When I was in 9th grade, I stumbled upon the wonderful Jessica Luxury's blog. I was so amazed! I was new to Tumblr, and I wasn't used to seeing girls anywhere near my size range any place other than on a “before” picture in an infomercial. But Jessica, and the wonderful people within the fat acceptance community, opened up a whole new world to me. I had always hidden behind layers of clothing. I had been taught to hide my body because it wasn't compact sized. These wonderful bloggers gave me the agency to begin to start wearing make up, to hunt for cute clothes to wear. There was just one teeny, tiny small thing that got in the way of my fully assimilating into this culture: the word “fat.”
In my 4th period class my freshman year, I penned Jessica an email that I wish I still had. In it, I said something along the lines of, “Jessica! Wow. You’re so beautiful and I really admire you. But…why do you put yourself down and call yourself fat?” She responded something like: “Well, I am, so it’s not putting myself down because it’s just who I am.”
This was a concept that completely boggled my fourteen year old mind.
"Fat" had always been a naughty term. One that you kept hidden, skirted around in conversation. It was a dirty word. After all, no girl friend would bounce up to you in the hallway and say, "Wow, you look so fat in those jeans!" In sixth grade, I told Matt Eagen that I had a crush on him because, as my fellow eleven year old friend instructed, "we’re adults now. That’s just the adult thing to do." Matt, my skater jean clad Adonis, replied, "I would never date you. You’re fat and ugly."
That’s just how things progressed the majority of my life.
Gift certificates to Weight Watches were slid in my stocking for Christmas. When my friends and I would play make over, my beauty regime would be the only one that included “six crunches and four jumping jacks.” Once, in elementary school, a girl forced me onto her mother’s bathroom scale and I cried in humiliation on the cold, tiled floor.
The word fat had never done anything for me. It hadn’t given me any liberation, hadn’t provided me with any solace. It had haunted me. It filled the void of worthlessness that I felt. I began cutting in the eighth grade. I felt ugly, inside and out.
Not once did anyone ever say to me, “Emily, you’re okay the way you are. You’re allowed to feel beautiful.”
That kind of thinking is just so detrimental for a little girl. The sense of guilt that would abound when I did feel pretty or felt like I would look nice always won over. “You’re not allowed to feel pretty,” a voice would shout to me from inside. “You’re fat. Fat girls aren’t pretty.”
Now that I’m older, I proudly call myself a fat positive person. I make it my life mission to eradicate body shaming views from this world. I can honestly say that I believe every body on this earth to be beautiful beyond words.
And yet, if my shirt ever hitched up to reveal the web of stretch marks on my stomach, I would immediately be transported back to that cold bathroom floor - frightened of my own body and it’s mass. The few times that someone has seen my stomach, the thoughtless questions abound. “What happened?”
I’m not sure what has inspired this post. Even as I sit here, typing this, I feel bombarded with anxiety. That the people on here who I call my friends will laugh and mock me. But, I’ve realized something.
I don’t fucking care.
I don’t care what you think about my body, I don’t care if my path to radical self love makes you uncomfortable. I don’t care if you wish I’d cover up. I don’t care if the sight of my skin revolts you.
Because, it doesn’t for me. This is my body. My body has seen great sights. My body has taken me up mountains. My body has been embraced by incredible, fantastic people who have never once judged my self worth based off of my body. It is with this body that I combated loss, depression, sickness, anxiety. This body is the one that contains my spirit, and my inner light.
As most of you know, my best friend passed away just about two months ago. The loss of someone so incredible crucial to my life has taught me that this body, this life? This is all I have. And I will be damned if I spend my time here hating who I am.
I sent a message to one of my favorite bloggers, Tori, the other day on anon saying that I was really self conscious of my stretch marks. She replied back with,
"Aw, beautiful baby! Don’t be self-conscious! Everybody has stretch marks, and believe me when I say that they don’t make you any less sexy or any less worthy. If it helps you feel any better, pretend that you’re a tiger when you look at them, because tigers are awesome and you are too!"
Every day, with the guidance of this community, I learn that I am beautiful and I am worthy, not in spite of my body, but because of it. I am sick and tired of wishing I could shrink, of wishing I didn’t take up so much space. I’m sick and tired of being told that I am not good enough, that the only way I can experience love and life is if I can fit into a pair of Abercrombie & Fitch jeans.
That’s not who I am. And as Janelle Monae says, "Even if it makes others uncomfortable, I will love myself."
Thank you for reading this,
Anonymous said: Calm down, it isn't that big of a deal that people don't know women don't pee out of their vag, sheesh.
Look, it’s our friendly male-privileged anon come to tell me I’m being all womanly hysterical.
I’m assuming you’re a guy. If you’re a girl, and this doesn’t piss you off, I’m a little concerned, honestly.
The fact is that it is a big deal, and you just earned yourself a free lecture on why so siddown and shaddup.
Cracked ran a rather diverting article today on
"6 Insane Sex Myths People Used to Teach as Facts"including things like how westerners apparently thought that Chinese women who immigrated had sideways vaginas and that doctors attributed any number of problems to the fact that they believed women’s uteri could detach themselves when the woman was not pregnant and scamper around the woman’s innards like some sort of wayward jellyfish blob.Hilarious, right? Can’t believe people used to think that! Oh, how naive they all were!Which brings us to women-pee-out-of-their-vagina.People back then kind of have an excuse for stupid notions, because a lot of the time there wasn’t the technology or research or scientific community to call them out on it in order to spread information that was actually factual.We do not have that excuse today.Yes, I heard that, greyface in sunglasses in the second row."well we don’t teach ridiculous stuff like that!"Spoiler Alert: We totally do.Stuff like the complete erasure of parts of female anatomy, publicly taught and widespread misinformation about others and the fact that I learned more about my own body with 15 minutes on Wikipedia than I did in two mandatory Health classes and a Medical Anatomy class.Send your arguments at me, believe me, they don’t hold water."The clitoris doesn’t have anything to do with reproduction!"Sex Ed covers more than just reproduction. Every time they sent me home with a little paper for your parent/guardian to sign, they said they would be talking about anatomy as well as reproduction."Well, female anatomy is a lot more complicated…"Doesn’t that mean they should spend more time covering it rather than skipping over the parts they deem ‘unnecessary’? Even in my Medical Anatomy class when we had the diagrams to label, despite there being a clitoris in the diagram, there wasn’t a lil line to write down what it was."Maybe they didn’t think it was appropriate to talk about for high school."Female pleasure.So lewd.How dare they.Get the pitchforks and burn the witch."They don’t talk about male pleasure either!"Bitch, please.I heard aaaaalll about what happens when a dude is aroused and orgasms with the erections and ejaculations and all that nonsense.Girl orgasms are apparently not a thing. And, depending on the class, neither was female arousal.(Which I find decidedly disturbing, as a side note.)"Female orgasms aren’t a part of reproduction either."Maybe not.BUT IT IS A SIMPLE PHYSICAL REACTION THAT SHOULD BE TAUGHT IF ONLY FOR SCIENTIFIC AND MEDICAL ACCURACY."Fine. The clitoris is controversial. That hardly covers the entire spectrum of female sexuality having misinformation and crap."Apparently you didn’t read the part up above about how I did not learn what happens when a woman is aroused or orgasms in three years of classes that are supposed to teach me about this thing."If it took you 15 minutes on Wikipedia to figure stuff out, why are you so mad? That’s hardly a waste of time."Because I deserve to know about my own body, and when schools teach Sex Ed in any form, they are taking on the responsibility of teaching me that.And yet, I learned absolutely nothing useful.That’s a problem."Okay, okay. They don’t talk about female sexual reactions, and that’s kinda sexist."You know what else is kinda sexist? Telling men that sex is great and women that it’s going to hurt and suck and also you’ll get pregnant and die.What am I talking about, you say?The hymen. You know, the thing that covers a woman’s vaginal opening and breaks and there’s blood and that’s how you can tell if your girlfriend is lying about whether or not you’re her first.Well guess what, buddy-boy, you dumped that girl for no reason because that’s not actually what a hymen is and you’re also a jerk.The hymen is a flexible membrane that partially covers the vaginal opening (usually in a sort of crescent shape when they are but a wee lass) and did you notice the word up there? ‘Flexible’? Do you know what that means? It means that if a woman is sufficiently aroused, it prolly ain’t gonna break. (wow do you think this myth has anything to do with the lack of knowledge we’re taught about female arousal???)I mean dude you can shove a baby outta that thing and it returns to its original shape, you can’t tell if a woman is a virgin or not by the state of her hymen anyways. They can tear during exercise n stuff as well but there is literally not much of a reason why sex should be painful for girls and why you call it “popping the cherry”OH WAIT MAYBE IT’S BECAUSE DUDES LIKE TO THINK THAT THEIR DICK HAS MAGICAL POWERS THAT FOREVER CHANGES A WOMAN’S LIFE AND SHE’S NEVER BE THE SAME AFTER YOU WRECKED THAT TIGHT LIL HOLE.Well, fun fact, if she’s tight that means you kind of suck balls at the whole sex thing.This isn’t just a matter of some people making a mistake about how women urinate. This is part of a long history of the suppression of female sexuality to the point that when you get a damn diagram of the vulva, apparently they don’t mark where the urethra is because man we don’t want to spend too much time talking about ladyparts frick who knows what’s hiding down there…
In my own 7th grade health class, and even in goddam 11th and 12th grade highschool biology, they left out female pleasure to such an extent as a thing, that I thought orgasm and penile ejaculation were synonymous. That orgasm was only a penis-owning thing; that orgasm was when those with penises spewed sperm, not that it was a pleasurable climax, not that it was its own thing, not that people with vaginas could experience them.
You want to know how we were told about the clitoris? Through less than two sentences in seventh grade health class. “This is the clitoris: it’s like a button and and can get harder”. That’s it. That’s it.
Can we talk about how dangerous this is, actually?
Yes. I said dangerous. Not because I’m a girl and I would like sex to be enjoyable thank you, but because we’re teaching women that a men have a right to have sex be enjoyable where we do not.
We’re teaching women that if she is uncomfortable or in pain, that is normal and she has no right to complain.
We’re teaching women to do something because it makes a man happy, regardless of how she feels.
We’re teaching women to be the submissive, receptive partner rather than an active participant.
I didn’t learn about a woman’s arousal or a woman’s orgasm simply because apparently that isn’t important.
It doesn’t matter if a woman is enjoying it.
It doesn’t matter if she likes what you’re doing.
We teach these things in a public setting, and we wonder why youth are legitimately confused about what constitutes rape, and why it is a bad thing that has a profoundly negative and possibly permanent effect on the victim.
I saw a thing once about how female orgasms actually do have a reproductive purpose. Soooo interesting! So apparently, while it’s totally possible to get pregnant if she doesn’t orgasm, a woman’s orgasm and the muscle contractions involved actually creates suction to pull spermies in! So pretty much if a woman orgasms within the time frame of something like 30 seconds before the guy ejaculates to ten minutes afterward, she’s more likely to get pregnant!
In other words, female anatomy favors bestowing reproductive blessings upon men who make sure their partners are enjoying it too.
Also if she’s super “tight” it means she’s not properly lubricated which means either she’s on decongestants (they affect ALL your mucous membranes not just the ones in your nose) and/or very dehydrated, or she’s not all that turned on by you, or both. When guys get aroused they get boners, when ladies get aroused (which does take a little longer than for guys, in general) they produce natural lube that makes things nice and comfy for everyone and also the vagina gets extra blood kinda exactly like a penis does except instead of getting hard it gets more flexible and stretchy to accomodate even a big peen in there — and women can get an equivalent to “blue balls” if they’re aroused for too long and don’t get to orgasm! It’s called “blue walls” and if you’re female and you’ve ever had pretty unsatisfying sex or gotten all worked up and then disappointed and felt kinda achey down there in a dull sort of way afterwards, that’s very likely exactly what happened to you.
The idea that women pee from their vag is an issue directly as well, because of stupid shit like the advice to pee after sex to avoid getting pregnant… (peeing after sex is a good idea to prevent a UTI because bacteria from your skin or your partner’s can get nudged into the urethra and cause issues and peeing will often wash ‘em out before they get established, so if you’re prone to UTI’s yeah you should pee after sex, but it won’t do anything to prevent pregnancy).
THIS. This is what it’s like when you realize how deeply sexism and misogyny are woven into the fabric of our daily lives. And once you see it, you can’t stop seeing it. It’s everywhere.
I used to compare societal sexism to those Magic Eye pictures from the eighties. It’s hard to see the picture at first, and you have to sorta teach your eyes to make out the image hidden inside the graphical noise. But once you figure out how to see it, you can always see it. It’s always there.
Yes. This. Amazing.
H&M’s new beachwear campaign featuring Jennie Runk is pretty awesome. In this article she explains that women have sent her messages saying that this ad campaign has given them the confidence to try on a bikini for the first time in years!
See… it does make a difference when we see diverse body types in advertising and media!
i like this post very much
I’m just going to address this quickly because I still get funny looks/questions/laughed at when I talk about wearing condoms, using condoms or buying condoms. Indeed, my spouse and I both have vaginas, but we use condoms regularly. The problem (and my frustration) is:
A. Not everyone uses condoms right now, especially people who don’t have penises
B. Some people without penises really need to use condoms
For some education on why you should use condoms, even if you don’t have a penis or don’t use a penis in sex:
The rate of HPV that’s spreading and how easily it’s spread is scary, and can lead to full-blown cancer. Someone in my family had pre-cancerous cells found in them and they still have to get regular check-ups to be screened for cancer in their cervix. There are also a ton of other STI’s that can be had from fluid contact (vagina to vagina included, or even from fingers, tongues, etc.) and shared toy use.
Also, a lot of common toys, especially dildos, are made from materials that can’t be sanitized effectively, so not only does that increase a risk of passing along STIs, but it also can lead to bacterial infections from the toys never being able to be truly cleaned, or other nasty reactions from non-medical-grade PVC or other materials that your body doesn’t like.
So, people who have vaginas or use toys: USE CONDOMS AND USE THEM EFFECTIVELY, as this comic demonstrates. Use them as dental dams, use them on your fingers, use them on your toys, use them for switching between vaginal and anal play, etc. etc. You can very literally save your, or someone else’s life, and I feel like the only time condoms are brought up is when there’s a penis involved. There’s no excuse not to be safe, and that includes not having a penis.
Reblogging again for the FANTASTIC information above. Condoms don’t just protect hetero couples from babies, they protect EVERYONE from STIs, bacteria, and infection no matter what you’re putting where!