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The people who affect your body image.

December 5, 2010

Jezebel has an interesting thread running this week on The person who first hurt your body image. They are encouraging readers to share an instance or comment that racked their perceptions of their own bodies.

Whether it last year or back in first grade, every woman recalls with crystal clarity the insult that rocked her to the core.

The comments are both sad and insightful, and I encourage you to read them, but I thought we could put a more positive spin on it. What small comment or gesture from someone made you feel GREAT about your body? I think by sharing these positive moments, we can better learn how to be body positive allies to each other!

I’ve shared this one in the past, and I’ll share it again here:

The person: Becky, 22
The Ally: Jill
Age: 22

“When I was visting Jill, I apologized to our groups of friends for holding us up because I had to go to the bathroom. But before I left Jill stopped me and reminded me that I don’t have to apologize for my body. It was a small moment, but I’ve held on to it. It affirmed my body’s needs and my ownership of it so simply, yet powerfully, and I continue to check myself when I’m about to apologize for it.”

Seriously, since then, I’ve been non-apologetic about small bladder, and won’t take shit from people who make fun of me for going to the bathroom so much.

Please share your own stories!

 

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. Erylin permalink
    December 5, 2010 7:49 PM

    I was at summercamp, a hippie jamband 3 day weekend music campout. I was really depressed because my husband had walked out on me 3 months before. I was all down in the dump, coming back to dance to the bands, when a random girl ran up to me and said “no matter what anyone thinks YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL…..just the way you are” and walked away.

  2. December 6, 2010 4:15 AM

    I started reading Fat Acceptance blogs almost 2 years but didn’t really connect with them at first. I remember thinking: All of these people are more fabulous/beautiful/sexy/awesome than I am, I’m still hideously ugly.

    Then one day Frances at Hey Fat Chick on Tumblr posted a picture of Kelli Jean Drinkwater. For the first time in my life, I saw a gorgeous photograph of a woman who had a body that looked very similar to mine. I couldn’t believe how beautiful she was. That sowed the first seed of perhaps I could love my body, and feel good about my body in my mind.

    I owe a lot to Frances and her Tumblr!

  3. Lillian permalink
    December 6, 2010 7:41 AM

    I was in the eighth grade and they had weighed us in gym class. I was so happy that my weight was over a hundred pounds. It told me that I was no longer a little kid but adult size so I told my friends that I weighed 124 pounds. I was then told how fat that was. It triggered my first diet. My doctor at the time gave me a 1200 calorie diet and I starved myself down to 114, but I couldn’t get my weight to go lower. He had set me a goal of 110 pounds. I stayed around 114 for almost a year, but eventually my weigh went back up even higher than before and by ten grade I was 135 pounds and dieting again.

  4. Laura permalink
    December 9, 2010 3:17 PM

    I was waiting for the bus one night by myself, and I was talking to my mother on the phone when I could see a strange older man in my peripheral vision. I tried to ignore him, but he kept hovering and saying “Excuse me.” After a bit, I asked my mother to hold on and looked at him, clutching my keys in case he tried to do something to me.
    “I’m sorry, I’m not trying to be creepy, but I just wanted to say that you’re absolutely beautiful.”
    He then walked away. He never entered my personal space, didn’t try any pick-up lines, didn’t threaten me, nothing. He just wanted to tell me that I was beautiful.

  5. December 9, 2010 4:17 PM

    What a fabulous idea! I unfortunately struggle to remember specific instances, but I believe that my husband has helped me to unwaveringly love my body. The way that he looks at me with respect and awe has made me look at myself in the same way.

  6. December 14, 2010 6:26 AM

    The first night I met with my boyfriend of six years. In true, classy, 18 year old style we got together because I thought he was GORGEOUS, so I fortified myself with terrible beer and launched my tongue at him. We were rolling around, making out and my top was pulled up a little. I remember he looked hard at my stomach and said “You have such a sexy belly”.

    I didn’t believe him at first, but over the next few months I started to. But that moment was the very, very first time a person had said something genuinely positive about my body and the first time someone had verbally expressed a sexual attraction to it. It was life-changing.

  7. JoyB permalink
    January 2, 2011 10:26 PM

    When I was 27 I had a hairdresser named Sport who I would go to to relax my hair every few months. I had been going to him for several years and in that time he had been pretty free with his opinions of what he thought about people. One day he told me I was beautiful. I knew he would not have told me this if he didn’t think it was so. I was deeply touched and I believed him. In 1988 I came home from Emory on Christmas break and learned he was dying from AIDS. I was very broken hearted that I did not get to say good bye and about how much his telling me I was beautiful meant to me.

  8. January 3, 2011 11:38 AM

    As a trans person, I’ve really struggled with body image and I continue to do so. I’m finally at a place where I want to look good and show off my stuff rather than shamefully hide with long hair obscuring my face and baggy layers of clothing blurring my body shape.
    The first time I cut my hair short–boy short–for my graduation ceremony, I got dozens of compliments and, for the first time, I accepted them happily.
    Now two years later, I’ve had a variety of short hairstyles and am finally updating my wardrobe with clothes that look great on me. Everyone has been really supportive of me, from acknowledging my gender to complimenting my bow ties.
    Even though I still have bad days, I’m having ridiculous amounts of fun with clothes and making myself feel sexy. It’s wonderful.

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