Dissecting Body Shaming Inside and Out

Body Image

This whole Dani Mathers thing really has me thinking, a Playboy bunny who has grown her very being within an institution that regards the “perfect body” as skinny with huge fake breasts shaming another woman in the gym bathroom. If you are a blessed person who isn’t hip to the trending world, she went to a gym and took a photo of an innocent unassuming woman completely nude and showering with hurtful negative comments about her body weight. It is so, so wrong and disgusting and the worst part is this dang lady who was being good to her body and staying active despite the growing American sedentary lifestyle has to come across her own naked body online. The way that that feels I can only imagine. I could go into what was wrong with Mathers behavior in taking the photo itself but I think that every person in the world knows how wrong that was and why. I think the deeper issue is what this shows about Mathers ability to love her own body despite fitting into the body dysmorphic imagery that American men have prescribed as a what a perfect woman looks like.

I have a lot to say about body image and I just couldn’t get the right words to come out. For awhile I didn’t feel like I had space to say anything because I have an athletic build and am not plus sized. But I did hate myself and my body for a really really long time until looking quite introspectively at why. I worked out somewhat excessively at times, starved myself and constantly criticized myself in the mirror whenever I had the chance. Although I could fit into the “right” sized jeans I couldn’t wrap my mind around loving myself. And because of that I constantly compared myself to every woman that I saw not realizing that this was taking away BOTH of our power. Now that I am on a journey to self love, perhaps at the very beginning of the road, I have begun to stop comparing and instead avidly try to encourage other women to love their bodies too.

My point is that Mathers has shown her insecurities through this body shaming Snapchat debacle. It seems that perhaps her own self loathing has turned her to push that upon others. So I write this with her and every other woman out there that is still waiting for that perfect body before they can go do things in their life. And equally writing this for the bullies in the world that refuse to truly sit with themselves and figure out why they feel the need to hurt people. You’re all perfect the way you are, and until you believe that you’ll never be happy with the way you look in the mirror. Lift each other up, we’re all perfect in our bodies because we all have things we do quite well with them. Be good to yourselves. Be good to yourself Dani Mathers. I hope that for you so that the hate emanating from your heart space no longer throws up on other people.

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A Strange Trip to the Chiropractor

Body Image, Existentialism, Yoga

Healthcare hasn’t been readily available to me since I turned 26, I probably could have been more proactive but I really didn’t trust Western medicine and decided I’d instead turn to herbs and Eastern medicine to solve my issues. At the end of the day, whichever side of the spectrum that you lean towards should be balanced out with the other. But anyways, the reason that I write this post is because I’ve been consistently let down by doctors. From the dentist charging me for a deep cleaning that I didn’t need when I was 19 to the veterinarian that gouged me for $170 of steroid shots that my kitten didn’t need to get better; my trust in doctors has been fully revoked.

I still had a shred of ability to believe in their wily ways when I walked into a chiropractor appointment last week. I had to visit to renew my cannabis card through the state of Arizona and was really excited because with all of the yoga that I do I know that there is something bad going on in there. We had a nice long talk about my background in athletics, my hip injury that took me out of the game and my current aches and pains. Well, I’m guessing in relation to my biceps but he told me immediately to stop working out. That I needed to stop doing yoga altogether and just go on long walks. This made me really, really bummed. I feel convinced that he gave me this advice and called me “big” and a “maniac” consistently throughout my appointment to reiterate that I have a muscular build, which I’m already very aware of.

Perhaps he’s from a different generation. Perhaps I am being too sensitive. Or perhaps I missed an opportunity to call a misogynistic old man out on his oppressive medical advice based on his opinions of what a woman’s body should look like. Don’t get me wrong, his assessment of my hip injury being related to a spinal issue that has caused sciatica was dead on. But I will never go back to him because he could not remove his own subjective life from the session that we had, and that is un called for. I was offended and I share because maybe someone just like him is reading, and realizing that they’re offending when before these words they had no idea. Maybe a person is reading this and now has the courage to stand up for themselves and their right to have their body. I guess the moral of the story is that when it comes to other people’s bodies you should just stay out of it.

Flabby Arms: A Tale of Love & Loss

Existentialism

It’s true, I’ve ALWAYS hated my big flabby arms. Since I was young I’ve been attempting to cut all of the fat off of my body and be a perfect 10. I realize of course that this is a bit of an overstretch for an 8 year old girl but I’m guessing anyone who thinks that didn’t grow up in Orange County, CA. Being skinny was a life goal and I often lamented so whole heartedly that my little girl body wasn’t skinny like the other girls. You see, I’m built like a work horse; I come from thick stock. Once I hit high school this need to be thin only escalated to unhealthy eating and exercising behavior, things that would make me cringe if I knew my daughter was partaking. Whether I was working out drunk in the sauna at the gym or trying not to eat for as long as possible until I only saw spots; I wasn’t doing things the right way.

For the first time in my days I am cutting the fat frunnamedom my arms and revealing the beautiful tools that lay underneath. I am a natural athlete and my arms are now reflecting that, even though they are more buff than limbs of models or actresses. I have dimples (the good kind this time) and am seeing results in definition that I have never experienced. But this is bringing up a whole new slew of weird conversations. Cowboyfriend, the sweetest man that I’ve ever known, said this exact quote to me,

“Your arms are going to be bigger than mine, and I want you to know that I’m OK with it. But I need you to know if you’re OK with it.”

You guys, I’m OK with it. I’m not building my muscle I’m shaving off fat and seeing what is going on under there. Last weekend my father informed me that I’m built like his side of the family which means that I have to avoid working out my arms. But why? If this is almost like a super power for our genetic line, why must I stop. Because society. UGH. The thing is I’m not bodybuilding, I’m not bulking up; I’m just being myself. 

Society decided sometime way before I was even around that women should be weak waifs that never spoke their mind. Well we probably all know now that I rarely shut up but my struggle with my body comes from the external world infiltrating my mind, that’s not fair! Women of the world, remember that you were built a specific way, trying to smash your epic body into a box that contains an idea of what size a woman should be will only make you miserable and make you hate yourself. I am going to keep exercising and keep feeling good about myself NO MATTER how big my arms get because this is how my body looks when I’m HEALTHY. Remind yourself, everyone, that it doesn’t matter what anyone says, even that little voice in your head telling you to lose just 10 more lbs to feel comfortable. Stop looking to the future, your body is all around you right now… learn to love it in the present and only then will results come in the future.