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10/23/13

Wiping Away Some of That Gunk

I let out a huff and do the pee dance as I turn the key in our heavy 1950’s wooden door and purge the stale day at the office out of my system.

“Fucking hell!”

I fumble a little, not because I am nervous. But because someone decided to put the lock upside down in our moderately priced rental and my key has a cupcake cover that gets all tangled up. God damned my love for cutesy things over function. I should be nervous though. Really nervous. Today, I decided to take pictures of myself butt naked and post them on the internet. No, I am not leaking the photos for millions to a gossip magazine or for horny men willing to pay. You see, I am no Paris Hilton and I don’t happen to be a sex worker, although there was a time when I thought I could be one but that’s another story.

I am fat. F-A-T. I talk about being fat on my blog, The Nearsighted Owl. What started as a place to diddle daddle about crafts, cats and cupcakes was eventually taken over by a more intense passion - Fat acceptance, fat politics and fat fashion. I consider myself an activist and share my life as a fat woman to inspire others. I, among a surprising amount of other fat activists online, who also put out the message that fat people deserve to be treated fairly and with respect and speak out against fat hate and discrimination. We also break all the rules with our slamming style and spread the word about loving your body at any size.

So, even though I am bearing my 300 pound body to the world, I am not nervous or feel like I am being particularly brave. I am not brave because I do things "even when I look like this" or because "even though I am fat." The word brave is defined as ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage. It indicates that you have a fear or hesitation. That despite something terrible, you are making a choice to do it anyway. Overcoming all odds. You see, I am not at odds with my fat and don't see it as something terrible that requires courage.

After 30 years, I am finally comfortable in my body and with my size. So I take care of the pee dance issue and start clearing out the dining room. It’s my designated photo shoot area for taking photos of myself in outfits when it won’t stop raining outside or, in this case, I am stripping down. So off go the leggings, striped top, studded flats, fuschia panties and ratty bra. The cats turn their heads as I trot around the house with boobs swinging, searching out my tripod and camera remote. My goal is to pose in a way that covers my lady bits. I want my readers to see what a fat body looks like and present it in a beautiful and maybe alarming way. Surely, more than a handful of them have a body that looks like mine and is wasting their lives hating it. Fuck that.

Sadly, it isn't acceptable to be vain and fat. We are told that we must be a martyr of our own bodies and let someone else decide what is acceptable. We must feed corporations with our own self-doubt and let them prey on our insecurities. You have to join the club and participate in conversations about how much we hate ourselves. Like a competition of who can be the most unsatisfied with various body parts or the size of said body parts. But it doesn't have to be that way! Instead of being rewarded for being brave, we can be complimented on our perfection and fabulous-ness.

What a wonderful world that would be! If everyone was as free from body shame as I am. But it's something we are ingrained with at an early age. There are layers and layers that need to be peeled back. Like when I was 10 and someone told me that I was better off not wearing my pink two-piece with black polka dots and endless frills because my teeny belly was round. I immediately lost a little bit of my shine. Every deflating experience with my own body and influence continued to tarnish me. By the time I was 30, I could have easily been covered in rust. But I have spent time polishing and buffing off those layers of shame and body hate. Each time I wear what I want, talk about fat acceptance or post my picture on the internet, I am wiping away some of that gunk.

I lean against the dining room wall, letting my double belly rolls stick out, my pudgy arms hang to my side with all my stretch marks and dimples proudly on display. Click.

21 ♥ COMMENTS ♥:

Beverly said...

Amazing. You ARE inspiration! You were the first F.A. blog I ever came across. You inspired me to read more and see more and investigate and become curious with this movement and I couldn't be happier. I never knew I should love my body or that it was even possible but it is! Thank you :)

Leah (Just Me Leah) said...

From the bottom of my heart - I fucking love you. Never change.

Angel said...

you are so awesome!

Amelia said...

It may be silly to say, as I'm pretty sure you are chronologically younger than I am, but *you* are who I want to be when I grow up!

Hope said...

This is amazing Rachele! So well written, it all flows together and expresses what we are all feeling. I love the comparison to silver tarnishing at the end, beautiful. Is this part of your book? I am excited to read more :D

Bine Button said...

♥!

Rachel said...

wonderfully put. Thank you

Susie_q said...

You are lovely. Ok, so you are not brave. In my opinion you are instead a hero because a true hero isn't measured by the size of her strength, but by the strength of her heart.

babiesmomma3 said...

ME TOO ! Amazing how much you have inspired me with your words of wisdom.

darlene said...

Well put by all of the ladies' comments that preceded me here. Just keep on being you and doing what you do!!

whitejenna said...

You never cease to amaze me! You go! As a side note, I want to be styled by Gok Wan and have a naked photo shoot.

whitejenna said...

Yes! You were my first body love blog, and still my fave blog in general, cause we have so much n common.

Moe said...

Love this! Wonderfully written. Love the third to last paragraph & how exactly accurate it is. Vain & fat - needs to be on a t-shirt!

Once again, blown away!!

Kayla Burns said...

This is beautiful!

mscate said...

such a wonderful post

Chelsea Oliver said...

You and this post are beautiful. I think I'm one of those "vain and fat" chicks and hello world, hear me roar about it. Glad I'm not the only one who knows that my size doesn't dictate my beauty. Get it girl!

millie said...

Great post , Nearsighted owl ! Being 317 pounds myself ,I dealt with people glaring at my body ,gasping to themselves "I' ve never seen anyone soo fat" .My self esteem surly beaten . The fat shaming is so hurtful .Now I am working my way down on the scale.One thing is for sure, I ll never be a skinny minnie .But reading your post has shed some new light onto my day.

Brittany Meeks Carr said...

Every time I read your posts, I'm amazed and inspired! I've always felt ashamed of my body and weight and I honestly feel that at the age of 24 I should be nothing but rust! But your blog is showing me that us plus size women can be BEAUTIFUL! Because of your blog, I am slowly starting to feel good about myself and accepting myself as the beautiful person I am! Thank you so much for writing this blog and inspiring people like me!

thirties girl said...

I love how honest you are in your posts. This one is particularly inspiring. Carry on with your bad self.

CJ said...

I really enjoy your blog. I am also a tall and large girl and I always have been. It wasn't always easy to not be the cute little thing! It has taken a lot of years to get away from all of the shitty things that society tells us we should feel about ourselves. Your blog inspires me to let go of my self doubt!

Rachele said...

Really enjoying your comments!

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