I’m sorry I have hated you for so long. Misguided in ideas that I was supposed to be a girl and society’s version of what a girl should look like.
Stretch marks don’t give my body character? Bullshit! They are there because my body held and grew three children. They are a beautiful celebration of the lives I gave birth to. I would no sooner fault a tiger for it’s stripes.
The weight I carry? I know it doesn’t help my fibromyalgia and I would like to lose some weight in the name of being healthier. But not through shame and mistreatment. Withholding calories out of shame for my shape does no one any good. Increasing my overall daily calories, but spreading them through the day so that I’m eating smaller meals, but more frequently, is the answer to both loving and respecting my current body, while gently shaping it to a healthier form.
And if this just never happens? I will not feel shame. Just like my stretch marks, my current form is the result of carrying three babies in my core. It’s also the result of 20-30 years of intense mental health meds. I feel no shame for this meds, I feel no shame for how they shape my appearance.
Make-up? Hair? Lack of both? Even if I was a girl, it is not society’s job to tell me what I’m supposed to look like. I do not choose to paint over my self portrait as a means of hiding who I am. And hair is just not something I’ll ever be able to work with. And that’s fine. The me I present is the me I am happiest with and there are no apologies offered.
I am, however, struggling with my breasts. I’m torn between hating them and indifference. They are a source of physical pain as the weight of carrying them destroys my back. They are a source of mental pain as they are a huge trigger to my dysphoria.
It is noted, though, that I used to appear to enjoy them, as I flaunted what I was given. What can I say? I was hungry for attention and breasts were a means of feeding that hunger. Ironically, a breast’s sole purpose in life is to feed… hungry babies. And a wept over my inability to produce milk. I wept over how such a large burden, a large weight against my shoulders, could fail to do their one intended purpose.
So how could I feel loyal to them?
The patriarchy says I am to have a painted face, long silky hair, and large firm breasts.
I reject the patriarchy.
So I will work on refusing to hate my breasts any longer, as that is a self destructive emotion, but I can still elect to be done with them. I do intend on getting a breast reduction as soon as I can. But I will not hate myself over the fact this could take years. I have bigger health emergencies in the forefront.
And nonbinary presentation does not equate to androgyny. So I can be me and still have my breasts, I tell myself. Anything to help the dysphoria.
The patriarchy find so much wrong with my body. The patriarchy has taught me to internalize those “imperfections” and hate myself for them. To want to mold and sculpt myself into me “perfect from”.
Yet in all the ways my body has truly failed me, having cellulite isn’t even related to any of them. I don’t need to contour and cover my face with makeup to fight my anemia. Long flowing hair only hurts my headaches and anxiety.
I am who I am and I will love myself for every bit of my appearance. I can work on being healthier physically as I work on being healthier mentally. The two can coexist and I don’t need to hate myself. Especially since society tells me I should.
But then society is trying to sell me something.