Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Ghiradelli chocolates...and glee.

So I am a new chocolate convert. I am right this instant nibbling on a piece of Ghiradelli chocolate.

It is in fact a 60% cacoe Squares Dark chocolate. I am having it with a very large cup of coffee. I love these chocolates because they are perfect size for me. Enough to be nibble satisfactorily but not so much I feel icky in the stomach area afterwards. Perfection in a dark chocolate square.

I was reading Fatshionista this morning and one post in particular hit me very close to home. One woman posted about years of getting the not so subtle signal that her body was/is inappropriate. What struck me more is that we have very similar measurements.

The idea that because your body isn't what society decides is ok is one that has been close to my heart for a long time. Doubly so I think because of how I've tended to dress over the years and because I'm black.

Before I really get into this let me say right now I am not interested in playing in the Oppressed Dick Sizing Olympic games. This is entirely based on experiences had in my 30 years on this Earth so don't bother.

So right.

I have to say that over the years probably the most hurtful and damaging things have always been based in the idea that I am not appropriate. Even now when someone approaches me from that standpoint it is one of the few things that I can't just let roll off of my back and that I will take in and hold it like a piece of sand until it's just another pearl to stack with the other ones.

It started when I was very young. I was a very strange child. I read early, my tastes were not on par with a lot of my peers in many ways. At the time generally adults weren't the ones sending the message. Most of them thought it was cute. Me reading novels, watching NOVA and trying to discuss astronomy. However other kids as you can well guess tended to be mean.

As I got older though, adults started to treat me as other too. I assume from an adult standpoint that I was probably often startling. I was still very small, undersized and looked way younger than I was and yet I spent a lot of time talking to adults about the things that interested me. Ancient Egypt, mummification, embalming and the death rituals of various cultures. Yes it was strange. But, I started to get the message from people that somehow wasn't ok.

I spent a lot of time back then absolutely puzzled. I didn't understand (as I don't understand now) why it was so strange to just be as I was.

Then of course came the teen years and my start to hear why I was not ok.

It started with how I speak. I heard from family members, random people and my peers constantly that I was "trying to be white". How I dressed, how I spoke, the music I listened to, my hours at the library, my budding predilection for strange hair colors apparently to everyone but me, indicated I was a self hating black person.

I wasn't actually. And only once that I can recall did anyone ever bother to really pay attention to me when I got upset about that fucking slur. "Trying to be white".

I learned eventually to verbally dress down anyone who dares question my love of my blackness.

Also during my preteen years I began to learn how wrong my body was. I was in about the middle of the pack for the start of puberty. I had tender buds for boobs up until about the sixth grade when I became a perky bra hating bcup. At that small (now that I look back) time period my body was ok.

And then two years later my body turned against me and everyone else. I went from said Bcup to a bit bigger than an F cup in less than two years.

I don't want to go into too many details suffice it to say everyone and I mean everyone from my peers, teachers, random people on the street had something shitty to say about my body. I rarely got called fat even though I very purposefully gained a shit-ton of weight but, people cat called and were very cruel. I got lectures from strangers about bra stuffing, I got screamed at by my gym teacher for changing in the toilet stall or not participating because back then a good sports bra for boobs that big was just way too expensive for my parents to afford.

People threw things at me from cars. I was harassed and tormented to the point that save for going to school I rarely left the house or my bedroom. I for the most part stopped speaking entirely. It gets worse.

Cut to the end of that hellish two/three year period and my parents finally were able to get insurance to cover a breast reduction. By the time it happened though I was damaged inside and out. (Sorry this is a little gross) The weight of my breasts had pulled my entire back out of alignment, starting causing the tissue to separate from my sternum, I had nearly inch deep grooves in the top of my shoulders from my bra straps, I was having trouble breathing to sleep at night. The list goes on. And that was just physical.

I remember very vividly while in the surgeons office for an appointment he asked me if I had gained a lot of weight to which I said yes. I said:

"I'd rather be the fat girl than be the girl that everyone hates."

So I got the breast reduction.

I returned to school after a three week absence pretty much ready for fucking war. However the abuse very abruptly stopped. Random kids asked if I'd lost weight. Boys I'd known since third grade told me I looked pretty.

I hadn't lost weight except for my tits.

I found out later that the rumour was I'd been to fat camp. I never bothered to correct it.

After all that I did in fact start to lose some of the weight I'd put on. I started dancing, playing volleyball, being a cheerleader (don't laugh I shit you not I was a cheerleader) and though the comments had ceased I still felt wrong and bad.

For about (gah I hate to even say this) ten years my weight yo-yo'd quite a bit. From about a size 16/18 all the way down to a size 5. At every weight someone thought my body was inappropriate. Too skinny, too fat, thighs too big to be wearing that skirt, no ass, boobs too big etc.

My body has been put through hell by me and by the world at large and it makes no sense.

At my happiest and healthiest I'd say I was probably an 11/14 or so. Not much smaller than I am now. I felt good and my body for the first time in a long time didn't feel like the enemy.

All through those years and into my twenties I struggled so hard to even accept myself. When you heap on the frowning of the community what do you get?

I'm sure you know what I'm saying here.

Now I am re-learning and reconditioning myself to realize that no, there is nothing wrong with my body. There is nothing wrong with your body. And it's nobody's goddamn business anyway.

Dye your hair magenta and wear a choli, overalls and Wellies if you wanna.

Fuck em.

I refuse to spend the next thirty years of my life trying to achieve some arbitrary standard that doesn't actually fucking exist. No matter what you look like or how you behave someone will not like it. And that's just too goddamn bad ain't it?

It's not a war worth fighting.

What's worth fighting for is your right to be who you are regardless of what anyone else says. It's worth it to fight for good health care and to be happy and healthy.

That's a war I'll sign up for.

Draft me.

Ok enough. I'm a little spent after all that. I had actually intended to talk about the news but that's even more fucking depressing and I can't handle it right now.

Homo Out.



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1 comment:

AdamAnt said...

Fuckin' a right, girlfriend. Testify!

We both know what it means to be outcast, and to have internalized that to the point where we can't really be comfortable with who and what we are. But at least I'm okay with who you are. And you are with who I am. Which is a lot better than it was before we became friends, I think...

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