I owe so much to Adipositivity and sites like it… It’s scary to think where I would be right now without them.
I have an eating disordered history, for those who are new to the GrayRainbow scene. I used to spend a lot of time staring at fashion magazines and obsessing over photoshopped bodies. Then, I’d read the articles on nutrition and weight loss, so make sure I was trying my level best to become a photoshopped body in real life. There is hardly a weight-loss gimmick I haven’t tried. Meh.
I have noticed that over the years, the pictures of super-skinny and/or photoshopped women started to become triggering to me. Sometimes I would just get so angry and I had no idea why. I just assumed it was anger at myself for looking nothing like the women in Cosmo and the like. My self-esteem would go way down… and often I’d start planning my latest nonsense to try to lose weight.
I had seen things like the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, but I didn’t feel like it really helped my feelings of… ya know… feeling like a monstrosity. Dove only did so much for me. Sure, all the women weren’t complete bean poles, but they still seemed pretty photoshopped. Like, it’s okay to be fat as long as your thighs don’t have dimples in them – well mine do! The one older woman I ever saw in the commercials looked like she was really a young woman who had her hair dyed gray, plus she was the super-skinny stereotype I see too often of older women. It’s okay to get older, but only if you look way skinny – a la Julia Roberts, Madonna, Kyra Sedgwick, etc. Anything else is unacceptable – the magazines would have us believe. To be clear, if the celebrities I listed above live healthy, self-loving lives and are just naturally skinny, then yay for them. But, I think there should also be images of a variety of shapes and sizes of women at all ages… not just the ones who age really well or get work-done as often as I get my hair cut.
Adipositivity changed my life and it taught me how brainwashed I have been.
I kept hearing from experts and feminists that if we weren’t exposed to the hyper-sexual, super-thin stereotype that we wouldn’t have such a narrow view of beauty. I wanted to believe that, but I didn’t feel capable. Fat was undisciplined, lazy, greedy, stupid and everything that is wrong with the western world… or so I thought. How could I find any fat beautiful, when it is so unhealthy anyway?
Thankfully, the fatosphere taught me that fat isn’t the worst thing since cancer or serial killers. THANK YOU!!! But, it was Adipositivity and bloggers posting and pointing to art made by awesome folks like Kal Barteski (shown below) that taught me to really love my body… to love how it looks… to find myself sexy.
Seeing only very thin women shown as art in fashion magazines and on TV taught me to believe that thin is the only thing worth appreciating. I wanted to be appreciated and worthy of love, therefore, I wanted to be thin. Sad memories…
Seeing the lovely things on Adipositivity and the photoblogging from Fatshionista and Joy Nash’s Staircase Wit taught me more things than I have the words to express. But, most importantly, it taught me to appreciate me. I don’t cringe when I look in the mirror. I no longer have those days when I know that I JUST CANNOT look in the mirror cuz I’m in that mood and it’s going to mess with my head way too much. I no longer cringe at being naked or in a bathing suit. I no longer feel like I have to apologize to anyone who saw my arm fat or if my pants slipped and created the much scorned (not by me 😉 ) muffin-top. It’s just… whatever. It’s just my body. Some people are going to like it. Some people aren’t. What’s most important is that I’m at peace here in my own skin and not ashamed if my t-shirt rolled up while I was napping on the couch and showed a little belly roll. So what?
The fatosphere has taught me to find the beauty in a belly roll and the art in a woman (like me) who has a fairly flat chest, but a larger lower body. The fatosphere showed me that ALL WOMEN are beautiful. Not just fat women. Not just thin women. All women. Period. The real beauty is in loving yourself, taking good care of yourself and LIVING LIFE.
It turned out the experts were half-right… in my view anyway. Sure, expose yourself to more photos of realistic looking women and you start to find them beautiful. However, I don’t think I could’ve ever appreciated them, if I hadn’t already realized that fat isn’t necessarily unhealthy. (Blogged about and expanded upon here.) The real health risks seem to be associated with weight cycling (yo-yo dieting) alone. Sure, weight cycling can cause a person to be overweight. Any of the people screaming about how fat is so horrible ever thought about that? Grrr.
I have gotten to a point I never thought I would make it too. I can see the cover of Cosmo or Vogue or whatever in the checkout line at the grocery store and I do not get triggered. I don’t get angry. I don’t wonder what’s wrong with me. Instead, if I see a tabloid picking apart someone’s bikini bod at the beach, I think how miserable it must be to be that shallow. Man.. I wouldn’t want to live in their minds… Icky.
Who possess these minds that I speak of? Well, I have one particular target in mind today. Can you guess?………….. The Fashion Do’s and Don’ts writers. We’ve all seen then, so I will refrain from linking in examples today. I don’t need the reminder. Do you? 😉
These are writers who will call an outfit a disaster.
dis·as·ter (dĭ-zās’tər, -sās’-) Pronunciation Key
- An occurrence causing widespread destruction and distress; a catastrophe.
- A grave misfortune.
- Informal A total failure: The dinner party was a disaster.
- Obsolete An evil influence of a star or planet.
My guess is that they mean definition one or two. Heh. So, either the outfit is an occurance causing widespread distruction and distress or it is a total failure. Who CARES if someone thinks Katie Holmes’ shoes are ugly or that a senior citizen is too old to be wearing a bikini top! Does that rise to the level of even total failure? How can it be a failure if the person wearing whatever it is is HAPPY, COMFORTABLE and FEELING GOOD ABOUT THEMSELVES? No one has the right or power to claim the way someone looks a “total failure.” And yet, this is not uncommon talk that we see all the time in the media. It makes me wonder about our priorities… Oh yeah, and Jessica! Wear whatever you want, girl! Weigh whatever feels good and healthy to you!