A Fruit Forbidden: Body positivity
TW:Eating disorders / body dysmorphia
We live in a society that capitalises off insecurity in appearance. ‘Looks’ are an illusion. Confidence comes from the inside.
I don’t write this as a sob story, or with any self-pity at all really, in fact quite the opposite – I am ambivalent to it. This may seem like a personal story but this isn’t about me. So many of us have the same one.
My girl friends and I grew up saying ‘nothing tastes as good as it feels to be skinny’.
Assault courses after primary school, weighing myself before and after, competitively trying to lose more weight than my peers. Calorie counting and wincing at 52 calorie apples. Food diaries – plus the cruel messages I wrote to myself in them. Self-discipline. Forcing myself to like celery for its “anti-calorific” value. Skipping meals. Never eating in front of boys or in photos. Skinny pills. Smoking to decrease my appetite. ‘Detox’ tea. On and off obsessive and addictive gymming. Binge eating → Guilt → Sporadic starvation. Praising myself for minimal to no food consumption. Mirrors. BMI. Magazines. Paleo diets, liquids diets, atkins. Weighing scales. And some more personal details. Exhausting.
I first learned about anorexia through a soap opera I used to watch when I was young. I couldn’t understand and used to shame myself for not having the ‘willpower’ to be anorexic like the pretty girl on TV. She was ‘cool’, which subsequently glamorised her lifestyle.
To an impressionable young person, there is a thin, fragile line between raising awareness, and planting a seed.
Well, an eating disorder is an illness and not something ‘cool’ to strive to achieve. It is definitely not something to be ashamed of, but ‘cool’ is irrelevant here. If someone had heart disease, we wouldn’t label that as ‘cool’ OR ‘uncool’, it doesn’t come into it, it’s a disease and we look out for them and give them love and hope they are okay.
It takes a long time to teach ourselves a new way of thinking, contradicting everything we’ve been conditioned to think over the years by society and the media, and a comment or debate can trigger someone, spinning them right back into that mental health gutter they fought so hard to climb out of.
Be careful with fat shaming and be aware. Bodies are beautiful.
Bodies are healthy in different ways. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Appearance really shouldn’t be important but unfortunately we are living in a world where society has conditioned us to think it is, and that it gives us some sort of self worth. ‘Fat’ is technically a factual word but has become an insult with a thousand negative connotations. Swap ‘I feel fat’ for ‘I feel unconfident’, or even better, swap it for ‘I LOOK FUCKING AMAZING’. And if you’re smaller than someone you’re with, please refrain from squeezing your belly rolls and moaning that you’re “so fat” – Pick up on what you’re doing mentally to yourself and others around and stay woke in defining what you really mean when you say that.
A guy recently whispered to me when we were in bed together “you’re so skinny”, and I legitimately laughed out loud in his face saying “What? …I’m not skinny? Why did you just say that?” to which he replied “It’s a compliment, that’s what girls want to hear…?” Oh you actual moron… Why wouldn’t you just say “Your body is amazing” or “You’re so beautiful” or “I can’t get enough of your curves” (check me gassing myself up)? Saying “You’re so skinny” to a curvy girl is like saying “Your eyes are ocean blue” to someone with brown eyes. It’s just weird. And corny. I’m proud of my body, don’t overlook it with a lie dressed up as a compliment that you assumed I’d ‘want to hear’.
Curvy models are important. Representing diversity in shape, size, race, gender is crucial for us to look up to and see as normal, accepted, and beautiful. Equating only ‘size zero’, or any one type of body, to beauty, is unnatural and sets us all up for an impossible challenge, and inevitable downfall in always not feeling good enough.
Look at yourself naked in the mirror. No, really look at yourself. Admire the resilient vessel that carries your soul. Put your hands on your beautiful skin with care. Nurture. Like how someone who really loves you touches you. Try dancing. Squeeze those bits of you that we’re psychologically trained to wince at, and do it with love. Repeat ‘You ARE amazing’. If you believe that then who can tear you down?
Every time you catch yourself saying something negative about your body, your appearance, your SELF in any respect; acknowledge it, stop it, and list 3 things you like about yourself outloud. Every time. Imagine how quickly you might retrain your brain… IMAGINE THE GLORY?
Personally, I have thrown away any weighing scales in my house and haven’t weighed myself in years. I unfollowed those arsey influencers who I knew weren’t good for me. I check people on their language if a word or phrase gets under my skin. The majority of the time it’s a genuine slip up and someone isn’t aware that what they’re saying could be offensive or triggering. Maybe it’s a personal trigger word to you, but make them aware in a calm manner and they’ll eventually get used to what not to say around you. Two of my best friends and I have made a code for when a conversation or comment is making one of us feel uncomfortable about our bodies/ looks – When we say ‘fizzle nizzle’ we all just STOP talking and change the subject.
Stretch marks are some sort of Vivienne Westwood X Alexander McQueen inspired BLESSING. Tiger stripes are sexy. Cellulite is glorious.
And one more thing, BMI is bollocks. There are a million other factors that come into it.
I admire and cherish the memories that sculpt the curves into my body. Inhaling pasta at 4am with my best friends after a night out, champagne because I just released a single, cake for breakfast because it looked good. Greasy spoon fry ups because I’m a flawless patriot. Smoothies in the morning and fresh salad in the sun because that IS ALSO yum when not forced. I find balance when I’m not overthinking it. I find balance when I’m comfortable in my body.
Guess what? Some things DO ‘taste as good as it feels to be skinny’.
I am perfect. As are we all. Love from sexy, happy, desirable, HEALTHY me XXX