Isn’t it funny that in a community where we embrace the physical sexuality of our bodies, so many of us deal with the exact same issue?
“When I was 29, my brother died, and I lost weight, and everyone congratulated me on it. When I gained it back months later, my aunt warned me about eating my feelings. Then handed me a dozen cupcakes she had brought by for my family.” – Queerie Bradshaw, “Belly Aches, a.k.a. Fat-Shaming Has Made Me Afraid to Go to the Doctor”
We don’t feel ashamed that we love fucking, love kink, love exploring what sexuality means, but we feel ashamed of the extra pounds we carry.
“Despite having no lack of photos of myself in compromising positions, every time I do a fetish shoot, or one where I’m gonna have my big old butt in the wind, I become a bit apprehensive. Yeah yeah fat is flabulous etc. But like anyone, I can be a little self-conscious when it comes to letting it all hang out.” – Mollena, “My Fat Black Ass”
Even is ashamed isn’t the right word, we sometimes feel…anxious. Tense. Afraid. Less than confident, purely because we don’t have the body we’ve been taught is perfect.
“At least I have lush, full lips and a set of shapely and slender legs. I’m particular about the way I dress and the way my clothes fit. I think that I do a pretty good job at camouflaging the parts of my body I’m not happy with.” – Ms. Quote, “Bodies of All Shapes & Sizes are Sexy”
Because while people may whisper that we’re sluts or even tell us how immoral we our to our faces, they treat us like adults when it comes to our sexual choices, not children that have to be scolded because we don’t know any better. Yeah, thanks, for lecturing me about my obesity. I didn’t understand the potential health problems I’m facing. Woah, I have a few pounds to lose? THANK YOU for telling me that. I didn’t realize. Good thing you’re here to lecture me about it.
“I have an ugly, misshapen, wrinkly, dimply, pimply, blotted, blemished, smooshy, poochy, saggy body. I am feeling bad about it. Not only that, I am feeling bad about feeling bad about it. It’s one of those things. A couple women at the munch I attended the other day told me I’m hot. I’m sure they said it to compliment me, and not to make me feel uncomfortable. But I did feel uncomfortable, one, because I don’t believe it, and two, because I feel guilty for arguing with them about it when they are clearly not trying to start an argument.” – Shelby Cross, “Butt Ugly”
Worse, they amplify insecurities that make the emotional side of obesity that much worse. Stress, lack of sleep, anxiety, emotional eating…these things can all lead to gaining even more weight.
“And it is not just thin police who give ‘fat’ a bad name. It is a word I have used many times to describe myself, and many times it has been answered with a chorus of “You’re not fat! You’re beautiful!” as thought the two are mutually exclusive.” – Harper Eliot, “Terms of Fatness”
Jesus, we’ve even made fat a dirty word. There are so many delicious dirty words out there. Fat should not be an insult anymore than gay is an insult. They’re words that describe, not shame. At least, they should be.
“I mostly blame porn for the seeming misconception that when legs are spread, the clitoris is visible and easily accessible. A situation where a flat, broad vibrator would work just fine. But that isn’t the case for people with body fat, usually. ” – Dangerous Lilly, “Sex Toys and Body Size”
Products aren’t made with sexual women like us in mind, because we’re told that we shouldn’t be the way we are. We should be actively trying to change.
“Though I felt confident that he wanted me, I still didn’t feel comfortable in my body. Still, before our first tryst I panicked about how he would react to actually seeing me naked. Would he still want me when he saw my overflowing stomach and flabby thighs? I was terrified.” – Elle Chase, “Sex and the Plus-Sized Gal”
And those of us who are strong, who are happy and confident no matter what the scale says, have to deal with the constant barrage of “you should be thinner, you should be thinner, you should be thinner” that our society says is okay.
“Just about the time I started to actually, physically KNOW that I was fat and began to think it wasn’t such a bad thing after all – between the tits and the smooth skin (not to mention that my ass has stopped going to sleep on the back of a motorcycle) – I also began to notice how much effort society was putting in to make me hate it.” – Remittance Girl, “Now That I’m Fat”
The truth is, you have no fucking clue whether or not I should be thinner. Maybe I’m happy and healthy just the way I am. Or maybe I’m not. Either way, it’s really none of your god damned business.
“I was just a wife and mother, it didn’t matter what I looked like. But I would secretly look at “pretty” women, at women with curves and “sex appeal” and wish, however fleetingly, that just once, I could be that girl, the one everyone noticed, maybe even the “hot” one. Secretly, I hated my ordinariness, my non-descript body, my baby belly and tiny breasts.” – Jade, “How BDSM Made Me Love My Body”
I’m angry, not just at the fat-shaming in this world, but at the overall body-shaming we experience every day. Like we’re not enough. And while we use our sexuality and experiences to work through these negative body image feelings, the fact remains: we should never be made to feel that way in the first place.
And yet here I am, feeling fat, feeling like confidence is unreachable, feeling like I have to hide. I can tell you how wrong it is that I feel this way, but that doesn’t make me stop feeling this way. I wish I had a solution, because I feel like this blog post needs a solution at the end. But the best I can do is put on a happy face and wait to feel better, hope to feel happier tomorrow.
At least I’m not alone.
Rori is the founder of Between My Sheets. She works full time as a writer, reviewer, and online educator and can be reached at rori-at-betweenmysheets.com