Body Love, One Step Forward, Two Steps BackOn April 17, 2019 by pinkcrush1112
This post is an old one I started but never shared on the blog. I need you all to know more about my why, what makes me tick and my path to being a woman that works to empower other women. xoxoxo Andi
I ordered a couple of bikini’s from Forever21 Plus last week. I have a vacation coming up and Hot Tomato Pin-Up Academy is planning a bikini body shoot in August. To be honest, I am begrudgingly participating in the shoot. The thought of appearing in public in a bathing suit sometimes create all sorts of unpleasant dialogue in my head.
Almost immediately upon seeing the package on my porch a litany of negative self talk began running through my head.
“There is no way your tits are going to fit in those cups.”
“ And the back of that top is going to be swallowed by your back fat. Who the fuck do they think they are making these suits for anyway?”
“ And what the ACTUAL fuck was I thinking buying a suit without a skirt? My thighs are going to be super evident in those bottoms.”
I give into the spiral of self doubt and imagine a vacation nightmare that ends in frightened children screaming, running for their lives because my back fat and thighs have threatened to swallow them whole if they don’t move out of the way. Or worse yet, frat boys. A pack of them, shit faced and high on privilege and “pack mentality” fueled bravery, notice me in my pink bikini and decide to entertain themselves for an afternoon.
I start to calculate how much energy it will take for me to disconnect from that fear and vulnerability so that I can allow myself the pleasure and luxury of feeling the sun and water on my skin. I think about how fucked up it is that I am dreaming of disconnecting from this glorious body that allows me to do amazing things, just so I can enjoy one of my favorite past times, swimming.
The anger begins to boil over and I contemplate how I could change my body quickly so that I can enjoy a vacation that doesn’t feel hostile towards my chubtastic splendor. If I do not eat any carbs between now and then maybe I will feel safer exposing my body in public.
Despite being drunk on self hate, I eventually start to sober up. I remember that my body isn’t the problem. It is the culture of hostility towards bodies whose “thighs are evident” that may be the issue. This only makes me feel a little better. Shame sets in. Hangovers suck.
I know better.
I tell you this because I need you to know that even a woman who is dedicated to loving her body and teaching other women to love their bodies has bad days too. Despite over twenty five years of deconstructing beauty I have moments of doubt, self hate, negative self talk and sometimes it is hard to shake.
These are the days that I have to tell that mean girl in my head to shut the fuck up! I smugly remind her that no one was complaining about my thighs last night when I had a delightful
orgasm. And my thighs were not mentioned even once the last time someone thanked me for an empowering portraits session that reminded them they were gorgeous and sexy and their body was worth photographing.
I start to come to my senses.
I lean into the fear, the self hate and the shame and gently ask myself – “When did you stop loving your body? When did you learn that the body you inhabit was something to hide or be ashamed of? Did my mom love her body? What about my grandma? Who told me that thighs like mine, while adorable on babies, were repulsive when attached to a grown woman? How old was I when the family tradition of body shame was passed down to me like a closely guarded secret recipe for biscuits?”
The answers to those questions aren’t as important as the questions themselves and the realization that hating ones body is learned. Babies don’t hate their thighs. And they don’t hate other peoples thighs either. They delight in the softness of touch, the feel of the sun warm and inviting on skin and the how amazing it feels to be in the water, weightless, buoyant with hope and love.
Shame spiral halted, I resolve to try the damn suits on and wear them on vacation if they fit. I forgive myself for being mean to me and accidentally letting the mean girl out of the diet coke bottle again. I, once again, give myself permission love my body and value it exactly as it looks and feels today. Two steps forward, one step back. It is not so much a path to self love, but committing to it over and over again.
Where are you on the crooked path to body love? What secrets about your body were handed down from generation to generation in your family? What is your relationship to your body today?