It is NOBODY’S BUSINESS but your own, let me repeat NOBODY’S BUSINESS but your own, what you choose to do with your body. Before anyone states the obvious, I’m not talking about using your body to commit a crime or to inflict pain on another person. I’m talking about the skin, bones, blood, muscles, etc. that you claim as yours. That’s right. It is yours. It’s what people see when they look at you. It’s almost always a canvas to be used to express who you are in one way or another. It can reveal a lot about you or it might not. You might not think a lot about your body, but I hope that you think enough of it to take care of it. If you don’t, well, that is unfortunate, but it’s not my place to tell you what I think of it.
At the old age of 52, my body has certainly been through a lot with three pregnancies, two childbirths, my rough and tumble childhood (and adulthood, lol), sexual pleasure, bruises, sprains, high blood pressure, and far too much abuse. I never set out to abuse my body, but I never loved it. I never loved the skin I’m in. What about the legs that have carried me so well for all of these years? I’ve never had a broken bone. I really have never had a serious illness. My breasts have fed a child. My body has nurtured the growth of two children. Isn’t it funny how we, as mothers, seem to practice body love only when the life of another is at stake? Why did I give up certain foods and drinks when I was pregnant? Wasn’t MY health just as important as the health of the life inside of me? I daresay many of us don’t love our bodies. We scrutinize and torture ourselves with thoughts of hatred and desires to be look like someone else. How fucking insane is that?? Men generally don’t do that.
I’m writing this because of a conversation I had recently with one of my parents. Rather than bore you with a long, woe is me post about my own body issues, I will tell you what was said and you can draw your own conclusions about my past and how those past issues continue to haunt me and affect me to this day. At the age of 52!!! Ok, here goes some snippets from the aforementioned conversation:
Me: “How was your dinner with J and his friend? What did you think of R?”
Parent: “He seemed nice enough. Overweight, though, just like J.”
Me: “Heh, aren’t so many young people these days?”
Parent: “I looked up S’s fiance’ on on Facebook. Do you know what her last name is?”
Me: “Yes, we are friends on Facebook. It’s **** .” (her last name is a synonym for fat)
Parent: “Kind of appropriate.”
S just recently got engaged. His fiance’ is a young woman who is overweight. S has exclusively dated larger women. I don’t know if he has a preference or not, but that’s his business. Since S started dating, this parent (S’s grandparent) has made remarks about S’s girlfriends being fat. One time, a comment about one girlfriend was made in earshot of her parents. Not cool. J’s friend R is also overweight. I knew that, but of course, it had to be pointed out to me in a critical manner.
From a very young age, I was taught that it was not OK to be overweight. Of course, I inherited my curvaceous body type from my Italian grandmother and I have had to work hard to keep weight off. I don’t want to be overweight, but I still am. No matter how I choose to “keep” my body, it’s not up to anyone else to pass judgements on it, but that has not been the story of my life.
I have been envious my whole life of girls who grew up feeling good about themselves.
Nowadays it’s called “body shaming.” I just call it hate. Hate your body, hate yourself, treat yourself poorly. Let’s end this.