“Your ass looks smaller. Good job; keep it up!”
“You’ve lost a lot of weight since you’ve moved in.”
“Your thighs and arms look bigger. Be careful.”
“You look much better than you did last year; well done!”
These were all said to me just this past week. At home. At work. From loved ones.
In what world is that even appropriate? To pick at and analyze and claim other people’s bodies, to criticize and condemn or praise and admire?
I am so mad.
It is hard enough to get to know and love your body and its strengths as well as accept its limitations when you’re constantly made to feel that other people are watching it and waiting for it to show a sign of weakness.
And what the hell do you even know about the bodies you are tearing apart? About the health journey others are on?
I’ve been told I looked like I gained weight when I had shed a few pounds. And that I’ve lost weight when I’ve actually been on the higher end of my range.
How fucking arrogant.
Should I run and count calories and force myself to eat salads and drink water because it will gain me your flimsy approval? Am I not allowed to reach for comfort food when I’m upset or in pain because I’m on my period because I know you’re watching for signs that my belly has softened and drooped or my thighs have expanded?
This is ridiculous, and I’ve had enough. We’ve all had enough.
Our bodies are not for your viewing pleasure.
“Body, Remember” by C.P. Cavafy
Body, remember not just how much you were loved,
not simply those beds on which you have lain,
but also the desire for you that shone
plainly in the eyes that gazed at you,
and quavered in the voice for you, though
by some chance obstacle was finally forestalled.
Now that everything is finally in the past,
it seems as though you did yield to those desires ―
how they shone, remember, in the eyes that gazed at you,
how they quavered in the voice for you ― body, remember.
(translated by Stratis Haviaras)
Photo Credit: Tiffany Fishleigh on Flickr