On another note, someone recently bumped a thread on one of my favourite forums (a feminist homebirthing forum) entitled, "When were your body image issues installed?" and I was reminded of my response to that question a year or so ago. Then I read a post in the 12WBT forums this morning, another woman talking about how HER body image issues were installed, and it really resonated with me.
So I'm going to share. This is a public blog, and generally I don't really talk about this publicly, but here you go.
When I was 12 and in high school, I had a crush on a boy, as you do. Another girl in my year, who liked the same boy, wrote me a kind, helpful letter detailing all my physical imperfections and how I could perhaps work on them by losing weight, wearing makeup, wearing coloured contacts, and never smiling because I had awful teeth. Oh, and try not to be so *smart* (Lord knows women aren't meant to be *smart*, that'll make the men feel bad). And you know what? Just try to be less ugly. That one, spiteful action, absolutely wrecked my self-esteem for years.
I wasn't overweight for many of those years - I played lots of sports in high school - but I hated myself and indulged in a lot of self-destructive behaviour, which I probably won't go into here.
You know what? I still look the same (aged by 16 years, of course). I still have pimples, and I did eventually get my teeth straightened out with braces as an adult, and now I smile, and I say f*** you, I don't care anymore.
I am beautiful, no matter what they say. Words won't bring me down. (Christina Aguilera, Beautiful)