Posts tagged body positive
Posts tagged body positive
Hey y’all! Amber here! I’ve taken a bit of time off from SHYB mod duties, but I wanted to pop back in to remind you all that I’m still fighting the good fight for body positivity!
Just wanted to remind you as the weather gets warmer about the two most important steps to getting a rad beach body for the summer!
I’ll be rocking my fatkini for the first summer ever and I couldn’t be more excited!
Let’s not forget that no matter what shape, what size, what health status, whether you think someone’s ugly or pretty or wearing something flattering or unflattering, EVERYONE has the right to their own body, their own style, and basic respect! And EVERYONE deserves to have a great time at the beach! So instead of judging, I implore you to focus on making the best of the summer of 2013!
for more body positivity feel free to check out my instagram (username randomlancila!)
(oh yeah, and this awesome fatkini was made by By Ro Designs!)
So I have been thinking about posting this blog for a little while now. To inspire myself I checked out the scar tag here on tumblr and I was amazed. The tag was filled with self-harming.
Seeing all the negative and depressing posts about scars inspired me to tell the story about my own scars. To talk about my own incident of self-harming. But it’s not what you’re expecting.
I get asked all the time. I think I may just print out this blog or something and start handing it out to people to explain. Sometimes I have no idea what they’re talking about until I look down and see them.
“Oh yeah. My scars.”
When I was almost one year old, five days before to be precise. I accidentally spilled hot water all down my left side. The boiling hot water gave me third degree burns on the left side of my chin, my upper left arm, and all down my left side on my back and stomach. The scar on my stomach needed skin grafts. I spent my first birthday in the hospital.
For the longest time I wouldn’t wear tank-tops. I grew up wearing the surf-shirt swimsuits and to this day I will not wear a bikini.
The scars that are seen most frequently are the one on my chin and my upper arm.
I think I am comfortable with my scars. I know I am. But the fear of others not understanding or being freaked out about them is still hovering close by. Maybe I am contradicting myself. “Madeline, if they have a problem with your scars, who needs them, right?” Sure, this true. But as a teenage girl it is hard to find confidence in every situation. It’s part of the package deal of puberty.
My scars make me unique. They make me who I am.
My scars are beautiful.
I want to share my story because I want people to know that so-called “flaws,” whether they are disproportional facial features, a weight issue, a family problem, whatever it is, it makes you special. They make you different. They make you you.
Flaws are beautiful. Scars are beautiful. Girls are beautiful. Guys are beautiful. People are beautiful. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.
If you have a scar, you have a scar. If you give yourself a scar, you’re giving yourself a challenge. A challenge to find away to accept that scar and to accept whatever problem caused you to give it to yourself.
Believe in yourself and you can.
Love your body. Love your life. Love yourself. Love your soul.
Where to begin. I’ll start from the beginning, sparing the gross details. Also, THIS IS REALLY LONG AND OH GOD I’M SORRY
I was born with a lipoma and a superficial dimple on the base of my spine, a mild form of Spina Bifida. My doctors concluded that in addition to these maladies, which I still don’t fully understand I had what is called “Tethered Spinal Cord Syndrome”, a neurological condition where tissue wraps around the base of the spinal cord, preventing it from moving freely, and stretching during periods of growth, causing nerve damage. When I was 6 months old, I had a surgery to untether it, and after a few months, I had normal nerve function. The symptoms started to come back around age 7 (balance issues, back pain, among other more embarrassing things), so I had another surgery in the summer of 1999. This time, I had to relearn how to walk, and used a walker for about a month. Going into 2nd grade, I felt different and separated from the other girls (I went to an all girls school K-12), from my friends, like they didn’t understand who I was anymore. I had some residual nerve damage, so I had to quit ballet (my favorite), and sit out of gymnastics. Girls in my class wanted me to talk about it, but I didn’t want to. I chose who I wanted to tell using little notes.
By 5th grade, things were better. I had forgotten all about my difference. Middle school was eh, nothing interesting happened. The regular bullshit.
In October of my freshman year of high school, I found out I had to have another surgery for it, and that this time it would be a longer recovery process because I was older. By this point, I was surrounded by friends who supported me - the night before my surgery, I had a little get together with about 20 people, and served cheese-its and cherry garcia fro yo on the roof of my building. I was in the hospital for 1 week, including Thanksgiving, and then a rehabilitation center for 3 weeks. Friends came to visit very frequently, even those who I wasn’t very close with. I cried in front of my friend Anne for the first time when they took a drainage tube out of my back, and she held my hand. My roommates were all very different than I was - one was a girl from China who spoke no english, one was a girl from texas who had a hip replacement surgery, and another was a girl from the Bronx who had been shot. They were all between the ages of 18 and 20, and I was 14. It was a good experience to get along with people who I would not normally live with. At the time, my father said that a movie could be made about my experiences. Little did he know what the next 6 years would hold. (I really adamantly think that he’s right. But I’ll continue.)
I went back to school in February, and was able to catch up with the things I had missed over the previous 2 months or so. Things were okay, but I started gaining weight because my mobility had decreased. I couldn’t run through the streets of New York as I used to, but I was still somewhat active. I really liked my friends brother, a senior, and he really liked me, but as soon as he made that clear to me, I ran, because I was terrified. I still regret it.
In 10th grade, my friends had narrowed down to about 2 close ones, but the rest I was still very friendly with. I started having more back and leg pain, and numbness in the fall, and had a surgery in January for a herniated disc, and after it reherniated, another in April. After missing 4 months of school, I caught up with most of my classes, but my mobility had decreased again.
In my junior year (the first time around), the symptoms for the Tethered Spinal Cord started to come back, and exhausted after making up so much school in the previous two years, I decided to withdraw and come back the following year with the class below me. Before surgery, it had gotten to the point where I had to use a cane to walk. Almost all of my friends had flaked, so I was pretty much alone. In this midst of this, a boy I really liked, and had known forever, told someone that he was disgusted that I liked him because I was “obnoxious, rude, and unattractive.” That put a huge dent in my self esteem. I had surgery in July of 2009 (it took them that long to realize that the same thing was wrong) and was in the hospital for 2 weeks, then a rehab center for 4. This time around, the rehab center was one of the best experiences of my life. It was an adult rehab center, so I was the youngest, but I became very close with most of the staff and one patient in particular. He was previously an iron-man competitor, and was hit by a car while on his bike, and slammed into a tree. He was expected to be a quadriplegic for the rest of his life, but the doctors cooled his body directly after the accident, which prevented further nerve damage, although he had damage in his legs. You can read his story here: http://www.slowtwitch.com/Interview/The_wild_journey_of_John_Carson_1358.html . He was about 30, and I 17, but we played tricks on each other, ate lunch together, went to therapy together, and supported each other. He left using a walker, and has now gone back to doing triathalons. He is one of my heroes. I met several other inspiring people there, and learned a lot about myself and what I was capable of.
After 4 weeks, I left rehab using forearm crutches and leg braces, and went back to school. Those in my new grade thought I was still friends with the seniors, and the seniors thought I was friends with the juniors, so no one really talked to me. I became good friends with librarian, who is one of the most lovely people I’ve ever met. It was a lonely year, and from my further decreased mobility, I gained a lot more weight. In the meantime, I started going on webcam chat sites, and talking to skeevy guys to make me feel better about myself. They wanted to talk to me, they thought I was pretty, and they didn’t know about all my physical shit that was going on. As a result, I have a very hard time trusting guys, and need an extreme emotional connection to open up to someone.
I started out my senior year of high school in a wheelchair - I had an ulcer on the bottom of my foot that would not heal (by this point, I had no sensation in my legs, but could still move them). The ulcer became infected several times over the year, so I spent a week in the hospital here and there. During this time, I became severely depressed, feeling completely inadequate and inferior, and used this to attract friends through pity. It was a self-fulfilling prophecy; I didn’t want people to pity me, and expressed that to people, which in turn solidified my pity-case state. I depended on them for everything, one girl in particular, to fix me, to make me feel better about myself. At one point it got so bad, and I was so low, that they told the school, who said that if I didn’t get help, I couldn’t come back. I felt awful, unwanted, and like a problem. Over Christmas, I went to a mental hospital, where I met 2 girls I connected with, and became very close with my therapist. It was a nice break from reality. I sorted out why I was so dependent on this one friend in particular, who had stopped talking to me after I got drunk at her birthday party and was taking out my anger at everyone. In the midst of all of this, I had separated myself completely from my parents, who insisted I go to BYU, but they ended up letting me go to Sewanee, a liberal arts school in Tennessee by my cousins house. I finished my senior year weary, but glad to have finished high school.
Amidst this, I went through a sexuality crisis. I thought that maybe I was a lesbian, because “how could any boy like this”, “maybe a girl would like me”, shit like that. I started talking to this one girl, who ended up falling in love with me. We dated for about 3 months, but I was terrible to her, and also to myself. I did sexual things because I thought that maybe it would convince myself that I liked her, because I wanted to like her. The things she said about me were wonderful. I was her first, and she was my first. I broke things off, because I was going to college, but I realized that I was fooling myself the whole time. I still haven’t forgiven myself for it. It’s way more complicated than I am stating it, but if you’ve gotten this far, you deserve a medal, so I’m keeping it concise.
Sewanee. It was beautiful. My ulcer still hadn’t healed, and by this point I couldn’t walk distances anyways, so I begrudgingly went in my wheelchair. On my second day of classes, I met a boy, Charlie, who sat next to me in the hallway and introduced himself to me. I had never fully trusted someone so much upon an introduction. There was not a hint of condescension, pity, or humor in his voice. I could tell that he would be an important person, and he still is. Over last year, I fell for him completely, although we didn’t see each other much, but I knew he would always be there for me. He still is, and we talk more than ever, especially through his love crises, which unfortunately don’t include me. I’ve never met someone who has understood me so well, and who I am not afraid to give myself over to completely. He was one of the few good things to come out of my year there.
When I would go out to the frats in my wheelchair, it was miserable. If the frat WAS accessibly, I would always be in the way, people would spill beer on me, people would be so condescending, or stare, and one guy came up behind me and grabbed my boobs and left. One time, a guy tried to “Dance” with me, by pushing me and pulling me around and slamming me into people. One girl told me that guys would want me if it wasn’t for the wheelchair. Every time I went out, I would have to force myself, telling myself it would be better than the last time. Eventually I gave up, and just went to my cousins house every weekend, which was lovely. That’s when I decided to go to BYU, where there are no drunk guys and girls don’t have sex with someone in the same room as you when you’re trying to sleep, and I wouldn’t be the only person with a disability. At Sewanee, there was one guy who was blind, David, but I never spoke to him, because I didn’t want to be put in a token disabled person group, and because I’m a terrible person.
So, now, I’m at BYU, and had 3 other surgeries that I forgot to mention, and another one coming up in the next few weeks that I have to go home for. I use my wheelchair except when I’m around the house, and have chronic pain in my left knee, right leg, and lower back. I’m struggling to maintain my weight, but am trying harder to accept my body. It’s really easy to hate it. It hasn’t been very good to me. My sister always compares her weight to me, like she’s doing a good job if she’s skinnier than I am, and sometimes I justify my weight by saying that I’d look skinnier if my boobs were smaller. Sometimes, it really sucks that I’ll never be able to climb a tree, or run down a hill, or do ballet again. I have to remind myself that others have it worse, but at the same time, balance that with the fact that I don’t have the best deal either. A guy asked me out, and came over, and didn’t respect my personal space, but maybe I wouldn’t trust him enough even if that didn’t happen. I’ve been thinking about it, and I have to either disconnect myself emotionally completely, or be completely head over heels, in order to feel comfortable. It has proved to me that someone can, and will, find me beautiful, perhaps instantly, even with all of my body’s physical problems. Through all of this, music has been my one companion. I’d love to be a part of it for that reason alone, to give back, or melt into the strange material that has made everything bearable and sometimes beautiful. I’m still struggling, but the one thing that is pushing me forward, is that someday I’ll be able to use all this shit and make something incredible out of it, something that many can admire and appreciate and love.
This has been a jumbled personal post. Hey Jude just came on shuffle. How timely.
Joeie and I have been seeing a lot of negative “weight” pictures with people writing words like worthless, stupid, ugly, fat, and horrible on them.
We decided to do the same but with a positive message.
People can’t tell what kind of person you are, who you care about, what you’re interested in, who you love. They don’t know what you’ve done or what you’ve been through.
Their opinions are so silly and blind that they don’t even deserve to be heard.
This is how someone who loves you sees you, and there are always people who love you.
“Sweet, Smart, Nice, Talented, Loving, Brave, Generous, Gorgeous, Kind, Perfect, Caring, Beautiful, Funny, Sensitive, Patient, Charitable, Fun, Amazing”
..and we gave him a heart on the outside to remind you he has a heart on the inside.
This goes for you too ladies.
Lastly, we wrote “human” because no matter what you think about anyone, they matter and they have the capabilities of anyone you’ve ever known,
so be kind.
Meet Davonte Poindexter Narcisse
21 yrs old October 11 1991
Libra *Into Fashion *Believe in God *a Christian *A Singer Facebookname: Davonte Poindexter Narcisse
Love this guy’s style so much!! He style flyy! We will be seeing a lot more of him aroung here! Go check him out at some of his other social media sites!
I’m sorry i hated you so much.
I never really had a reason to, since you’re here and you work pretty well.
Though we might’ve had some differences and got angry at eachother
you’re perfectly fine the way you are.
So thank you
I will treat your right.
Also, know that both self-hate and body-hate are products of the society we live in. It’s never your fault.
What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks are narrow streaks or lines that develop on the surface of the skin. They develop when the the skin is stretched suddenly and the middle layer of your skin (the dermis) breaks in places, allowing the deeper layers to show through. [x]
Are they common?
Yes, so many people have them. Fat people have them. Thin people have them. Models have them. Athletes have them. VS Angels have them. Men, women, and those who don’t fit the gender binary. Young, old, and anywhere in between. Anyone can get them, and many do. They appear when skin stretches due to various types of growth, and everybody grows, so they’re more common than you might think.
Why do I barely ever see other people with stretch marks, then?
Firstly, they’re not as noticeable as you may think they are. You are your own worst critic - nobody is going to be judging your appearance as harshly as you do. I bet you’ve seen hundreds of women with stretch marks, and just never noticed them.
Secondly, it’s no secret that the media likes to hide everything they might deem as an “imperfection”. Spots, eyebags, pores, stretch marks, wrinkles, body hair - all of these things are completely normal, but are barely ever seen in the media. It doesn’t mean that people don’t have them, it just means that the media love to make their models as stereotypically “flawless” as possible, to try to convince you that you need to buy the products that they’re selling. Nobody looks like the models in magazines. Even the models don’t look like the models in magazines. Just because you can’t see people’s stretch marks, doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
What can I do?
Stretch marks fade over time. Many start off as pink or purple, and gradually fade, becoming barely noticeable. The speed of this process can sometimes be increased by moisturizing the area. There are many different products on the market that claim to remove stretch marks, but often you are paying more for what is essentially a glorified moisturizer. Anything that moisturizes and therefore increases the elasticity of your skin may help to reduce the appearance of your stretch marks, but there is no guarantee that this will work, and they will probably never disappear completely.
Stretch marks are completely normal, so the best thing you can do is to learn to accept them. They are a part of you, they’re not the enemy. Embrace your stripes!
At 4-years old, I’m told to call it a “monkey”as the word “vagina” is a bit too vulgar for my otherwise liberal mother.
At 8-years old, my older sister’s favourite insult is “close your legs, you’re attracting flies.”
At 11, I realize that my vulva had changed, and I convince myself that I somehow damaged myself through masturbation.
At 12, I learn that virginity = purity, and the best way to be “good” is to not act at all. I start realizing that society thinks the state of my vagina has some bearing on who I am as a human being.
At 13, I hear the boys in my class talking about “beef curtains”, cementing my belief that my vulva will turn off boys forever.
At 14, I become interested in seeing what other women look like “down there” and find my way into the world of internet porn. I realize I do not look the same as porn-stars, and I become ashamed.
At 15, I learn about labiaplasty and seriously consider the logistics of saving up for it.
At 16, I have my first internal exam. I sit with my feet in stirrups convinced the doctor will tell me there’s something wrong with my genitals. When she doesn’t mention anything, I think she’s just being polite.
At 17, my boyfriend “jokingly” tells me my vulva is hideous.
At 19, I tell my new boyfriend about I how I know his disinterest in performing oral sex on me comes from him being disgusted at my genitals (rather than my own lack of interest), I cry, a lot; he tells me I’m being ridiculous and that there’s nothing wrong with me.
Later that year, I listen to my roommate insult a woman he doesn’t like by saying she has a “fat hairy pussy.”
At 20, I confess to a soon-to-be sexual partner that I’ve been putting off sex because I’m terrified he’ll hate my vulva.
At 21, I sit completely naked in a room full of other young women and confess that that years of hurtful comments from loved ones, friends, strangers, and the media have made me have serious amounts of shame about my vulva. I spread my legs and show them what I’ve got. Afterwards, one of the other women approaches me, looks me straight in the eye, and says “you have a beautiful vagina.” I try not to cry. I start to believe her.
At 21, I’m just now learning not to hate my genitals. I realize that this culture of shame surrounding the vulva and vagina stem from deep-seeded misogyny, and — really — has nothing to do with me. I have wasted far too much time being ashamed of my perfectly normal, perfectly functioning genitals because of people like these politicians in Michigan who tell me that my body — by virtue of being born female — is offensive. So offensive that its name shan’t even be uttered, lest their ears fall off and their delicate sensibilities are offended.
To them, and to the people like them who are so terrified of my vagina that they feel the need to legislate what I can and can’t do with it: fuck you. My vagina belongs to me. My vulva is perfect the way it is. My body parts are not offensive.
This is important enough that I thought it belonged here!
Photo by digitime photography
I’m Heather and I’m a size 22 US. I took this photo for my blog to show other women that any body is a beach body and no one should be ashamed of their bodies in a swimsuit. Buying and wearing a bikini was a huge step for me in my own body acceptance journey. I’ve found it to be incredibly freeing and liberating! I hope someone else can take inspiration from it.
A fat girl, Adrian Adel, singing in a 6-piece hip-hop funk fusion band.