Yesterday I saw a 30 something year old mum during school pick up, she was wearing a thin grey singlet dress that clung to her small frame in all the best ways. She had her blonde hair pulled back in a cute and messy ponytail as she walked along next to her 5 year old chatting carelessly with him about his day. She was so easy going and lovely to watch, she wasn’t trying to be beautiful but she just was, even better than a plastic bag floating in the wind.
Then there’s me. Sitting there watching her like a creep while thinking that there is no way I could wear that dress without a tight pair of control spandex underneath, you know the ones that constantly fall down or up (ones that you’re constantly pulling up while flashing strange old men your old undies from when you were 9 months pregnant with the hole on the side.)
I tell myself :
“I’ll never be that skinny”
I feel defeated at the idea that I’ll always just be me.
I’m always comparing myself to those who aren’t me.
The truth is though that I am not fat, not in the slightest, in actual fact I probably look the best I have since I was like 18 years old, this sounds like a win, but of course I am still never happy with that.
I am not overweight and even if I was who would actually care? I am not ugly and even if I was, it’s no ones business.
I am me. I. am. me.
Why can’t that just be enough? I’ve had 3 children, at one point there I was almost pregnant for as long as an elephant. My whole body changed, it wasn’t what it was and I long to see photos of the breasts that I once had, (I’m sure there’s some out there somewhere). My hips are (naturally) wider, (from you know pushing whole human heads out of a small hole), my breasts (of course) sadder (from feeding a breast demon for 2 and a half years). My body seems to now want to hold on to the fat around my middle for the sake of making those jeans I once loved so unconditionally to be unloved pieces of shit (which are stomped on and thrown into the ‘one day’ pile).
So I birthed and fed 3 amazing human beings, I have loved unconditionally with this body, I have nurtured relentlessly with this body, I ran/crawled 21 kms with this body.
Yet at the end of the day I will still chastise myself for anything even slightly bad that I ate (or over-ate) that day. I’ll beat myself up because I didn’t exercise this week again. But like seriously, does it really matter?
Low body image is like a cloud, sometimes a ray of light will pop through when you’re having one of those “I look pretty good today” moments but generally, the cloud is always there. ‘This is so gross, my belly looks like a fat piece of turd, my tits look like road kill, my bum wobbles so much my kids can hear it slap, I can see my bum cheeks through my thighs, what the fuck is this shit? What the fuck, when did my vagina fall out?’
I have abused this body for doing nothing but what it was supposed to, carry my mind and live.
Once upon a time I was this little five year old child that was always used as this thing, my body was merely a toy, a play thing for someone else to sexually gratify themselves with for years and years. I was sexualised by a man when I was supposed to be a child only enjoying the gift of childhood. I was rewarded for what was done to me with snacks, toys and special treatment. I was being violated and then validated for what I allowed him to do.
I eventually grew into a teen and then into young adulthood, I realised boys in school and then young men showed me attention, a type of attention that I had always been familiar with, but this time I liked it because these men, they were my age. I could get things, do things, they would be my friend, I had friends that enjoyed me. I was validated. They approved. Everyone clap.
I used my body as a tool to get attention, popularity with the male form and it worked. I showed it off because I assumed these men, or boys (school days) would only love me if I continued to be what they wanted and if they wanted what I had.
It was all I knew, my body had been sexualised from such a young age that all I was, was my body, my sexuality, I was my body.
I validated myself for years by sleeping with men that I didn’t care about, by sleeping with men that didn’t care for me, I slept with men just because it made me feel better at the time, until it was over and I realised, it wasn’t for me, it was for them. I wanted to feel validated. I wanted to be loved. I wanted approval. A reward, a job well done. Now where’s littlest pet shop toy?
There began my relationship with my body.
I didn’t love my body because my body wasn’t my own for a long time, I allowed myself to be treated however others wanted to treat it.
Now I am older, (just a little bit older) and I have found love with someone who loves me, for and as a result my body isn’t constantly doing what it always had, it isn’t always sexually pleasing someone for validation, it wasn’t doing what I had thought it was supposed to do. It has love from someone now, and it needs no validation. No reward, no approval.
I need to work on loving a body that hasn’t been mine for a long time, a body that doesn’t need to do what it grew up knowing.
I need to accept the compliments my Batman throws at me because each day he says “You look/are beautiful today” and I always reply with some kind of outrageous lie.
I need to learn that I am beautiful inside and out, no matter who I compare myself to. I am beautiful and my body is an amazing fucking machine that made whole people, children and carries my brain all around the place.
My realisation in writing this blog is that I don’t think that what I actually want is this amazing sexy body that people turn heads for. The last thing I want is to be validated for the way my body is, but instead I want to be validated for who I am, and not by anyone else but me.