So, there’s a laser/botox/spot where people go to avoid the aging process joint across the road from my home. Yesterday, a woman pulled up who seemingly, to my judgey, asshole brain, could have been the poster child for such a joint: middle-aged, driving a high-end SUV, wearing a denim mini skirt, nicely coiffed hair and a jacket long enough to disguise the mid-section bulge that many of us end up with after having birthed little people and/or really enjoy beer and the air of someone who did not seem terribly comfortable with her aging self (it’s a Thing, I promise. I might have to get into that in another post).
This woman started walking in the direction of the anti-aging place, but then walked right past it! She walked right past it and deaked into the alley beside it and took part in a shifty, amateur transaction that I am pretty sure involved drugs because that shit happens there all the time.
My mind has been opened.
The lovely Brittany Gibbons has provided a month of body blogging writing prompts and hells yes, Imma jump on that bandwagon because I love people in bodies (not just my own) and stories are worth sharing and there are keys under my fingers that could make words.
The first that caught my eye was “The first time you were called fat. When was it, and how did it change your life?”
I don’t recall ever explicitly being called “fat”, though that probably happened, it just wasn’t memorable enough in the face of the rest of the far more subtle body-shaming I grew up with. My mum was always policing what and how much I ate on the basis that she was a big girl as a teenager and it made her life hell and she didn’t want the same for me and obvs the answer to that is to try to control the body you have at your disposal (aka: mine) instead of fighting for the acceptance of all types of bodies.
On the other hand, I also had a step-father who frequently went out of his way to inform me that I was too tall, too big-boned, too big-headed, too opinionated, etc to “get a man” because obvs the answer to life, the universe and everything is snagging a man. The underlying message was “demure or die”.
Funnily enough, I both internalized and rejected those messages because that’s a thing because brains are stupid-cool like that and if you don’t see how that is, that’s a’ight and I still love you and it may or may not parse out to something sensical in your brain and I feel like it only does in mine because I’m now 38 years old and comfy with all of the wibbly, wobbly, brainy, wainy things that beings do, but I can’t explain ’em, especially not my own. Certainly not just with words.
Anyways. You guys, I’m 5’11” tall and built like a brick shithouse if it was designed by Hundertwasser (autocorrect just tried to turn “Hundertwasser” into “hiney teaser” and I’m pretty sure I could die happy right now).
My happy weight is 185 pounds.
My brain works like a laser controlled by a sloth and a blue-footed boobie. They both really like cheese.
My self, my being, is all curves and colours and textures and ideas that conflict and work together to create a package that is…challenging. It challenges me. It challenges those around me. Contrary to popular belief (my own included) I did not need to demure in order to “land a man”. I’ve the notches on my internal bed post to prove that and I learned that enjoying those amazing experiences has been worth far more than “snagging a man”.
I’m not gonna claim to be 100% comfortable in my own skin, but I’m really glad that I’ve been able to (mostly) ditch the idea of my bod being public property to be policed and judged by others. I love what it can do and has done for others (just little things, ya know, like, producing tiny humans and assisting in a millionteen orgasms and cartwheels and handstands. fuck yeah, I’m 38 and still do cartwheels and handstands!). I love that I awake every morning and have the ability to use all of my being as a canvas that I get to adorn in crazy-ass outfits and ideas, or nothing but bed sheets and coffee, that my body and brain carry me out into the world to hang with the people that I adore, that can choose every bloody day to not demure, to reject policing, to embrace those who want to embrace my being.
And that it loves cheese.
Because cheese is pretty much the best.