Witchcraft poet, neurotic sex symbol, over-educated sadist, and generally only dangerous to herself and a few unfortunate bedmates. Found haunting the halls of academia, frequenting shady establishments and eating candy at home in bed.
I've been thinking about what it was like to be a teenager. It was horrible. People who look back on their teenage years with nostalgia and fond memories must be sniffing glue and altering their memories. I was fat, smart, weird, and from a poor family... The absolutely worst combination for the battle zone that is North American high schools. Not only is your body changing fast, hormones are racing, boobs are sprouting, you're confused, you're developing your sexuality, deciding who you are gonna be, and on top of all of that, you become the target for all the body hate North American society can heap on you.
So what are a few things I can do to be body positive? Well, for starters... 1) Reject mainstream culture. Question and critically analyze everything you see rather than passively accepting it. Why are white, thin, young woman over-represented in the media when most of the world isn't white, thin, or young? Question why women and men are expected to be obsessed with their bodies at the determent of everything else in their life. Might it be to keep us confused, hungry and not focused on more important matters? Might it be to sell us more and more "miracle" products that promise to shave off the pounds, lighten your skin and find you a husband?
In 1989, psychotherapist Irvin Yalom published the candid autobiography called Love's Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy which was a journey into Yalom's own mind and the encounters he had with patients over the course of his career. One of the patient's stories presented in the book, muddled with Yalom's own self-analysis, was the story of "Fat Betty".
Abreast of the Breast
No matter what my weight has been in my life, smaller or larger, there has been one constant. I have big breasts. I sprouted breasts before all the other girls in my class and had to start wearing a training bra at age nine. By 13, I had Double D boobs and these days I would say they are around an H or I even though I still stuff them into Double D bras because larger bras are stupid expensive and hard to find.
I write about sex a lot. Probably because I think about sex a lot. It's a privilege afforded to my generation in this part of the world. As North American women, we have gained more rights to our bodies than ever before. Hell, there is more mainstream advertising now telling us to take care of our cunt's health than I believe has ever existed publicly (I saw a bus ad recently reminding me it's time to get a PAP smear). Several women in my family hit sexual maturity in the 1970s at the height of the sexual revolution before the terror of AIDS and at the inception of widely available birth control. I grew up hearing stories of what it could mean to be sexually free.
Norman was the kind of man you could set your watch to. Always on time. Always reliable. Always impeccably dressed in dark suit and tie. His dark hair always worn in the same fashion, short and neat. His shoes always shined and his creases always sharp. His world worked on a strict set of orderly rules. He got up at the same time every day. He ate the same breakfast. He went to his job by the same route and always got to work 5 minutes early. Norman worked as an insurance adjuster for the biggest company in the state. He always took lunch at exactly twelve o'clock and fed the birds in the park near his office. He came home at the same time every day and rarely spoke to anyone he didn't have some sort of transaction with like the cashier at the supermarket or the landlord when rent was due.
Jiggling for Justice
There is not a piece of me anywhere on my body that does not jiggle. I am not a hard body; I am a soft body. Nothing on me "juts" or "cuts"; it is all round and curvy, I do not have hard angles. You cannot see my ribs or my collarbone. I get the feeling when people hug me or cuddle up to me that I am much like your favorite overstuffed cushion. Squishy, soft and warm.
I have a mission for you; a little exercise in self-confidence you might call it. Most women spend a significant portion of their day looking in a mirror and assessing themselves. Usually negatively. I suspect a number of men do as well but not with same venom and fervor that women seem to. We really hate our bodies. Size doesn't even necessarily come into it. I've seen girls that could barely weigh 90 lbs hate on their bodies in front of a mirror.
Living with Depression and Anxiety
I suffer from several mental health conditions: depression, anxiety, panic attacks, trauma, disordered eating, and neurotic issues. Over the last several years, I fell into a black hole of depression that I thought I would never get out of and am only now clawing my way up the side of.
I am a large woman and as many of my friends and enemies know I am a rather frequent nudist. Now nudity isn't something all large women and men are particularly comfortable with. The majority of nudes we see in our society are in movies, porn or artist photographs; the bulk of these feature thin people frequently with medical enhancements. Doesn't make us thick-inclined types so sure anyone wants to see us naked and instills an internalized fear of our own nude bodies.