Belenen (belenen) wrote,

dealing with body worry & internalized fatphobia / attraction and beauty

[TW: internalized fatphobia, body talk]
I've been dealing with epic insecurity over the past couple days. The two people closest to me right now are getting to know each other better, and for some reason that sets off all this body worry. They're both of average-to-slim build, and have lots of the same positive qualities that I do, so my brain is like, "why would they want you, when they could have something just as good that DOESN'T come in a fat body?" And I worry about this because apparently I expect others to think that (even platonic) closeness with a slim person is more desirable than with a fat person.

I am the largest I have ever been, and I worry that I have gone past society's measure of "pleasantly plump" into "gross." I've been called gross many times over the years but my features didn't fall into the categories that I considered taboo, and now they do. Even though I no longer have those categories, I really expect other people to. I feel uncomfortable because it's considered appropriate and ethical to form an opinion of the ideal body shape (or a set of ideals), and it's a benevolence to be attracted to someone who does not meet one's ideal. No, an ideal of 'healthy' or 'average' or 'curvy' is NOT NOT NOT better than the ideal in magazines. Considering fat people the 'most' attractive is just as repulsive to me.

Being considered attractive 'in spite of' my fat means that if I ever fuck up as a person, my aesthetic and sexual worth is gone. That's a fuckton of pressure. If you can't regard my body as aesthetically beautiful regardless of who is in it, don't talk to me about beauty. And don't tell me you don't care about beauty if you have EVER enthused about the looks/shape of someone you did not know. I'm sure some people genuinely do not care about beauty, and I'm also sure that I have met at maximum 10 of those people in my lifetime. (Not talking about sexual attraction but only aesthetic)

I don't want people to ignore my body, I want people to be able to value the aesthetic qualities of it like I can. Most people just don't think like that. They measure attractiveness in closeness to an ideal, not by observing someone with careful appreciation. I can find thin lips on one person every bit as gorgeous as thick lips on another, freckles and scars and moles as lovely as unmarked skin. Every quality a person's body can have is something I can find beautiful. And I do, if I spend time with them and care about them. I don't think most people consider this a worthwhile effort. They might do it if they happen to fall for someone who doesn't resemble their ideal at all, but they don't do it as a general rule. They don't do it with their friends.

I feel proud of how I am handling this. Working through it by looking at each thought as it comes up, deconstructing it, and sending it away. I have no good reason to think that I am going to be rejected because of my body; this may be a societal danger but it's not a real danger in my relationships. The people I care about are just not that shallow. Even if they find me unattractive they aren't going to throw away my friendship because of it, because they're not shitheads.

It's taking such a lot of effort to tell myself this over and over. But I can feel the shift as it goes.
Tags: body image, rants

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