I am sitting at "home" today doing nothing and fighting the urge to hate myself for it. I say "home" because I'm caught up in a sort of gypsy style of living right now. Not here, not there, but still in existence. Yes, as little a connection I feel to the reality of living in a solid location, I still manage to feel like a real person....although, it is difficult.
Let's begin, shall we. Today's blog is going to be about body image. YES! I too wish to join the age (ish) old dialogue. But all I really want to do is talk about me. Talk about my brain, and talk about the connection between my brain and my body....and consequently, my soul.
The media sucks. It just does. It isn't going to change, no matter how many rules Vogue lays down for itself. No matter how skinny they "won't allow" their models to get, their models will continue to be skinny...much much skinner, in fact, than I will ever be. Ain't it the damn truth. The god awful truth that some things are just unatainable. The enfuriating truth. Here's the real question, though: why the hell am I trying to attain such an ideal?
Since I was a child I have been hyper-aware of the difference in sizes of people and what each size means in realtion to popularity, credibility, and general loveableness. Since I was a child, I have been aware of exactly what size my body looks like...in my own mind. In this reality, what I look like in my mind vs what I look like when I actually see myself is completely different.
If I may, I would like to describe the way my body looks to me when I SEE it:
I am average in height. I have normal-ish pale skin. My eye-lids are a strange shape. My forehead is HUGE. My neck is long, and my chin has twins...sometimes triplets. I have great face skin. FACE. GREAT! My breasts are really really big. The area below my breasts and above my belly is slim and sinched. My belly is growing. Floppy, pasty, and much larger than even two handfulls. My hips are wide. My thighs are large and pale with bright blue veins and red and white splotches of psoriasis. I am terrified of showing this part of my body. My upper thighs are covered in psoriasis. It is terrifying, and it wasn't always this way. But I have always had a healthy amount of cellulite. I have trouble fitting my thighs into pants. Pants are currently made for this image of legs that doesn't actually exist, I think.
I wonder: if cellulite was called just "thighs," would it have such a stigma? I mean, if thighs were just thought to look like that, like they do, like the ripply fat were just part of the reality, nameless, a part of the whole...would I hate it so much? I digress.
I do not like to shave my legs a lot. There. I said it. I shave maybe once a week. SO, currently, I have kind of hairy legs. My calves are quite shapely. My left leg is home to a large, bright red, and flakey patch of plaque psoriasis. But my legs have always been scabby and scarred. I have always been far from dainty in my collisions with the outside world.
I have always wanted to be skinnier. Even when I was skinnier. I have always wanted this. I have always imagined myself as a picture of anything but myself. In fact, the picture of me I have in my brain often doesn't match what I see in the mirror. This is where the seperation occurs. I actually think in my brain that I look smaller and more toned than I do when I look in the mirror. So my brain is not convinced of the reality...or the reality seems like it should be different. Whatever. My brain is confused. When I am moving about, interracting, existing, I am sexy and slender in my mind. When I see pictures of myself or my own reflection, my brain registers something different, and I go crazy trying to be okay with it. It's NUTS. I know.
Here is what I would like to be different: I would like for the image I see in the mirror to match what is in brain, and I would like to love that reality. Instead of living in a prison of fear over the picture I have of my thigs, I would like to draw strength from the power and uniqueness that they represent. I would like to be in awe of the strength with which they hold my body up and together. The power behind my thighs, my buttocks, and the curve of my waiste. I would like to draw confidence from the strength of my arms and shoulders because of how spindly they are not. And my face, my face looks younger than it is, but holds the truth of years of experience, of days in the sun, and days in the rain. And my hands, my hands that have been a source of insecurity because of their roughness...My hands that are not afraid of the mud. My hands that are not afraid of anything. All of it is my legacy. All of it is who I am. No, I am not a size, but I am a vision. A vision. We are all visions of the smallest details that seperate and unite us. All of the shapes and sizes are a mural of the singularity of life. That is power. That is strength, and that is love...unfettered.
The truth is, it isn't about fat or skinny. We all feel it, and we all battle the discrepancy between what is real and what we see. And it isn't male vs female either. WE ALL FIGHT THE SAME BATTLES. And that's okay. That's good. That's life.