Thursday, 4 May 2017

Ditching "Magic Knickers "And Embracing My Magic Body

The journey to self acceptance, when you are a fat woman living in a society that reveres thinness, can have several "eureka`" moments.

Mine have included 

  • stumbling across the Plus size blogger world about six years ago (I felt like Indiana Jones uncovering the arc of the covenant-I had heard fat women who liked themselves existed, but had never glimpsed one in the wild) 
  • Not wearing cardigans when its hot to "cover up my arms" (the years I spent  sweating in the middle of summer because I thought my upper arms weren't fit for public consumption) 
  • And recently I hit another milestone. Ditching shape wear.

A big belt and an even bigger handbag-the props I once required to feel confident enough to post pictures of myself on a blog
It happened without fanfare, or any examination on my part but I realised the other day I never wear shareware  or control pants anymore.
Now before I continue let me make one thing clear, this is not in anyway a criticism on anyone who enjoys shape wear. If popping on a pair of Spanx makes you feel able to navigate this fatphobic universe more easily, if you simply just like how you look in control underwear then that's wonderful. One persons personal revolution does not have to come at the expense of judging people who walk a different path. That is a route I decided long ago held no appeal for me.
The reason it feels significant to me is that I always felt very self conscious if I wore something fitted without shape wear  Although I understood on an intellectual level that shape wear didn't stop me being a visibly fat woman, I was still buying in to the idea that I looked "better" if I "smoothed my lumpy bits"

Uncomfortable shape wear and the knotted cardigan, the armour I felt I had to wear to combat Fatphobia
Viewing my body as a "problem to be solved" came from a lifetime of conditioning. I know how difficult it can be to quiet the voices that tell you that you "take upon too much space" or "would be attractive if you only lost some weight" These voices aren't just the ones in our heads, but are often real conversations, insults shouted at you from cars, comments left on Instagram photos or concerned" observations made by well meaning but, ultimately ignorant friends or family. 

Shapewear to deal with my perceived "problem areas"
Yesterday after having a perfectly great, normal time living my life I realised I was wearing a very fitted dress, my VBO was on full display and I hadn't given it a single thought. Not one. Even two years ago I would have spent what was a very warm day wearing uncomfortable "magic knickers" and to no longer feel I need that feels really significant.

Mastering my inner demons and ditching the shape wear

I read a statistic that said it takes 10'000 hours to become a mastercraftsman. That to really harness a skill you have to keep applying yourself day in, day out. Whilst not quite ready to graduate from the body positivity academy I believe I am on my way and oddly my underwear has become a representation of my progress. 
I know I owe a debt to the bloggers, fat activists and campaigners who fill my twitter time line with inspiration and strength (often in the face of extreme harassment and hate) and I am thankful to everyone of them.
I no longer need "magic knickers" my body is magic all on its own.


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