It’s been a crazy weekend. From the inauguration on Friday to being out in the rain on Saturday to just staying holed up in the house in my pj’s yesterday…
I have so many feelings about the events of the last almost 18+ months… I’ve seen the best of people and I’ve seen the worst. I’ve seen things that scare me for my children, for my family, for my friends, for myself, for my country, for the world. I’ve seen things that give me hope, that touch me deeply, that give me chills in the most amazing ways.
Everyone is entitled to their thoughts, their choices, their opinions. We can all come up with justifications and reasons and excuses for why we do the things we do.
You don’t have to agree with me and I don’t have to agree with you. That was once the beauty of this nation, of this planet we call home. We all have the right to believe as we wish, express ourselves, show up to what moves us and what matters to us as humans, as women, as men, as individuals and collectively. But we’ve got to start talking without hate, start finding ways to bridge the differences, ways to love, ways to hold one another accountable that are productive rather than destructive… We have to, as people, come together…
There have been times in our history where we have been divided, where we have been silent, where we have been vocal, where we have rallied, where we have won, and where we have lost. There have been times in our history where blood ran in our streams and rivers and soaked into the soil beneath the feet of those fighting for what they believed in. There have been times war has divided this country and times war has brought its people closer to one another. There have been times we’ve been incredible and times we have been a disgrace to ourselves and to the world.
We all deserve better. We all deserve to do better. We all deserve to be better. For our kids and their kids and those who will come long after we’re dead and gone. And if we’re not trying to do and be better human beings FOR ALL, then what the fuck are we doing?
Kinda catchy, yeah? The title of this post, I mean. So, let’s get down and dirty…
My ass is a size 22. A size 24 sometimes, depending on, oh let’s see… my stress level, my hormones, my state of happy or sad, my depression, my job (how many hours I’ve sat in a chair and for how many days), my diet, and my genetic pool. Some of these things stay level (genetic pool) and some (all the rest) of them fluctuate by the hour. And they all affect the size of my ass.
All this size crap? Sucks. That little chart in the Dr’s office? That sucks, too. A doctor telling you that you need to eat better, quit smoking, stop drinking, etc…? That really sucks when you find them eating junk, smoking like a chimney, and drinking more every night than you have in your entire life. Do as I say and all that shit.
And right now, I’m eating a piece of cheesecake. And I LIKE IT! It’s so good and rich and it’s all mine. I will not share it with you. Okay, maybe I would, but only if you promised not to feel guilty about eating it…
On the heels of the announcement of the size 16 model on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition in which we are celebrating body diversity, I learn that my daughter is being asked to write a ‘practice’ paper on obesity in children, teens, and adults. This isn’t something earth shattering, because as a society, we have been focusing on obesity for a long time. We charge out the ass for a bottle of water, but give away chemicals (soda) for next to nothing. We charge out the ass for a bag of salad, or a pint of blackberries, but give away a sugar laden candy bar for next to nothing. We talk about getting out and exercising, but we work all the time and don’t lead the example. We have become the rule, not the exception. But I can’t throw stones because honest to God, I hate exercise. I do. I hate sweating. I hate the treadmill. I refuse to join a gym. I refuse to take an aerobics or spin class. I tried several times. I hate it. (I do like yoga, though.)
Over the last year, my daughter has gone from a size 1 and an extra small, to a size I don’t know because she won’t tell me and a medium. She looks beautiful. She looks healthy now as opposed to the gaunt, sunken, unhappy young woman I had previously known. But she looks at the stretch marks and hates how she looks. She’s seeing ONE part of her and hating it and it colors how she sees the rest of herself. And society needs to fucking stop that shit.
You, me, my daughter, anyone, everyone is NOT their skin, are NOT their scars, are NOT the size of their ass. But we make it, we make ALL OF IT about the physical. We don’t give a damn about the kind of asshole person they are, because as long as they look right, it’s all okay, who they are inside doesn’t matter.
When I see my daughter hating something about herself that she has no control over, and no she has no control over the stretch marks that appeared when she was confined to a couch for 4-6 weeks after she broke her ankle last year… Shit fucking happens. I gained weight too when I crushed my ankle right after my son was born. It never healed right because you know, newborn and couldn’t stay off my feet for the weeks I was told to stay off my feet, and I’m in pain with it all the time.
I was told one time by someone very dear that some guys were/are into bigger women and love bigger women and well, he just wasn’t one of those guys… That’s one of those heartbreaking moments in life. That’s one of those life altering moments in life depending on who says those words. And just like everything else in life, it’s how you deal with those words that matters. And I can tell you I didn’t handle those words very well. They broke my heart and sent me down into a deep, dark hole that I’ve only started climbing out of in the last 3 years.
I’ve hated myself and my body for YEARS. For more than 20 years I’ve hated myself and my body. From words my husband and my doctors and my family and my friends and society has spoken to me I’ve hated, HATED myself and my body for over 20 years.
And not hating myself hasn’t come from diets, though I’ve tried them and lost weight. It hasn’t come from exercise, though I’ve tried that, too, and gained weight. It hasn’t come from my spouse, my doctors, my family, my friends, and most definitely not society, because yeah… It’s had to come from me, from INSIDE me.
Do you get that? INSIDE! Not outside. No, cause the outside is cruel and mean and completely heartless at times. But it has had to come from INSIDE.
Many are not that strong. I haven’t been. Not until recently. And no one ever really takes into account that happiness can cause one’s ass to spread too, but it can also cause it so get smaller.
Something I’ve learned is that we have to own our shit. I told my daughter that today. No matter what it is, we have to own it. Own that you ate an entire chocolate cake and loved it. Own that you’re addicted to coffee. Own that you suck at marketing (I know I do and that’s another post altogether.). Own that you hate all the popular stuff. Own your kinks and perversions. Own that you are unhappy or hurting. Own that you’re happy and not hurting. Own your shit. Whatever your shit is, own it, embrace it as yours, accept it as yours. Only then can you begin dealing with it. Only then will the stretch marks become part of you, and not a part that you hate that in turn makes you hate other parts until you’re hating everything you are.
I saw a post on Tumblr recently where a woman added text to an image of herself and it said she was glorifying obesity. She was poking fun at the comments people made about obesity. And some of the comments were just fucking mean. But there were the absurd ones too. One of them from a man was that he bet she cried herself to sleep at night because of her size and that she should think of all the things she couldn’t do that an average weight woman could and that probably made her sad. The woman in the pictures was anything but sad. And as I’m reading these comments and looking at the woman and reading more of the comments from men and women all I could think was, Fuck You.
Society has declared it okay for you to wish my ass were smaller because of how uncomfortable it makes everyone around me. But it hasn’t declared it okay for me to shout Fuck You because of how much of an asshole you are that you can’t see more than that. I don’t have to tell you my ass is big. You see it. But you definitely feel the need to point it out.
We teach girls to hate themselves. We teach the beautiful people that it’s okay to be bitches and assholes because they have what we obese people really want and that’s to look like them, all pretty and perfect on the outside. We teach boys that it’s okay to look at woman and tell her that he bets she cries herself to sleep at night because she can’t do the things a skinny woman can do.
We’re all as different on the outside as we are on the inside. We’re all beautiful and we’re all ugly. We all throw stones. We all break the glass houses that we live in. We all hate ourselves and there are a few of us who love ourselves more.
But we need and much as I hate that word need, we NEED to stop wishing to be different and own our shit. Own the shit storms and the stretch marks and the fact that we have to buy a size bigger. Own that we are mean and cruel and a reflection. Own that we can love and smile and accept and embrace. That’s the only way we are ever going to move forward.
I read book with plus size characters where the heroines are obnoxious about their larger sizes. That’s just as bad as not being accepted at all. Embracing yourself doesn’t mean you have to shove it in another person’s face and scream look at me. You don’t have be an asshole about it. Believe me, people see it and they’re already uncomfortable. Don’t push them away because you had to shout it to the world.
The size of my ass or your ass is no one’s business. As long as the inside is healthy, none of that other crap matters. You want to lose weight? Great. You want to diet? Great. You want to embrace your size, whatever it is? Great. But whatever you do, and when I say you, I mean the collective YOU, not anyone specific… Own your shit. You’re beauty, inside and out. Strengthen your soul, your mind, your heart. Those are the things that matter most. Not stretch marks. Not the size 24 jeans. Not the orgasmic moan you let out when you bit into that piece of cheesecake. But whether or not you were an asshole. That’s what someone is going to remember. And that’s what they should remember…
I posted this video last week and it’s still relevant to this particular topic.
We need to stop hating ourselves and stop hating our differences. For ourselves and for our children…