Thursday, April 3, 2014

Still working on this "body positivity" thing

[Content note: mentions of weight, body shame]

It's no secret that I embrace body positivity and denounce fatphobia. Two seconds on this blog will reveal that much. But as with unlearning any of the dangerous messages that society transmits, even when we try our best, it takes time and there's a LOT of back sliding.

The biggest way that I know that internalized fatphobia still has an effect on my mind is how I view my own normal body fluctuations. I put on a pair of pants that I haven't worn in a few months and they're loose: I feel happy/excited. I put on a dress I haven't worn in over a year and it's snug: I feel gross/ashamed/sad.

I look out into the world and can appreciate all the other lovely fat ladies I see. I can teach body positive workshops and lessons to others. I can write blog after blog post about the negative effects of healthism, fatphobia, and body shaming...but when push comes to shove, the hardest battle I will ever fight on this front is inside my own head. Just like unlearning racism, sexism, transphobia, homphobia, ableism, etc...the wider societal messages fight against my personal process every day.

So many times I feel disgusting and ashamed.

But I am thankful that I do know that this is all a process. I'm getting better at forgiving myself when I do slide back into old views that thinner=better. I can let the thought exist in my mind for a moment and then push it to the side. Beating up myself about it won't solve anything.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this reminder that no matter how far you evolve in your journey to self-acceptance and body positivity, it will probably always be a work in progress. And that's ok.

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1 comment:

  1. If you haven't seen America The Beautiful 2: The Thin Commandments yet, I highly recommend it. It's on Netflix Instant Watch. Anyway, there's a great little moment in that documentary where the filmmaker is speaking to two women who run an eating disorder treatment center, and he says something along the lines of, "When I talk people, a lot of them seem to know the facts about diets. They know that they don't work, but they do it anyway. What's up with that?" And one of the women answers something like, "It's proof that the brainwashing is complete." That about sums it up for me.


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