Thursday, September 02, 2010

Free advice part II...the feelings edition.

So here is part two darlings.

Today as Amber brought up in comments yesterday I want to talk about individual feelings, expressions of bad days etc.

Now my issue with FYCG was not that there were a lot of posters using twisted acceptance language that happens. On an individual level no matter how good your self esteem is or how long you've been on the acceptance road everyone has bad days.

Everyone has days that they think (yes me included) they are the grossest gross that has ever grossed.

Everyone has to start their path (fuck I hate using words like that in this context)somewhere. Sometimes the starting point for that is when you still feel like you're okay except for whatever flaw. My frustration came from there not seeming to be any stance on questioning the necessity of adding the conditional statements.

For me reading the constant I'm cool and awesome but, type conditional statements was just tiring. Also tiring was what I perceived as some epic train wrecks of communication. It's really difficult when one person is coming from an activist stance or an empowered stance and the other person is coming from a not there yet, or not aware of any activism place to have a conversation about things like saying, hey you don't have to add the conditional part.

Does that make sense?

I think a lot of people who were watching FYCG from an FA standpoint, were reacting not to people having self esteem issues or not being really at a solid point of self acceptance rather, they seemed to me to be reacting to FYCG not seeming to have any consistency in the overall message. I could be talking out of my ass but as I read a lot of the criticisms (a lot good lord) of FYCG that is the impression I got.

I think a lot of people came to FYCG not just expcting cute pictures of chubby girls but expecting something like what you might find in the Fatosphere.

I stopped following FYCG myself because that is not what it was and at some point it just wasn't to my taste.

All that said when it comes to the people who were contributing, in this context, I fully support people expressing those feelings because if you don't express these things, the only view of them you have is your own and those things when kept under wraps can fester and become monstrous.It can be awful.

From my view, it's extremely important to let people have those moments and not give them shit when they have them. My intention yesterday was not a call out to the people contributing. Rather my issue was the um, confusion of having what I thought was a space about acceptance and not having that expectation fulfilled in a manner I recognized.

I think that it's a valuable thing to be able to say, hey you don't have to say that about yourself or think that way in the context of listening to someone talk about themselves in a negative light. I do believe that for a lot of people that could start them on a patch to empowerment and learning to accept their own bodies and other peoples bodies.

I personally don't see someone saying, "hey you're fine with no 'but' or 'even though'" as being necessarily a call out.

On the other hand I can completely understand how someone saying that feels like a call out.

When your self esteem is fragile it can be really difficult to be challenged on any level. That's neither good nor bad it just is.

I'm not necessarily talking about BadDays. I'm more talking about a shift in self perception that can be facilitated by those hard questions or moments when you feel like maybe someone is picking on you or calling you out for having those feelings.

I believe that once you have a basic foundation of acceptance, BadDays become easier to deal with. And it's a long way to get to that point.

Once you have that basic foundation on days when you look at your ass and feel like it is the worst thing ever it can be easier to reel that in and say, okay my ass is way bigger than it used to be. That's how it is right now and I'm maybe not comfortable but it's ok.

I'm not suggesting here that anyone has to feel this way. Nor am I suggesting that anyone is somehow less than if they have more BadDays than good days.

This is how I started to learn to accept myself.

Not just the size of my ass.

I'm really talking about acceptance on a deeper more profound level. I'm talking about accepting things like I am a slow learner when it comes to math. I have trouble with math and I don't do it very quickly. I'm talking about learning to accept things that people may have taught you to be ashamed of.

I have learned (am learning) to accept things that if I were to take more of what society says to heart, would make me feel miserable and like a flawed failed person.

For me it's been far more difficult to accept that I have some issues that while yes, I'm sure if I spent a lot of tmie and money I could "fix" but I don't really need to. I'm fine the way I am.

When it comes to my body, I have bad days.

Sometimes when I'm trying to say buy pants or am looking for an outfit for an event or special occasion I do think about how it would be so much better/easier/cheaper if only I was a few sizes smaller again.

Yes I have those thoughts.

Prior to encountering any kind of body politics at all, it never ever occured to me that I could just be okay in my body. It really didn't. It never occured to me that I didn't have to work out for hours every day trying to mold my body into a "better" shape. It never occured to me that even though I have BadDays, those don't have to be every day. It never occurred to me that I didn't have to only accept myself on conditions or in spite of my "flaws".

It wasn't until someone said to me that they did not want to hear me talking that way, that it might not be necessary to talk that way or feel that way. That's where I got started. I was 18 years old.

I remember very clearly that my feelings were really hurt. Those first few times anyone contradicted every thing I had been taught (or had learned by osmosis of American culture)about self esteem, my sense of self, how I viewed and talked about myself. It was a painful start. My feelings got hurt, I cried, I flounced in meat space but I started thinking.

I started learning about the idea that yes, someday I could in fact have more good days than BadDays.

Acceptance is never easy. Acceptance is not quick and it damn sure isn't something that I would say everyone has to do.

I will say that I care about people. I care about their mental health, about the hard times, I want people to have a better road. I want people to have fewer BadDays and more ways to deal with those BadDays.

I want people like Amber to know that fuck we all have those days (I'm sure she knows but I'm using her as an example) and that it's okay. Shit happens. Shit happens then you wipe your shoe and keep truckin'. And some days it's really fucking hard to do that.

I want the girls who submitted to FYCG to know that those conditions arne't necessary and that like Amber and Me and every body else in the world, we can take steps so that we don't even think about those conditions much less feel a need to speak them.

I want, people to know that this shit is fucking hard. Whether you're already into an activist frame of mind and places like FYCG frustrate you or if you run a place like FYCG and people are criticisng it and it frustrates you. It's all fucking hard.

I also want people like Stef (check comments from yesterday I'm too tired to link) to understand that while yes some criticism is harsh and it hurts to hear, most people give impassioned criticism not to tear something down but because they want it to be better. That it can't be puppies and pom poms, that a negative reaction to something is not in and of itself good or bad it just is. I would say that a negative criticism of something doesn't have to become an issue. I think if people can learn to talk to each other about things and listen not just to the fact that someone doesn't like something but listen to why, we'd all be a lot happier.

Okay this is hugely long. I'm rambling now but I think y'all get my point here.

Now tomorrow, I am pretty sure I need to talk more about how I got on the Acceptance band wagon and how all these wants of mine have been formed over the years.

Homo Out.

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