Body Lovin’

A couple days ago, I did this physiological word puzzle below (click to enlarge) seen floating around online. I got “beautiful, broken, fat.” Then I took a moment to scribble the words in my notebook and sit quietly the finding.

Today is Love your Body Day. It’s the only one we’ve got — might as well, right? And if it wasn’t for the blogosphere and facebook, I’d probably never  have remembered. One year the FSA (Feminist Student Alliance) had this wonderful event where we celebrated various body types and made stickers and posters to share all around the campus. I was certainly smaller in size back then and in retrospect, it was easier (slightly) to be happy with who I was then. As for how I feel about my body currently, overall? Could be better for sure. And I frequently think about Stephanie  Quilao’s examination of culture and body image where she talks about family members making impertinent observations on her body size and weight. I told a good white American girl-friend of mine, that reading Stephanie’s blog post was so much like my experiences within my own West Indian cultural background. My friend was so appalled.

“But you’re not fat,” she told me. “And people have no right trying to make you feel that way.” I don’t know that it’s a goal necessarily, but I get what she is saying — I think people just don’t always think about the impact of their words. I had a close relative say to me this year, “What happened? You used to be so nice and skinny!” One of my aunts, who I haven’t seen in a while, between her new found bible beating (and directing me towards specific soul-saving scriptures *insert eye-roll*) found time to exclaim about how big and fat I was. And I just had no words to reply. None. Because it feels like I’m in the twilight zone and I still wear a single digit size in shorts and pants. I don’t feel exceedingly large. (I also don’t think anything is inherently wrong with being fat or claiming fatness as a body-positive self identifier for yourself  and/or being okay with it used by others in a myriad of ways that are not degrading or insulting, but I do have issues with people declaring how they read and categorically define my body changes just because I haven’t seen them in a while. And I especially have problems when it’s counter to how I see myself). It makes me uncomfortable and I don’t appreciate it — being made to feel uncomfortable in my own self when it’s been such a damn hard painful journey as it is.

In no uncertain plain talk/bad manners terms: I’ve encountered people willing to comment on whether they think your bumsee get bigger, your thighs get thicker and overall if you just look bigger now than you did the last time they saw you in Trinidad. Loudly. While appraising you from head to toe. Like you asked them their blasted opinion.  Anyway, today is about saying to hell with all that, wrapping your arms around you and giving yourself a little lovin’.

Check out the NOW 2011 Love Your Body Day Blog Carnival for more lovin’ reading!


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2 Responses to “Body Lovin’”

  1. Lesley-Ann Brown Says:

    One of the biggest things I know I must protect my son from is my Caribbean family’s “joking”. When I was growing up, it was the norm for adults to say the most dehumanizing things to us children: you’re ugly, you’re too fat, you can’t dance, you can’t sing blah blah blah. I refuse to subject my son to that. Unfortunately, it is not limited to the Caribbean, but I am super sure it has something to do with our colonial past! On another note, I’m loving the Carnival! Forgive my silence, things are full over here in Copenhagen, but sending you lots of support and hopefully, something soon!

  2. soyluv Says:

    Nice hearing from you Lesley-Ann! Lucky son you have there! 🙂 Anyway, whenever you feel like jumping in de mix–at all–you always can. Doh study it! Take care.

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