helen-louise (baratron) wrote,

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fat acceptance

After my last post I was going to write something deep and insightful, but Richard woke up and we went out to Starbucks for breakfast. I renewed my library books, got back, and started ploughing through usenet. I had something like 900 unread messages in both soc.bi and alt.polyamory, the two newsgroups where I actually read the majority of posts (as compared to the 9 other groups I read where I just skim the new topics as they turn up). It's taken me basically most of the day to do that. As well as reading, I've been posting quite a lot as well. I wrote lots of things about alt.polycon (which was April 27th - 29th in Seattle), a long article explaining why I don't like having sex with men other than Richard, and some really cool observations about myself.

One of the things that came out of my trip to Seattle was a genuine acceptance of my body for the first time. I used to be very thin (I was a UK size 10), and remained so until I got to college. Somehow, between cooking for myself and not doing enough exercise, and being depressed and some kind of general change in my metabolic rate, I started to put on weight, until I got to about a size 14. I stayed that size for a couple of years - then, as depression hit again, I went up to a size 16. To put this into perspective, a size 14 is the largest size offered in most high street fashion shops, and a size 16 is the smallest size in the "plus size" shops. People who are size 16 are fat (unless they're very muscular and need to wear that size because of their bulging muscles, or something).

Now, pretty much all women, apart from some of the very skinny ones, think that they're "too fat". But I had proof - I had clothes in my old size, and stretch marks on my legs and hips. Oh, and a doctor bitching at me about my weight (bleh). Coming into contact with fat activists, who point out that it's ok to be fat, made some difference to me. But I still felt "wrong". I felt it was ok for other people to be fat, but not for _me_ to be.

Somehow, sometime during my trip to Seattle, this attitude changed. I didn't notice the change as it happened - I've only just noticed it now. Suddenly I feel comfortable with my body again. I've found clothes that I look good in, and I don't feel revolted by seeing myself naked any more. Plenty of other people think I'm attractive - including people that I consider to be pretty darn amazing. Why shouldn't I find myself attractive?

I was pointed at this link today: the website of a book called Women En Large. It's a gallery of photos of naked fat women. And the women in these photos are _beautiful_. It's awe-inspiring.

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