It is Body Image Warrior Week and I am sharing a blog post from, "A Blog of Her Own," as part of a community effort to share body positive posts. I do not have bikini pictures on Facebook. Maybe I'll take some this summer...
On Why I Have Bikini Photos On Facebook (And You Should Too)Right now, if we’re facebook friends, you can see a bunch of photos of me in a bikini.
They’re not retouched. They’re not photoshopped. They’re not even waiting for me to de-tag them. Nope, I’ve seen them and I’m letting them stay there, on the internet, where my friends, family, and frienemies alike can oogle them and note my ghost colored skin and not-quite-bikini-ready bikini clad body.
A short time ago this would not have happened. I would have de-tagged myself as fast as possible. I would have scowled at the belly rolls and the fleshy arms. I would have used the unflattering shots to urge myself into a strict diet and exercise regime for a few weeks until I grew tired of calorie calculation and abstaining.
So? What happened? Why did I decide to own my bikini pics, warts or, in this case, chub and all? Well. The answer is, I’m tired.
I’m tired of not practicing what I preach, I’m tired of the constant skinny talk in my head, I’m tired of the women I know picking themselves apart on a daily basis. Here’s the thing, I identify as a feminist. I’ve participated in Love Your Body day, I’ve written scholarly papers on the online culture of pro-eating disorder websites and thinspiration, and yet I de-tag unflattering photos on facebook?! What kind of message does that send? I felt like the girl at the lunch table who tells all her friends to stop knocking themselves down and then writes angsty poetry about her own body image issues. I felt like a fraud.
And you know what? I know my body isn’t perfect by society standards. I also know it probably won’t ever be. But it is healthy. It carried me across the finish line at a 14k the week before those bikini photos were taken. It can do 50 push ups. It teeters on the line between a healthy BMI and a slightly overweight one (let’s not talk about how screwed up the entire BMI scale is, that’s a subject for a different day), and it isn’t limited by a single health issue. Why should I ever be ashamed of that?
One day, when my body has collected a lifetime’s worth of scars and stretch marks and tokens of a life well-lived, I’m going to look back at my twenty-five year old body with pride and nostalgia. I don’t want to look back and think, “you thought you looked gross in that photo? Sugar, you didn’t know how gorgeous you were.”
So, the photos stay up. To remind myself that I am hott. Two t’s. And that my body as far as health goes, is perfect, just as it is.
“I’ve got a perfect body/but sometimes I forget/ I’ve got a perfect body/ ‘Cause my eyelashes catch my sweat.” – Regina Specktor, Folding Chair
I’ve decided to include this post in a fantastic project, Body Image Warrior Week. Check out the rest of the participants and join us in being body image warriors!