I’d be lying if I told you that there are no parts of my body that I hate.
I’d be lying if I told you that there are any parts of my body that I love.
But my perspective is skewed. And I hold very high double standards.
When I was young (and by young I mean between the ages of 13 and 35) I went in and out of phases of starving myself, binging, barfing, fad dieting “detoxing”, exhausting myself by exercising multiple times a day, taking weird pills I bought from some strange old lady’s “remedy” shop.
“No more feht!! You feht!! Eat Pills!”
I’ve called myself names, hated on myself, hid myself, hurt myself.
Often at weights that I would rejoice at now.
And in sizes I will never fit (read squeeeeeze) into again.
All for things that, strangely enough, I don’t find to be an issue for anyone but myself.
Things that I don’t find ugly, gross, or even unattractive on other people.
I’ve lay my head on a soft round belly and nuzzled my face into it, thinking how much I love that belly. Never thinking – Man I wish this was a rock hard six pack. This guy really needs to work out.
I’ve gazed at other women’s breasts swaying and bouncing, one nipple slightly higher than the other, stretch marked and sometimes even scarred, and thought – wow, she’s so beautiful. Never thinking, those would be nice if they were smaller/firmer/pointing at her chin. She really should get some new ones…
In fact, generally speaking fake breasts repel me.
Although I’m sure there are some lovely and lovingly crafted faux-boobs in the world, I personally have only met one pair in all of my life that I couldn’t tell were implants, until I touched them.
Most others look like floating cylinders Super-Glued to their base. And their perkiness, while my back and shoulders envy them, often contradict the age of the rest of the body and leaves me feeling like something just isn’t right…
It’s like seeing somebody with a chemically peeled face, lifted and full of Botox attached to a naturally wrinkled chest and turkey neck.
You keep staring at it wondering why you can’t stop, and what’s wrong with it, until you realize HEY WEIRD! That 13 year old alien face is stuck to a 65 year old woman’s body!
But I’d be lying if I said I’d never considered surgery myself though. I’m a 36DD and I have stood countless times in front of a mirror lifting and tugging on myself trying to see what they would look like if they migrated back up closer to my chest, and further from my belly button.
And I’d be lying if I told you I hadn’t ever fantasized about implants. I’ve grown pretty attached to my cup size but I can’t help wondering how much of it is still breast and not just the skin that hangs around what’s left of them.
And I’d even be lying if I told you that there wasn’t a time where I secretly wished there was a non-life-threatening reason why I was medically FORCED to get a boob job so that I could do it without feeling like an asshole for going against my very own values, contradicting everything I believe to be true in life, as well as devaluing everything I’ve ever said to all three of my daughters about inner and outer beauty and positive self body-image.
And then I felt ashamed.
And I also felt sad.
Because I felt sorry for my boobs for having rejecting them. Because I have empathy issues.
Even for things that aren’t alive.
Only my boobs actually are very much alive.
And they deserve to be loved.
As does the rest of me.
I’m not saying that I should sit around and eat pie all day long, with my feet up and resting on my goat, letting the pounds roll in and living to my own sweet music – And by music I mean the sound of my breasts slapping agains my belly/knees – because
GOD DAMMIT I DESERVE TO BE LOVED
Even though I do. And so do you. And everyone else.
Even people who don’t read my blog.
Even though I hate them.
Somebody should love them too.
Just not me… or you.
I do aspire to be as fit as I can be. I want to be healthy and as pain-free and comfortable in my body, and my clothes, as I can be.
And I do think fit people look hot.
And I could stare at my boxing instructor for hours, in admiration of her beautifully sculpted arms, shoulders, and gravity defying butt.
And I would love to stop choosing my outfits in the morning based on whether or not I’m sporting mom-slam.
But guess what. That might not go away. It might not matter how many races I run, and it might not matter how many crunches and jumping jacks and f$%^ing burpees that Bootcamp Bob makes us do.
And it might not matter if I go to all my weight watchers meetings and never use any of my “extra” points, and reach my goal weight.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m going to keep running, and I’m still going to Box my little heart out, and I’m going to keep counting points, and Bootcamp is most definitely still my bitch.
Because it makes me feel healthy and strong, and fit and happy and cool.
But I’ve had 3 kids, I’m not getting younger, and I’m human.
My breasts are not going to levitate and I’m not going to turn into rubber-man.
And honestly, even if they could, and I did, I’m not convinced I wont find another 16 things to dislike about my body.
Because I already have. And if I “fixed” all of those things too, I’d look 15 years old.
And let me tell you, if ever there was a time that I truly hated my body it was then.
Now, as a burlesque performer, this kind of self-loathing probably makes me somewhat of a fraud.
I have to tell you, that the best compliment I ever received from an audience member was when a young couple came up to me, the woman visibly overweight and in tears, and the husband full of love and gratitude, and said:
“Thank you so much for showing my wife that being beautiful and sexy has nothing to do with size or shape. We’re going home to make love with the lights on for the first time since we met.”
I’ve been performing in Burlesque shows for over 11 years now, and I have gone through many phases. Sometimes feeling really good about myself, but most times not so much.
Yet I keep doing it.
I keep doing it because I love performing.
I keep doing it because I love the art of Burlesque.
I keep doing it because sometimes I do feel beautiful and confident.
I do it often despite NOT feeling either of those things.
I do it hoping that one day everything I believe to be true about others, and all that I understand in theory about me, will eventually smother out my negative core beliefs about myself.
I do it because I love that I can inspire others to feel great about themselves.
And I hope that one day I’ll be inspired too.
Because I too would like to be comfortable having sex with the lights on again, without trying to cover up, contort, pose, and disguise myself.
Now you might be wondering to yourselves…
Why is Jen telling all of this? We’re not her freaking therapists. And why is she forcing us to look at pictures of her boobs?
I hear you. You’re not my therapists. I pay my therapist a lot of money to listen to this very same crap every couple of weeks (the poor thing) and I NEVER make her look at my boobs.
I told you all of this because I came across this story last night that I wanted to share with you but I don’t know how to read, see or hear things about other people without relating them to my own life.
And I don’t know how to share things about other people without rambling on about myself for 6 hours first.
Just be happy that I was too lazy to follow my driving desire to embed the Cold Play song“Fix you” into this post to try to force you to cry the whole time you were reading it.
Jen SHUT UP and tell us the damn story!!!”
After having her third child, Taryn Brumfitt decided she was going to see a cosmetic surgeon for a tummy tuck and a boob job. Upon reflection of what kind of message she would be sending her daughter by doing that, she decided to “fix” herself with a (physically) healthier approach.
She entered a bodybuilding competition. And after only four months, she looked amazing but, she said, “Nothing had changed about how I felt about my body”.
And you know what? When I looked at Taryn’s before and after photos, I had an unexpected reaction.
But I’m not going to tell you what that reaction was, or what I felt (for a change).
I want you to have your own reactions and your own feelings.
And I want you to watch the trailer for Taryn’s project.
Taryn Brumfitt is the Founder of Body Image Movement, a movement which teaches women the value and power of loving their body from the inside out. Her mission is to harness and facilitate positive body image activism by leading a global movement that creates a shift in the way women think about themselves and their bodies.
Learn more HERE