys (and a few arseholes.) These pillowy arms of mine give a cuddle so soft and warm no one wants to let go. These chins of mine - so displeasing to some eyes (even my own sometimes - self-acceptance is a journey) - feel like pure velvet. We've been through a lot, my body and I. I fell down a flight of concrete stairs and wrecked my back before I reached the age of 10. I've been run over by a Ford Transit van, sustaining head injuries and nerve damage. I've had an 8 inch metal bolt go into my knee, leaving me with one leg shorter than the other. I've carried and lost two babies in this body. I've lost a part of my reproductive system to the hospital incinerator. My body is not a thing to be leered at or jeered at. It is SO much more than a lady garden and a pair of boobs and I really REALLY want to forcefully put my elbow into the face of anyone who dares break me down to spare parts like that, and you should too.

Don't stand for it. Don't stand for an iota of bullshit about your body. Our bodies aren't under public ownership. They aren't there to be policed, rated, or commented upon by Neanderthals in the street. Our bodies are for loving and laughing, learning, and experiencing all the wonders life has to give.

What say you, peoples of earth?

Thanks to Chelle for giving me the kick up the boo-tay to post this again.

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