I have them. Like most women in the patriarchy, I believe I have some very big flaws with my appearance. There’s a few reasons I don’t have a photo up on this blog, and my own insecurities definitely play a part in that.
However, I fight as hard as I possibly can to ignore all the voices in my head telling me why/how I’m not good enough. It’s just that sometimes these inside voices manifest on the outside. Some examples:
On my birthday, an event that is by all accounts meant to be a happy occasion where possible, my cousin (this one) put a super amount of thought into my birthday present. She got me health food and put it in a bag from one of my favourite chocolate stores (incidentally, a place I’d actually suggested when asked for gift ideas). According to her, I need to start eating healthier to lose weight, and my birthday, my birthday present even, was the best time for her to let me know that. Nevermind that she should keep her damn opinion about my weight and my eating habits to herself.* Just for interest’s sake, this same cousin wants me to go pole dancing for her birthday. ARGH.
Second weight related happening – I’m losing weight. Not through doing anything healthy, simply because the thought of food makes me want to puke these days. So I’m pretty much eating enough to survive and nothing more. I’m not doing it to lose weight, I’m not trying to self destruct. I’m just not big on throwing up, so I eat as little as possible. Now, not a lot of people know about this part because I’d prefer not to go into details with them, however a few have noticed I’m losing weight. I’ve had a number of people actually say things like ‘well done’ or encourage me to continue or point out how much better I look or even say I shouldn’t worry about my favourite clothes not fitting because soon I’ll be small enough to shop at different places. Oh wow, I’m excited. No one has asked how I’ve done it, no one has noticed my lack of appetite, no one cares about anything beyond the superficial ‘improvement’ to my looks.
I’m bitter that my closest friends and family are more worried about how I can fit into that patriarchal beauty norms than about how I’m doing.
*And yeah, as I write this I can think of a few people who I’ve said something to, jokingly and otherwise, about how bad their eating habits are. I’m going to make a huge effort to stop that now. And to those of you reading who are included in that list, I’m sorry. Remind me of this post next time I do it.