Welcome back to a feature of this blog I call “Write Your Hips”. It’s dedicated to individuals who read my memoir, Read My Hips, and were inspired to write about their own experiences related to body image.
Today, I’m pleased to introduce you to the writing of
Nikki W.! Nikki shares with us today a post from her personal blog, Sanctimomious.
A few weeks ago, after seeing it in a Parents magazine, I read this book. It’s by a woman called Kim Brittingham, and she is fat. I’m not going to ruin the book for you (spoiler alert, she DOESN’T lose the weight…..) but I am going to tell you to read it.
If you have ever looked at your body and felt bad about it, read this book.
If you think your body needs to be improved, read this book.
And if you are holding off from doing anything- buying lingerie to wear for your husband or being in more pictures with your children- please, read this book.
This book changed my life. It made me realize how incredibly stupid it is for me to belittle my body anymore. And for the first time in a long time, it made me reconsider my body for what it is — absolutely beautiful, because my body is amazing.
It has rowed crew, run races and jumped off a very high diving board.
It has danced.
My incredible body can slice through waves in the ocean, making me totally at peace and completely illuminated, at the same time. It can ride a surfboard.
Its been all over the world, to Europe and Asia and so many places in between.
It can make a killer spaghetti sauce.
My body has brought pleasure to me and to some equally gorgeous men.
Most importantly, my body has made me six beautiful children. It has performed one of natures most miraculous processes- growing a whole amazing person. And then, its done it again. And again, and again and again. And again.
It has birthed those babies, either by itself or by c-section, after which it has healed well, ready to start again. And then it has fed those babies, literally keeping them alive with no other help.
It has hugged my mother, held my fathers hand. Cried for my brother and laughed with joy as I ran into his arms. It has held my incredible children, kissed them when they have cried, rocked them to sleep. Loved them unconditionally.
And all I have done in return, for so many years, is tell my body that it is shit. My pathetic ovaries that I thought failed me. I have cursed my stretch marks, the ones my body gave me as my oldest son grew inside me, taking my tight tummy away. I have sadly pinched sagging skin, the skin that spilled past its limits as my body eased into carrying two singleton-sized twins- babies I had not long before begged my body not to give up on. I have whined and complained about my body, wished it was something else. Somebody else’s.
Worse of all, I have let other people tell my body its shit. Thin people, fat people, people in magazines and in the mall and people who work for clothing designers. I have tried to squeeze my body into a 12 so I didn’t have to shop in the “fat girl stores” — because the clothes I liked didn’t come in anything bigger. I have listened to people tell me how I should change my body, how I could make it prettier — make it “better”.
So here is what I have to say now: My body doesn’t need to be better. My body is amazing. It’s soft and full and it does things that kick ass.
And if you think that all the things that my body does right are negated by the fact that it doesn’t fit into your idea of what’s correct? Then they are YOUR weight issues, because I refuse to listen to you anymore.
And to be honest, the people who judge people for their weight are normally the ones with the most fucked-up body images in the first place.
It’s funny, when people judge others for almost anything else, it’s horrible and bad. But it’s still totally acceptable to judge fat people — that’s different.
And to all those people who will read this and still think my body is gross, I will just be sorry for you. Because I am SO done with feeling sorry for myself.
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