Yup, never fails that when I write an article about body image, and being comfortable naked, I get put on blast for trying to express that my body image issues are the same as those who are not skinny. Every, single, freaking, time! Look, everyone should be able to talk about weight, body image issues, and be able to express hope that someday in the future looks won’t matter. Just because I am thin, and my experience is different than a person who has experienced fat shaming, does not mean I must remain silent, on body image. Or that my expression is invalid. Yes, I have issues with my body, and I am trying to open up conversation. I in no way, have tried to diminish anyone else’s experience. In fact quite the opposite, in that I have openly asked others to share their stories, if they feel comfortable so we can have real dialogue about how body shaming hurts everyone.
The second matter of BS, that this article opened up, was the mass of men who said they didn’t think I should have body image issues because I look amazing. What, the actual F? How is that helpful at all? So, some stranger saw a photo and then decides that my feelings and experiences are invalid? No thank you sir, no thank you! You have no idea what I worked through to get here! Perhaps if you had actually read the article I wrote for Medium, instead of just reading the headline, but… clearly that is asking far too much. I have to add one caveat, and that is to my dear friend who wrote surprise at my feelings and provided me a space to talk further about it, then offered real comfort and uplifting sentiments. He didn’t just outright dismiss my feelings out of hand because he didn’t agree with them. This of course was only made possible because this guy actually knows me, and we have honest and real dialogue. He in no way invalidated me, but instead expressed an opinion, followed by giving me healthy space to further express. There is a communication learning opportunity here. You can have an opinion, but it’s all about delivery, and what your intent is. If you are just trying to tell a person that their experience is wrong or invalid, please don’t.
Strangers judging other strangers is not the answer to building a better world/community/space and what have you. I expressed an experience, that was supplementary to sharing how non-monogamous situations helped me see myself and others in a less critical light. But instead of focusing that, by all means try and tell me that I just don’t understand, nor will I ever, because I can’t possibly know what it’s like to be judged for how I look because the thin experience doesn’t count. Those with this opinion, may I ask how you don’t see irony in this?(Start your own story with this low rate, from my affiliate link)
I want to make it clear, as I said on Twitter, that I in no way think skinny shaming is equal to fat shaming. They just aren’t. I have never implied that. My intent was to broaden the sphere of conversation, and to express the very real sentiment that I too have felt insecure with my nude form, but when faced with a broad range of naked bodies (of almost every single shape and size) I saw first hand beauty in the variety. That is the takeaway I intended, and one that I hope we all get to feel at some point. That sheer joy in just being comfortable naked. The whole, don’t judge a book by its cover thing?
Any who, thank you to all the amazing people who either just moved on from a piece they may not have liked, or took time to share their experience with me. And of course, to all of those who it struck a chord with, I earnestly hope we all move past the experiences and have a much healthier image of ourselves in the future. Because that, at the end of the day, is what it is all about!
Thank you all who have bought me beers this week! As a thank you, there are some behind the scenes pictures from this photo shoot up on Patreon for you.