There’s many, many benefits to living on your own. The mess is all yours and you can clean it when you want. No one bothers you when you’re relaxing or doing something that requires undivided attention. Music – whatever you want, as loud as you want. No one eats your food without telling you, unless you count the dog getting into the rubbish as such. The list goes on. But the most important of all.
You can be naked.
You see, it’s recently come to my attention that there are people in this world who are so… I’m unsure which word is the most appropriate… uncomfortable/dissatisfied/disappointed/prudish/ shy/non-confident… which ever it is, they feel this about their own bodies so much so that they cannot bear to be naked for longer than necessary. Undress, in and out of the shower, dress again. That’s it. That’s the only time their body is allowed to breath and be free. There are people so uncomfortable with their own nudity, that they run for cover (literally) at every chance, regardless if someone else is around or not. There are people who cannot be along with their own bodies.
And this saddens me to the nth degree.
I find it so profound that you wouldn’t like your body… because, well… I love my body, and I think everyone else damn well should as well.
“That’s easy for you to say, you’re a thin little thing!” some of you are thinking.
I’ve heard it all…
“You’re a rake!”
“There’s nothing to you!”
Fuck off. I’ve heard that, and many other things similar to it before. But I don’t love my body because it’s ‘petite’. Like yours does, my body flucates. And let me tell you… I have been heavier and felt the same about my body as I did when it was 10kgs lighter. I still loved it, regardless of it’s shape. I don’t love my body because of the genetics Ive been given or that my body type may be percieved as small. I love it, because it’s mine.
Advertising, popular culture, and nowadays, the rise of social media have all feed thoughts and ideals in to my head of what beauty is.
Well, what their idea of beauty is.
And you know what… there is one group, and one group only who are largely represented…
Young, thin, tall, beautiful people. Not to forget that most of them are white. That’s important as well.
Do you feel represented with this group?
I know I certainly don’t, and I bet you don’t either. It is an unattainable standard.
And the truth is, no one lives like that. Not even the models themselves think they can live up to their screen shots.
I don’t feel thin or petite. I don’t identify as thin or skinny, I don’t think about the shape of my body being more desirable than others. I just feel like myself. Because it’s all I know. It’s my body, and it’s the only one I’ve got. And I think I would regardless of my height, shape or size. You see, I love my body because even though it beats up on me all the time (see my previous posts about my journey with Crohn’s Disease) it’s bloody amazing. Your body (yes, you!)… IT’S AMAZING.
IT KEEPS YOU ALIVE!
I mean…. we’ve got thumbs for crying out loud!!! How amazing is that?!
However, in this media saturated world we live in, I have had to work very hard at loving my body. I’ll be the first to admit that I can pick flaws in my body… my immune system for one. I found my strength in the thing that I felt the most ashamed of the most; nudity. As soon as I started spending more time with my body, I became more comfortable with it.
Advertising and social media is doing it’s damn well best to ensure that none of us feel as if we are normal by their standards. That we don’t live up to hteir expectations but…. if we buy the product… we might be like them! The people they choose to represent their brands all seem to have similar body types which they want us to aspire to look and be like. But in reality we know that they are not representative of our everyday lives and interactions with others. Yes, they have beautiful bodies, but they’re not the only ones with beautiful bodies. People with curves, people without curves, people with big asses or no asses, or huge breasts or big thighs, or little legs and a big body or the exact opposite or a mixture of all of it… small shoulders, big shoulders, big feet, small hands, as thin as a rail…. every little everything. Legs that don’t function, a twisted spine, un-seeing eyes, ears that wouldn’t, couldn’t work or stopped working, colestomy bag…
Diversity is strength, and YOUR diversity is strength.
WHATEVER body you have… all of it is worth celebrating.
So, disregard the advertising, I say. Beacause the beauty you need to see in the world is all around you, in your daily life.
It’s in the generosity of your colleagues, in the laughter of your friends, in the compliments you give and recieve. The love you get from your family. The genuine interactions you have on a daily basis that make your heart shine. That is where the beauty and the love is… In the people that you build you up, and in turn, build you up as well.
But the truth of the matter is, it doesn’t matter how much anyone else loves your body, it won’t count if you don’t love it. And you should. It keeps you alive. It allows you to do all the things you do. It is bloody amazing. Wrinkles, smile lines, grey hair… whatever.
Love it, because it is you.
So take a leaf out of my book; have a gin and kick everyone out of the house. *Turn the lights out, take your kit off and turn the music up. Have yourself a little dance party and enjoy being with your body and in your body. ‘Cause it’s the only one you’re gonna get and you may as well enjoy it while you can.
*Shutting the curtains are optional. Depends how dark it is or confident you are.