Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Confesssion (Warning: Possible E.D. Trigger)

Hi guys! I have something to tell you. This is why my posting has been so sparse lately.

When I started Stripped, I was taking a year off from school because of illness. I had a lot of free time to devote to this project. But when I started school again for my junior year, things got a little (read: insanely) busy. However, now as a senior, I find myself with a measure of uncommited time again (yay!).That's not why I've been AWOL, though. A contributing factor, but not the main reason.

Let me say now that I'm fortunate enough to have wonderful, positive people in my life who tell me every day that I am beautiful and valuable. And a lot of the time I believe it. Heck, I even have strangers stop me on the street all the time to tell me how attractive I am. I believe these people maybe a good 70% of the time.

But here's the deal. That 30% of unbelief is pretty feirce. I deal with a lot of my own body-hate every day. Over the last year I've changed sizes multiples times and gotten (even!) taller. I am a stranger in my own body right now. I've always had the feeling (the fear, really) of being a kind of brute, some kind of hulking she-monster. I was always taller and bigger than everyone I knew. I was able to pick up my teachers with one arm when I was in middle school (yes, I tried it, to their dismay). I was taller than all the girls, and taller than all the boys too.

Society says that girls (and women and "ladies") are supposed to be dainty. I'm not dainty at all. A lipstick-loving super-femme, yes, but not tiny and precious and pocket-sized. And that makes me feel really bad some times. Bad enough that I skip meals and obsess over calories. Bad enough that I want to sit down and cry. Sometimes bad enough that I really want to die, because I feel completely helpless and hopless and estranged from my body.

And then I think about all these beautiful bodies I've photographed over the last two years, how brave and wonderful all these people are. How I'm suppsosed to stand for something with this project. I'm not saying I don't belive my ideals. I really, truly believe that all bodies are beautiful.. But some times I simply can't believe it about myself, no matter how hard I try.
And...It makes me feel like a hypocrite.

Really, it comes down to this: how can I reconcile my feelings of insecurity with my pro-body stance?

I wish that I was some super-person who never felt any negativity towards her own body, but I'm not. I'm just as fragile and insecure as the next person. I love you all, and I'm going to keep this project going no matter what. I just wanted to get that off my chest (pun, maybe?).


  1. I totally understand this. I constantly feel at odds with my beliefs. How can I tell someone that they should love their body because it's beautiful and strong and perfect just the way it is when I don't believe it about my own body anymore? I haven't figured out how to reconcile this difference yet, unfortunately.

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this brave confession. I think it helps when we are able to admit our vulnerability to one another as women, as feminists (as people, really). Nobody goes without these negative feelings, but that doesn't mean you quit trying, as you said.

    Also just one tiny suggestion for this awesome post - can you put a little "Trigger Warning" at the very top? That way if someone has experienced an eating disorder, they will be warned. :)

  3. Maybe the problem is in thinking that one's body has to be "perfect just the way it is" to love it. Maybe you can just love your body precisely because there is no such thing as perfection and there is beauty in the "flaws."