Monday, January 17, 2011

We All Have Bad Days

It's true. Sometimes I get the impression that people believe that once you become a body acceptance advocate or activist that your days of self loathing are over. It's like a one time transformation- self loathing caterpillar to accepting butterfly. I think a lot of other FA bloggers have done a good job stressing that self acceptance is a journey. Still, I think that people naturally tend to separate themselves and say "it's a journey for me and I'm not there yet, but they are". Even if they know that's probably not true, we have this habit of placing ourselves below others- not as good as them, not as far along as them in whatever it is we're judging ourselves for. I know I've done it a few times.

It's not that easy-  not for FA activists and not for anyone else. It's a constant struggle. You're fighting the entire world and a massive culture of fat hatred and shaming. You're fighting yourself and all of the indoctrination and shame and stereotypes that are buried deep in your subconscious brain. You are fighting the media industry and the music industry and the ad industry. You're righting a 10 billion dollar a year diet industry. Sometimes you even find yourself fighting supposedly fat friendly industries- like online plus size clothing shops that put all their clothing on thin models.

Photo by Christopher Goette
I've had days when I thought I should just give up. It's too much to fight and it's so exhausting! Especially when you feel like you're making relatively slow or even no progress. And yeah.. then there are those bad days. I've been having a few bad days myself lately. Saturday I went and modeled for a boudoir workshop. I was nervous because, as you may remember, my last one didn't go so well. On top of that I was definitely having one of those days where looking in the mirror was sheer torture. On most days I can look in the mirror and appreciate my curves, love my individuality, and enjoy my sexuality as a fat woman.. some days all I see is what I was raised to see- a fat, unattractive blog. And on those days I attach every stereotype that I fight against to myself.. I think I must just be lazy, I'm eating too much, I need to be exercising more. Well yes, I do need to exercise more- but not as a tool to lose weight, but rather a tool to be healthy and fit. That, however, is not how I was feeling Friday night when trying to decide what to wear to the workshop. Everything I tried on I hated. I went through corsets and waist cinches trying to figure out how to not look like The Blob (not that looking like the blob should be a bad thing.. but some days you can't help but listen to everyone who says it is). I didn't succeed. I picked an outfit (one that wasn't very form fitting) and just sort of resigned myself.

Luckily the workshop went better than expected. The instructor did a good job at making sure both models had plenty of camera time and the students didn't seem to mind too much that they had to shoot a fat girl. As most self conscious fat people do I felt they really wanted to photograph the other model more- and maybe they did, but considering it was one of those days when you assume no one can stand to look at you, I have to chalk it up to my own fear and paranoia that day. Even though I was feeling like crap, I went and modeled anyway. Sometimes you just have to fight through it- do what you know is right whether than what you feel like you should do (like hiding in your room without food until you're "fit" for society). Of course, if you don't feel like pushing through it and facing the society that dehumanizes you so much, then that's fine- stay at home and read FA blogs and browse through The Adipositivity Project for inspiration. Sometimes, you just have a bad day. We all have our bad days. And that's completely alright.

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