Ok so this blog was named after an album I’ve been listening to A LOT lately, which is Robyn’s Body Talk.
(Side Note: This album was SO ahead of its time and would have been even BIGGER in the States if it had come out now instead of 2010…)
But I digress…
What I really want to talk about is body image.
Obviously this is a topic that is absolutely worn out in the United States.
And I’m not just talking about women…
Most of my male friends (gay and straight) have just as many body image issues as I do.
(And BELIEVE me… I have A LOT of body issues)
Now you might be saying to yourself, “Shan! Why don’t you like your body!?”
Let me tell you all the things I don’t like about myself.
1. My Thighs.
I don’t know what it’s like for my thighs not to touch when I walk. I can distinctly remember being called “thunder thighs” by one of the male basketball players in middle school when I was a cheerleader. Here I was, 13 years old, an insecure human being trying to figure out how to grow up, and being labeled as a “thick” girl. I knew he was just jesting, but that wasn’t the point.
The POINT was that people noticed.
My thighs are thick.
They don’t always fit into the pants I buy.
When I wear shorts or skirts, they ride up.
They have dimples, imperfections, flaws.
2. My Ass:
My ass sticks out further than the average person’s ass. Much like my thighs, it makes it difficult for me to find a nice pair of pants. I get “plumber’s ass” sometimes when I wear pants/shorts because it creates this annoying gap in my lower back where the waistband meet my skin.
It is the subject of a lot of unwanted attention. Men on the streets of New York always comment on my “fat ass”
But here’s the problem: The word fat.
Do people even realize the connotation of the word “fat.”
Fucking A, women are so sensitive.
Yes, I’m sensitive about it.
I’m sensitive about my BIG FAT ASS.
3. My Arms:
I can remember when I was in elementary school, and I was a big Tom-boy. It used to be amusing for me to arm wrestle the boys at recess and for them to talk to me about how “strong” my arms looked.
Turns out they might be strong… but they are also BIG.
My arms look terrible in photos. I’m constantly having to pose in a certain way for me to get what we ladies like to call the “skinny arm.”
Lately I’ve been toning my arms and I’ve felt better about them… but still not happy.
Let’s see… what else can I pick apart about myself.
4. My fake teeth.
(Yes, I have two fake teeth. Read my blog post about my medical ailments if you want the full back story)
5. My small eyes
6. My ear that sticks out further than the other.
7. My wide feet.
8. My chubby cheeks
9. My fair skin
10. My small boobs
But here’s the thing:
Fuck ALL of those things.
Fuck numbers 1 through 10.
Fuck everyone who has EVER made me feel “fat” or “ugly” or ashamed of my body.
My body is what it is.
I work out like a FIEND. I lift weights. I do yoga. I run. I go to spinning class. I walk EVERYWHERE.
Sometimes you just have to work with what you have.
And you know what… I’m TIRED of getting a compliment from someone and coming up with some excuse about why I shouldn’t take it.
Recently, someone told me I was beautiful.
And I couldn’t believe it.
Not to say that I’m not absolutely self-aware. I understand that I am not a hideous human being. I understand that I am not obese. I understand that there are people I look at, who may be bigger in size than me who I deem the most gorgeous people in the world. I understand ALL of this.
But when it comes to self image, we are all fucked up.
Let’s be real about that.
We all hate things about ourselves.
And I’m TIRED of it.
I’m TIRED of self deprecating.
I’m TIRED of hearing my friends talk about how men/women won’t love them because of their bodies.
I’m TIRED of feeling like I will never be skinny.
I’m TIRED of not being able to have a compliment be given to me and not being able to take it.
So let me go back through that list of 1 through 10 and rewrite them.
1. My STRONG thighs.
Do you know that I can use those thigh machines with 110 pounds of weight? that’s more than a lot of women I know. Hell… that’s more than a lot of men I see using that machine at my gym. My legs can move mountains. My legs are my essence.
My thighs are my genetics.
I have an entire family (on both sides) with thick legs. It’s who I am as an Allen. It’s who I am as a Falasco
My thighs are Ro.
My thighs are me.
2. My fat ass.
As much as it pisses me off that I can never fit into the perfect pair of jeans, I HAVE to have love for my ass.
I think it gets me the most amount of male attention of any part of my body.
It makes me curvy, voluptuous, sexy.
3. My arms
Please… just PLEASE try to arm wrestle me. I may have been just bluffing when I was in elementary school, but now that I actively lift weights, I WILL DESTROY YOU!
My arms are never going to be thin.
That’s just how it is.
But they will never be weak. They will ALWAYS be strong. They will ALWAYS have character.
4. My beautiful smile.
My fake teeth have given me the most beautiful smile I could have ever imagined.
5. My blue eyes.
They may be small, but I have the bluest eyes you’ve ever seen.
6. My asymmetrical ears.
If I were completely symmetrical, that would just be BORING.
And I am the furthest thing from boring.
7. My wide feet.
I don’t really have a way to turn this one around… but FUCK OFF. My feet are wide. I don’t care.
8. My cheeks.
My character. My smile.
I wouldn’t be Shan Baby without those cheeks.
9. I am Snow White
My skin is fair and I DON’T CARE
10. My boobs are small…
But it makes me less likely to develop breast cancer. It makes me realize that when I get the results of my genetic testing, it will be easy for me to make the decision to cut them off.
I’m not attached to them.
My breasts are just a source of worry and anxiety.
Fuck my boobs.
There you have it.
My physical insecurities listed out for you in a nice, neat little list.
And guess what…
I feel great.
I feel liberated.
I feel free.
Because now I can let go of all those fucking idiotic thoughts about my body and start LIVING my life with CONFIDENCE about my physical looks.
I’m gonna make my BODY TALK.
So for everyone out there with a “list” that may look similar (or be completely different) to mine…
FUCK THAT LIST.
FUCK THOSE THOUGHTS.
You are beautiful.
I am beautiful.
WE are beautiful.
Shan BODY Baby
LOOK AT THAT ASS!