The UofT was a pretty fancy school [ivy, wealth] and so there were a fair amount of people who appeared to be leisurely rich white folks in expensive workout clothing lifting 5-lb-weights repeatedly who gunked up my groove. Amidst their comfort I started to think: if they can enjoy having a body, why can't I? If they can aim for strength and muscle-mass, why can't I? One of the pools was in a building that had a stained-glass roof and I would do the backstroke for a quarter-mile, unable to stop smiling. I got ballsy, rode my bicycle everywhere on the well-marked lanes of Toronto's downtown core, I stood on my bike and kicked out my legs in joy, rode in the snow and rode in the rain; I rode in heels and rode when my heart was in my throat, breaking.
I have loved the mystical creature that is Jessica Luxery for a long time. If you don’t know the incredible blog that is Tangled Up In Lace I highly recommend it for the well-curated mix of sex, witchcraft, feline adoration, great music, incredible vintage style and politics. Also Jessica lives in Canada and you all know how much I adore our Maple neighbors to the North and enjoy Maple Chasing as a lifestyle choice. This summer for me has been all about Ultimate Artistic Authenticity and when I read the following piece I screamed YES and asked JLux if she would allow me to share it with my readers as a guest post on the blog. I hope you enjoy!
I wore this bikini to the lake today.
Majestic has been working and going to school full time so we don’t get as much QT as we used to and when we’re spread thin (ha), we regenerate in nature.
The thing is, Mercury’s in Retrograde, I’m shedding my uterine lining and my idea of “going into nature” doesn’t ever involve (or rather, I’d prefer if it didn’t) thin white insecure teenaged girls.
But today it did.
Normally, I’d do what I do best. Sitting in unflattering positions, eating passionately and aggressively and deflecting everyone’s poor self image are my strong suits. (Right next to fucking, tying a pretty bow and swearing.) I like to incite and I love to be seen in my fat bawdy. It reminds me I’m alive… surviving and thriving.
But like I said before, Mercury’s in Retrograde, I haven’t gotten intentional time with my Lover and I’m on my motherfucking period.
Today was not the goddamn day.
Watching a couple different flocks of thin teenage girls whisper to each other and then stare at two magical creatures such as myself and my beautiful wife with a look like they’d smelled a ripe fart filled me with a fiery rage.
Fat people can’t just fucking go to the lake and move their bodies in public without repercussions. The majority of thin people CAN.
Now, because this is not my first rodeo and I do not want anyone to get it twisted, I want everyone to read my words carefully and I really want thin folks to GET REAL with themselves right now.
I know the thin folks who read my blog make some serious attempts at becoming more body positive and I know you all try to think more critically about the ways in which you participate in a culture that is out to kill me. I know a lot of thin folks in my real life care about me, love me and even find my devilishly good looks to be quite captivating.
So when I talk about my feelings and real experiences, I do not want to hear about how you’re not the bad guy and how you don’t appreciate my anger. I don’t care.
Today I took the countless stares, whispers and upset faces personally. Instead of challenging them, I started to shake with unadulterated rage and huffed off. I moved our blanket and snacks to a secluded inlet of the lake and sulked.
When Majestic and I started to process my feelings, I told them the reason I feel unsafe around thin folks at the beach was about me 1. seeing their fucking faces when they look at me and 2. remembering what it was like to hate my body and the gross awful things I thought about people then. Worse, the things I was encouraged by my peers to say and think about people and the way we bonded over mean and hurtful feelings like it would keep us satisfied until we allowed ourselves a small portioned diet meal.
I told Majestic that thin people are thinking a few different things about my body and I don’t like any of them. Are they disgusted beyond belief? Are they sad for me and my pitiful fat existence? Are they just staring because my body has become so abject and such a spectacle that they’re just interested in knowing what it looks like that unclothed? Are they scared about what my body makes them think about their bodies?
Majestic said, “They’re uncomfortable. They want you to be invisible, but you refuse. It would be easier for them if you hid, but you won’t and that’s upsetting.”
So maybe some of them are thinking about how ~*brave*~ I must be and that’s supposed to quell my upset over all the other thoughts they could be thinking.
As if them thinking its brave to have such a revolting body and still put on bathing suit and enjoy a swim just like them is a comforting thought.
But it is brave to know your body is scary and that people want to destroy it, but that it’s yours and you love it and you made the radical decision not to deny yourself a dip in a lake on a hot day or an ice cream cone or a lover who respects you.
Because I know it’s hard to be a teenage girl and if I thought they’d listen, I’d sit down with every last one of them and tell them I remember what it was like to be them and that I know what it’s like to carry that venom inside you.
Because as much as I want to tell the world how they hurt themselves by hating me, I really just want to fucking float around in the cool water like everyone else but you don’t want that for me.
And tomorrow’s just another day for me to be fat in your face and if that’s hard for you, TOO FUCKING BAD.