I don’t know how it works for other people, but the only time I’m fully comfortable in my own body is when there is no one else around, not even my own reflection. No one to judge how the many rolls of my stomach gather and fold as I undulate and enjoy being a material being. No one to look at the stretch marks that cover my body and have no reaction of shame or distaste for the housing of the essence of me. I can love myself then, without a single moment of doubt, that I am happy with my body.
And then, then I look in the mirror. Or see myself in an unflattering photograph, or I see someone in the corridor outside my room, and it all comes crashing back. I am not the beautiful thing I see myself as when I’m in isolation. No, I’m the other, the monster, the thing everyone is terribly afraid of being, fat. My feelings of “So what?”, quickly abandon me in favour of “Don’t look at me and notice the million imperfections of my body”. I cease to care about the miraculous way we are designed, the billions of cells which work day and night to ensure we function. I only care that I have too much, and too little of something or the other. Too much cellulite, too much flesh, too much hair on parts of my body that other people don’t like, too much of everything, which means I am too much. Too much space is occupied by me. The passive voice can overtake me sometimes, and I wonder how it happens. How did the world make me hate myself so much? Sometimes I don’t see the point in trying to change, in altering myself until my health no longer concerns me.
I know I’m not healthy, but those girls with the terrible meal plans, and who spend half their lives avoiding the world, just like I do sometimes, how come they don’t have the same cellulite? How come no one gets to look at their bodies and assume they’re lazy just because?
The world is unfair, haven’t you heard? Oh, I’ve heard. I’ve heard it, and understood it, but it still hurts. It’s not just my body, it’s my being. I am my body, my body is me. The more you tell me my body is garbage, the more garbage I will be, and the more garbage will go into it. I cannot stop the cycle on my own, I need other people to stop making me feel like every bite I take is another nail in my coffin. I need for me to be enough, not too much.