Thursday, November 22, 2012

On Bodies

Halloween 2011. Year of the Pokey-Pokey Stick.
Hideously enough.
Bear with me, this is a rant-type-thing that I wrote up when I should have been sleeping or doing homework. Note that when I say rant, I don't necessarily mean that I'm annoyed. It's just a long...discussion. Yeah, that's what we'll call it. A discussion.
I don't know.
As you may have noticed, I'm not exactly a size two. You could tell yourself that I'm a size two-plus-twenty, but the fact remains. I'm not small. This isn't shocking. It might bother a few people, it might make them uncomfortable (She interferes with the aesthetic, she isn't one of the beautiful people, she makes the internet less pretty, OH. MY. GOD.), it might make them worry about my health, it might make them drive themselves mad.
Let them.
In the past three years, I've kind of fallen in love with my body. Don't misunderstand: I fight a losing battle with it, where I struggle to find its beauty. That doesn't mean that I can't love it, or appreciate it, or be so very thankful that it's mine and not someone else's. That also doesn't mean that anyone can stand up, raise their hands, tell me oh-so-nicely that I'd be prettier/healthier/better if I lost weight, either. Frankly, no one, no one has the right to say any of that. I've been very lucky so far that I haven't gotten much negative attention directed thrown in the direction of my body. Even if readers, strangers, family, or friends think any of this, no one says it.
But just because they don't say it to me doesn't mean it goes unsaid. It's in the way I feel the need to defend my favorite bloggers when someone feels the need to get involved in their body, whether it's too small or too big. It's in the way people make fat jokes and then glance uncomfortably my way, checking to see if I'm offended (trust me, if it's funny, I'm not).
Where do I hear it most loudly, though? At malls. On stores online. In my closet. There are entire lines devoted to plus-size women, which, while nice, tends to separate us from our straight-size (aka normal) friends and family members. I can shop in the same stores as my best friend sometimes, just not the same section. I have to pay more for clothes that have only recently gone from ill-fitting dresses with ridiculous necklines to something resembling AWESOME. I'm not bitter about it or angry at my best friend for fitting in to clothes with a single number on the label. She has as many complaints about sizing as I do. No, what bothers me is that we have to be separate. I understand companies that charge a bit more for bigger clothes (extra fabric, thread, everything), but they don't raise the price from, say, a small to a large. Once you enter the "extra" territory, your bank account has to suffer so that you don't have to wear muumuus or horrendously fitted stretchy things from Wal-Mart.
I'm not going to be the girl who says that the fashion industry feeds off of our self-hate. I don't think that at all. It might be true, it might not be true, I feel like that's completely beside the point. Whatever that is. What I'm saying, in a ridiculously convoluted way that makes very little sense, is that I am so sick and so tired of people pointing their fingers and shouting, "You're fat! You're different! You're not like us!" I get it. I really, truly do. I'm a fatty. That's cool. It doesn't stop me from doing yoga, or hiking, or swimming, or jogging on occasion. It doesn't keep me from eating healthy, or eating junk, or eating whatever I please simply because I can. It doesn't keep me from wearing what I want. It doesn't keep me up at night, and really, it shouldn't keep you up either.
Whether you're a size two or a size twenty-two, there's a terribly good chance that you hate your body. It might not be able to fit That One Dress by That One Designer, or it might not be able to get the King Dancer pose (soon, though, I swear it!), or it might have too many freckles/moles/hairs/bits of fat/inches/whatevers. That doesn't make it any less special. You don't have to go out and frolic naked in a field, shouting about how much you love your body. You don't even have to love it. Just stop hating it. Once you stop hating your body, you'll stop hating others' bodies, and we'll all be a little happier.
Sorry this was long and disconnected and rambly. I finally found my point, and that's all that matters. Now. Go out and stop hating your body and acknowledge that it's awesome, okay?

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